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Fed News   Fed announcement: June 24, 2009
  While rates haven't changed, will the Federal Reserve's  
  Open Market Committee use other means to boost the economy?  
Winners and losers

CD buyers
 

When the Federal Reserve meets, we all have questions: What does it mean to me? Will yields on certificates of deposit go up or down? Bankrate is here to help. We've looked at five categories -- mortgages, home equity loans, auto loans, credit cards and certificates of deposit -- to determine if the Fed's moves made you a winner or a loser. Here's a look at CDs and money market accounts:

 Loser: CD buyers

Savers must have been bad all year, because Santa just tossed another chunk of coal in their stockings. No real surprise, though.

Ben Bernanke and the rest of the Federal Open Market Committee still have some wiggle room to take short-term rates even lower. This is the 10th meeting in a row that they've lowered rates, and we have no reason to expect anything different in January. The next scheduled meeting is Jan. 27 and Jan. 28.

At the top of this article it says CD buyers are losers. That's just Bankrate's format -- if rates drop, CD buyers lose. The real losers are people who are buying Treasuries that sport an interest rate of zero percent. People who are buying high-yield CDs are winners. Amen.

We'll look at high-yield CDs in the Smart Money Moves section of this report, but there are other ways you can raise some cash.

John Sestina, a Certified Financial Planner in Columbus, Ohio, says this is a great opportunity for people who are paying attention.

"Recover some extra cash by refinancing, not just your mortgage but also your car loan," says Sestina. "Consider juggling medical and other expenses (between this year and next year). Some people could opt for the standard deduction this year and push all the individual deductions into next year. The extra cash flow can be used to buy mutual funds or add money to a retirement plan. Sooner or later the market will come back."

 Take action

Probably the best thing you can do in an economy like this is be proactive. Review your loans and see if refinancing is an option. Even if you've always done your own tax return, this may be the year to hand it over to a pro to make sure you get every break you deserve. And, of course, make sure your cash is working hard and not sitting around earning a measly 0.25 percent.

-- Posted: Dec. 16, 2008
 

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CDs and Investments
Compare today's rates
NATIONAL OVERNIGHT AVERAGES
1 yr CD 0.99%
2 yr CD 1.20%
5 yr CD 1.82%
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