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Fed News   Fed announcement: June 24, 2009

Winner or loser: Certificate of deposits
 

[no reduction] Winner: Certificate of deposits shopper
It seems almost startling that the Fed decided to leave the Fed Funds target rate alone. Regardless of how surprising it is or isn't, it's the best news that CD buyers could have received. The decline in interest rates so far this year has been very slow, perhaps 1 or 2 basis points a week with many weeks with no movement. But a Fed cut would certainly have sped the decline.

Certificate of deposits

Historical perspective
CD yields have bounced around a little bit, but for the most part they've held their ground so far this year. The average three-month yield, as surveyed by Bankrate.com, was 2.90 percent on Jan. 3 and today stands at 2.91 percent. To date its monthly average hasn't been higher than 2.94 percent or lower than 2.88 percent. The story is similar for the six-month, which began the year at 3.54 percent and is now at 3.53 percent; the one-year ranging 3.78 percent to 3.75 percent, and the five-year 4.07 percent to 4 percent.

Smart strategies
It's not likely that the Fed will continue its fence-sitting policy. If the economy or important sectors such as housing continue to slide, the Fed will have to cut rates. Current yields are probably the best you'll find. If you want to lock some money in a safe haven such as a CD, the time is now.

Take action
If you use a local bank, check the yields that they're offering. But then compare Bankrate's high yield database to find many of the best CD yields from around the country. You'll find FDIC-insured institutions paying better than 5 percent on CDs ranging from three months to five years.

Many of these CD accounts need to be opened online; but that's how you'll get the best return on your money.

This calculator can show how much interest you'll earn with a particular CD. And this calculator shows you how to ladder CDs. Laddering helps you take advantage of interest rates spread over several maturities while giving you a stable source of income.

[25 bpcut] Loser: Certificate of deposits shopper
It's not the best news and it's not the worst. The Fed's decision to cut the Fed Funds target interest rate by 25 basis points won't delight CD buyers, but it's not as chilling as a 50 basis point cut, which was a definite possibility. CD buyers who follow the shifts in interest rates know the writing has been on the wall for some time.

Certificate of deposits

Historical perspective
CD yields have bounced around a little bit, but for the most part they've held their ground so far this year. The average three-month yield, as surveyed by Bankrate.com, was 2.90 percent on Jan. 3 and today stands at 2.91 percent. To date its monthly average hasn't been higher than 2.94 percent or lower than 2.88 percent. The story is similar for the six-month, which began the year at 3.54 percent and is now at 3.53 percent; the one-year ranging 3.78 percent to 3.75 percent, and the five-year 4.07 percent to 4 percent.

Smart strategies
More than likely the Fed won't stop at 25 basis points. Expect additional quarter-point cuts in the months ahead. Current yields are probably the best you'll find. If you want to lock some money in a safe haven such as a CD, the time is now.

Take action
If you use a local bank, check the yields that they're offering. But then compare Bankrate's high yield database to find many of the best CD yields from around the country. You'll find FDIC-insured institutions paying better than 5 percent on CDs ranging from three months to five years.

Many of these CD accounts need to be opened online; but that's how you'll get the best return on your money.

This calculator can show how much interest you'll earn with a particular CD. And this calculator shows you how to ladder CDs. Laddering helps you take advantage of interest rates spread over several maturities while giving you a stable source of income.

[50 bpcut] Loser: Certificate of deposits shopper
This was the worst news CD buyers could have expected. Many were no doubt hoping the cut would be no more than 25 basis points. While CD rates don't move in lockstep with Fed moves, the decline in CD rates will likely be fairly dramatic in the weeks ahead.

Certificate of deposits

Historical perspective
CD yields have bounced around a little bit but for the most part they've held their ground so far this year until now. The average three-month yield, as surveyed by Bankrate.com, was 2.90 percent on Jan. 3 and today stands at 2.91 percent. To date its monthly average hasn't been higher than 2.94 percent or lower than 2.88 percent. The story is similar for the six-month, which began the year at 3.54 percent and is now at 3.53 percent; the one-year ranging 3.78 percent to 3.75 percent and the five-year 4.07 percent to 4 percent.

Smart strategies
More than likely the Fed won't stop at 50 basis points. Perhaps future cuts will be capped at 25 basis points but two FOMC meetings remain this year and there's nothing stopping the Fed from making cuts between meetings. Current yields are probably the best you'll find for a while. If you want to lock some money in a safe haven such as a CD, the time is now.

Take action
If you use a local bank, check the yields that they're offering. But then compare Bankrate's high yield database to find many of the best CD yields from around the country. You'll find FDIC-insured institutions paying better than 5 percent on CDs ranging from three months to five years.

Many of these CD accounts need to be opened online; but that's how you'll get the best return on your money.

This calculator can show how much interest you'll earn with a particular CD. And this calculator shows you how to ladder CDs. Laddering helps you take advantage of interest rates spread over several maturities while giving you a stable source of income.

Create a news alert for "Federal Reserve"  -- Posted: Sept. 18, 2007
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