CD is safe despite bank's struggles

Dear Dr. Don,
I noticed Countrywide is offering the highest CD rate for six months on deposits over $10,000. Our local banks are offering rates that are much lower, but would it be a good move to go with Countrywide, which is having so much trouble with mortgage foreclosures?
-- Terrie Timorous

Dear Terrie,
CDs are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., or FDIC, meaning they are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. To my mind, that gives you the freedom to chase yield and feel perfectly safe in a six-month CD with Countrywide.

The Bankrate feature " Online or branch: Where is the best yield?" helps explain some of the factors in deciding whether to stay local or look nationwide for banks offering high yields on CDs. You can shop rates using Bankrate's compare rates function.

Choosing where to deposit your money is always a trade-off between yield, safety, liquidity and convenience. An insured deposit doesn't really have any safety downside, leaving you the trade-offs between the other investment attributes.

I'd be able to sleep nights with an insured CD in Countrywide, but if you don't think you can, invest somewhere else.


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