Low CD rates leave 'laddering' shaky
"When interest rates start rising, that is why you might want to start taking advantage of creating a true ladder because you'll be locking in at more attractive rates," says Gamel.
Edward Jones financial adviser Don Ruzicka says because there is no single picture or scenario for a CD ladder, each should be built according to the person's needs. Whereas some may need cash every three months, others may only need it once a year. A CD ladder may still be a decent option, he says, especially for those preparing for an education expense or balancing a need for liquidity.
Ruzicka says that although interest rates probably won't drop much further, no one can know for sure when they might rise. He says a CD ladder still offers the chance to make better returns than with a money market account. Consumers can minimize the risk that they'll be trapped with a low interest rate by simply moving their longest maturity dates from five years to two or less.
"I think what the ladder takes out of the picture is when rates are going to up or down. If the pros don't know that, an average consumer can't be expected to," says Ruzicka.
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