If you're hoping your investments will grow this year, it might be a good time to rethink your savings strategy. The financial environment is conducive to low interest rates for savings accounts and short-term certificates of deposit, experts say.
"We will see short-term interest rates remain very low throughout 2011 and into 2012," Leggett says.
An individual looking for yields may be tempted to seek longer maturities, Leggett says, adding that he's seen some banks offering 39- and 63-month CDs. Committing your money to a CD for such a long period could be risky if you're an investor who is tempted to move your money elsewhere, and thus incur a penalty.
"You're getting a higher yield than you would otherwise," Leggett says. "You're also locked into that yield for a very long time. So you're giving up liquidity."
Elliot says even if the market's rates do improve, it's unlikely checking and saving deposit rates will follow.
"Banks will seek to recover lost fees due to regulatory changes by keeping deposit rates very low," he says.
Still, there are some holdouts among banks. Capital One's rates have mostly remained above the national average, Elliot says.