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Savers eschew CDs

By Sheyna Steiner · Bankrate.com
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Posted: 9 am ET

Records continue to be broken, but for all the wrong reasons.

As you know, CD rates are at all-time lows. Since August 2009, the yield on the average one-year CD  has been at record lows, falling below any rates recorded since Bankrate began tracking CD rates in 1983. Prior to August 2009, the previous low was 1.04 percent in July 2003.

Last week in Bankrate's weekly rate survey, the average yield on a one-year CD was 0.47 percent.

Now, according to Market Rates Insight, a provider of financial information and analysis to the financial industry, a record amount of money -- 75 percent of total bank deposits -- is in liquid accounts such as savings and money market accounts.

In the weekly newsletter "National pricing indicators and trend analysis for deposits," executive vice president of Market Rates Insight, Dan Geller, attributed the rise in deposits to new money entering the deposit system and a migration from maturing time-based vehicles such as CDs to liquid accounts.

The amount of money in deposit accounts in March was up 13 percent over the same time two years ago.

Geller attributes the rise in deposit balances to a lack of consumer confidence.

"This is an indication that consumers are not confident enough in the prospects of economic recovery, and prefer to have more of their money readily available in case of an immediate financial need."

Bankrate's monthly survey of Americans' feelings about their finances, the Financial Security Index, has found that many people feel uncomfortable about their level of savings. In March, 40 percent of those surveyed said they feel less sanguine about their savings than they did one year ago.

Despite a slowly improving economy, there is a lot of uncertainty out there and very little compensation for tying up your money.

Are you keeping more cash on hand rather than putting it into CDs?

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4 Comments
Michael
April 09, 2011 at 4:45 pm

Yes, I am keeping far more in Savings now. Since there is little substanitive difference in Roth IRA CD's, since they don't even keep up with inflation, there is no reason to do that anymore. Interest rates continue to go down, drastically, upon maturity. The yearly tax savings from that interest do not exceed the interest taxes on that same amount for a taxable account for most. At least not for me.

Liquidity is where it's at, until show signs of improvement at levels that actually reach retail. They are not improving for savers, and are in fact getting worse. The only people "recovering" are those insiders in the stock markets, and those in big corporations.

I suspect that for many, online savings are only one step away from putting it under the mattress now.

jchris948
April 08, 2011 at 10:21 pm

All indications are that interest rates will finally begin to rise by year's end, but so will inflation. We savers can't seem to win for losing.