With the current state of the economy, it’s obvious “rainy days” can be all too real, and many are looking at what their options might be when it comes to online investment products such as CD rates. For the same savings and money market, accounts are a good place to start, but the returns leave something to be desired. In order to get a better return, while keeping risks minimal, many investigate CD rates.
CD rates are usually higher than other F.D.I.C. insured accounts, because those who invest in a Certificate of Deposit (a CD) make a commitment to keep their money with a bank for a longer period of time. The longer that commitment is, the higher the yield. Most CD rates start with a six-month term, but many commit to five- or 10-year terms for a better yield on their investment.
Those who need better access to their money often choose a money market account. Money market rates are not as high as CD rates most of the time, yet earn more than a regular savings account. With a money market account, there is normally a limit on the number of transactions that can be made, but if the intent is to keep the money in the account and only have “emergency” access, this can work quite well.
There are two main types of money market accounts: deposit accounts that are often linked to a checking account, and mutual fund based accounts. Deposit accounts are insured by the F.D.I.C. up to $250,000, as are CDs and regular savings accounts. The rate of return on a mutual fund based money market account may be higher or lower depending on how the fund is doing in the market. Mutual funds and money market accounts associated with them are not F.D.I.C. insured, but are still generally considered safe investments.
Regular savings accounts offer the least amount of return on an investment, but can be a good choice for those who are on a very tight budget. They can be used to save for larger bills that come up less often, such as the rent or mortgage payment or insurance payments that might only come due every few months, or they can be a good way to prepare for an annual tax bill.
Whether looking at a savings account, money market or CD rates, many get a better return on their investment by looking for the best rates online. Regardless of how one invests, it’s important to understand the terms and not go over the allotted number of transactions allowed. Doing so could result in additional fees which can wind up mooting the whole point of the investment.