The Fed Funds Rate is generally considered the primary tool that the Federa...(read more)

Never overlook the value of interest bearing bank accounts.  Manage your c...(read more)

Bank CDs and savings accounts should always provide you the benefit of main...(read more)

Whether you accumulate your cash in a bank, thrift or a credit union, there...(read more)

As the market continues a path like a hurricane, cash will remain king.  W...(read more)

Annual percentage yield is a great tool for comparing bank savings products...(read more)

When shopping for a checking account, make sure that you avoid any headache...(read more)

Banks are great place to get a high rate of return during a rough investmen...(read more)

When choosing the best bank for your needs you need to find a bank that is ...(read more)

In most normal interest rate markets, longer term CDs should pay a better i...(read more)

Brokered CDs are simply bank CDs offered by a financial intermediary.  It...(read more)

Certificates of deposit are one of the safest investment products for short...(read more)

Bank CD's have become a more popular savings vehicles as competition among ...(read more)

As a result of the present market conditions for bank operations, the sprea...(read more)

As the market conditions for banks remain challenging, the competition amon...(read more)

A great deal of bank customers turn out to be very loyal to their bank and ...(read more)

Always compare bank checking account charges to make sure you are not payin...(read more)

Fraudulent emails to steal financial data and identities are a significant ...(read more)

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How does the Federal Funds Rate affect my bank, bank rates and individual investors?

The Fed Funds Rate is generally considered the primary tool that the Federal Open Market Committee of the Federal Reserve uses to influence interest rates and the economy.  Changes in the Fed Funds Rate will have a significant effect on bank rates by influencing the borrowing cost of banks in the overnight lending market.  The cost of funds to banks in the overnight lending market will in turn impact interest rates that are close in term such as other short term and mid term interest rates.  If the Fed Funds Rate move up or down, other short term rates will move in the same direction and change the borrowing costs and loan profit margins of the bank.  The rate of return offered by banks on deposit products such as certificates of deposit, savings accounts, and money market accounts will change as the banks cost of funds change.  Changes in the Fed Funds Rate will then often lead to changes in the Prime Rate or other bank lending rates to their borrowers.  The Prime Rate in itself  influences rates for many credit cards, home equity loans, auto loans, and personal loans.

Actively Manage Interest Bearing Bank Accounts

Never overlook the value of interest bearing bank accounts.  Manage your choices for investing in a bank as carefully as you manage any other investments and you will find that your rates return will increase while avoiding the erosion of fees and inflation. Incremental increases in the yield on a bank account will add up over time.

Bank Rates and Liquidity

Bank CDs and savings accounts should always provide you the benefit of maintaining a portion of your investments in savings that are highly liquid, with secure and guaranteed principal, as well as a assured rate of return.  Stay abreast of current bank rates to make sure your accounts have the highest rates with the aprropriate term or level of liquidity.

Bank Competition is a Consumers Gain

Whether you accumulate your cash in a bank, thrift or a credit union, there are numerous savings options within these financial institutions from which to choose.  Checking accounts have a plethora of features to choose from, money market accounts combine the features of checking and high yields and CD rates are paying returns well above 10 year treasuries.  Helathy bank competition is the consumers gain resulting in higher bank rates and better account features.  Manage the variety of bank proudcts available to achieve maximum returns and convenience.

Market Calm with Safe and Secure Bank CDs and Bank Products

As the market continues a path like a hurricane, cash will remain king.  When the market tanks it’s important to have a well diversified portfolio but one that is heavily weighted to principal preservation and liquidity.  Bank accounts and bank CDs fit the bill perfectly by preserving capital, earning a predetermined guaranteed rate of interest and affording the opportunity to switch investment gears should the storm clear.  Shop and compare the best CD rates and maintain a secure and diversified portfolio with FDIC backing.

Comparing Annual Percentage Yield on Bank CDs

Annual percentage yield is a great tool for comparing bank savings products and evaluating how much your deposit earns.  APY measures the rate of return annually and takes compounding into account.  For bank products like high yielding CDs, the APY measures the interest rate and how quickly that interest is paid.  Shorter compounding periods leads to a higher APY because the interest payment is credited to the certificate of deposit more quickly and it starts earning interest along with the invested principal.

Shop and Compare all Bank Checking Account Offers

When shopping for a checking account, make sure that you avoid any headaches you may incur in the future by simply choosing free checking accounts.  Banks will use a variety of savvy marketing techniques to get you as a customer.  However, these accounts may not always be the best thing for your needs.  If you find utility in certain bank services not found in these accounts, you may be willing to pay at least something extra to have them.  Review the fee schedules from the bank and compare different checking and savings products to see if it may worth the added costs for the features you may need.

Banks for Emergency Expenditures and Stable Rates

Banks are great place to get a high rate of return during a rough investment market. Banks are also the number one destination for an emergency cash fund.  Everyone needs an emergency savings plan that insulates them from both expected  and unexpected large expenditures.  Bank CDs and savings products are convenient, offer stable interest rates and FDIC protection.  Bank money market accounts, savings accounts and CDs provide a great resource to store emergency cash needs while offering a competitive and secure interest rate.

Compare and Choose Banks, CDs and Services Based on Your Needs

When choosing the best bank for your needs you need to find a bank that is convenient, pays a competitive yield, and provides you with the service and products you need.  Start by evaluating exactly what your needs are from a bank.  From here you can review the different bank products from checking accounts and overdraft protection to high yielding money market accounts, top CD rates and even ATM locations.   Now, you can swiftly assess the competition and find the banks and bank accounts with the greatest level of services, highest interest rates and lowest costs to serve your needs.

High Bank CD Rates on Short Term over Long Term Maturities

In most normal interest rate markets, longer term CDs should pay a better interest rate than shorter term bank CDs.  However in some markets the rate spread between bank CDs with long term maturities and short term maturities can be inconsequential or even reversed.  The most common cause for finding some short term CD rates greater than long term rates is the competitive market is driving some banks to offer high rates on short term CD maturities to lure in new customers and new money.  As long as the bank is sound as well as FDIC insured and the terms of the CD are clear, these high CD rates are a bounty for the intelligent bank rate shopper.

Brokered CDs Defined and Cautions

Brokered CDs are simply bank CDs offered by a financial intermediary.  It’s important to understand who is offering the brokered CDs, what the interest rate on the CDs are and what features the CD holds.  Many brokered CDs are callable CDs thus negating the benefit of a guaranteed fixed rate of return that is a standard atribute of most bank CD rates.   In the event of bank failures, the brokered CDs are often the last accounts to be identified and distributed by the FDIC.

Certificates of Deposit, Safety, Security and Your Portfolio

Certificates of deposit are one of the safest investment products for short term savings.  Bank CDs should be a staple in any well diversified portfolio.  To get the most from a bank CD, you should know where the best CD rates are, what the CD features are, and what the present interest rate market and conditions look like.  With varying terms, rates and banks to choose from investing in a bank CD without shopping and comparing bank rates is like throwing darts at a dart board.  Stay informed to maximize returns and avoid missing a better return on your investment.

Bank CD Penalties and Investment Horizons

Bank CD’s have become a more popular savings vehicles as competition among banks has increased interest rates and the accounts offer security provided by the insurance by the FDIC.  However, a commonly mentioned drawback to CD’s is the early withdrawal penalty.  CD early withdrawal penalties are easily managed and should not be a barrier to sound investing practices, but be advised to read all about a bank CD penalties before making the investment.  Understand how the CD penalty works and how you might be able to avoid paying a penalty or simply determine the appropriate CD term to match your investment time horizon.

Spreads Between the Best CD Rates and National CD Rates

As a result of the present market conditions for bank operations, the spread between the best and worst interest rates among banks has been elevated.  The best CD rates are frequently double the national average CD rates.  During these times it is often the most rewarding opportunity to switch bank account.   Compare both the best CD rates in you state as well as the best CD rates offered nationally and decide if reallocating your bank funds and savings is worth a little bit of work.

Compare and Shop all Bank Products: CD Rates, Money Market Accounts & Savings

As the market conditions for banks remain challenging, the competition among banks to increase revenue has skyrocketed.  Many banks have become very aggressive and innovative as they try to lure customers and their money away from their competitors.  Shop around and make sure you get the best account to suit your needs as banks have also been making easier to transfer your current account.  Compare all services and products offered including CD rates, savings accounts and money market accounts.  These bank products are those that generally offer the highest interest rates and best services for investors.

Using More than One Bank for Better Rates and Returns

A great deal of bank customers turn out to be very loyal to their bank and use their services for everything from getting a mortgage, obtaining a credit card or holding multiple deposit accounts.  However, this may be of little benefit.  Some accounts at one bank may be priced much more competitively and have higher interest rates than other accounts or services.  Just because a bank has the highest one year CD rate doesn’t mean it offers a competitive money market account or a low fee checking account.  Using more than one bank is frequently more advantageous than keeping all of your funds under one banks roof.

Avoid Checking Account Fees, Free Checking and Savings

Always compare bank checking account charges to make sure you are not paying too much.  It is not unheard of to have someone save more than $200 a year in fees by switching to a free checking account or a checking account that has no minimum balance requirement.  It’s easy to review a complete list of fees that are charged on these accounts, including ATM and debit card fees.  Using both a free checking account combined with a money market account or high interest rate savings account can increase total returns and minimize bank fees.

Banking and Identity Theft Cautions

Fraudulent emails to steal financial data and identities are a significant security problem.  Emails are a common way to spread harmful codes or to trick you into revealing your internet banking information.  Don’t open emails from unknown senders.  If you are in doubt about the source of an email, for example if you don’t recognize the sender, don’t click on any links within the email and delete it.  Never open unexpected attachments even if they are labeled to be from your bank.  Banking and identity theft is a significant and rising crime.

Bank Account Scams on the Rise

Bank related Internet scams are on the rise.  Most scam involve third parties attempting to fraudulently acquire information from Web users, such as credit card details, social security numbers, and account numbers.  Protect your account numbers, PINs and online access.  Do not respond to any bank inquiries that you are not 100% certain are from your bank.  Most banks do not make outbound emails that will involve personal checking account information, savings account data or identification requests.

Online Banking Reduces Costs May Increase Returns

Online banking or internet banking can save time and possibly reduce late fees.  Setting up automatic bill paying for large, recurring monthly bills will eliminate the cost of the mail, any late fees caused by oversight or late fees that may occur do to delayed mail delivery. With online bill paying you can manually request payments, which provides the greatest flexibility, or set up automatic payments, especially for the large monthly bills like your mortgage payment or car payment.  Funds from a bank linked savings account or money market account can be easily used to transfer additional funds to obtain higher rates and maximize returns.