Underrated in America: CDs


CDs. Certificates of Deposit. They may offer low interest rates than you've grown accustomed to, but at least they offer some return on your money and are a lot less risky than the stock market right now.

Yes, that's right. Putting money into CDs is probably one of the safest things you can do with your cash amid protracted economic uncertainty and volatility in both the stock market and the banking sector. If you shop around a bit, you can find rates as high as 8% depending on the length of deposit. A good source for comparison shopping on CD interest rates is bankrate.com.

CDs usually carry a fixed interest rate and can be opened at your bank or online for as little as $500. There are three, six and one-year CDs that pay interest at the end of their term. If you open a CD online, banks often offer a higher rate of interest. Another plus is that CDs, as bank deposits, are secured by the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.).

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Be sure to check the FDIC coverage of the issuing bank. Given, the recent wave of bank mergers, it's a good idea to double-check to ensure that your deposits are protected. CD accounts are insured up to $250,000.

Opening a CD account or two is certainly a better idea than tucking your greenbacks under the mattress!