In the ever-changing world of personal finance, finding the right financial advisor and the best banking products can seem like an overwhelming task. However, SmartAsset, a financial technology company, strives to simplify this process with its free tool that matches users with up to three fiduciary financial advisors in their area within just five minutes. Each advisor is vetted by SmartAsset and held to a fiduciary standard, meaning they are obligated to act in the user’s best interests, offering a level of reassurance for those unsure of where to start in their financial journey.
In addition to the advisor-matching tool, SmartAsset also provides a wealth of information to help users make informed decisions about their banking needs. From daily rate checks to find the best Certificate of Deposit (CD) terms, to unbiased product reviews and expert answers to banking questions, the company offers a comprehensive resource for financial guidance. Importantly, while SmartAsset may receive a commission from its partners in some cases, this does not influence the integrity of their reviews or advice.
Choose Wisely: A Comprehensive Guide to Selecting the Best CDs
Navigating the financial world can be a daunting task, especially when it comes to finding the best Certificate of Deposit (CD) rates. CDs are a low-risk investment option and are a perfect choice for those who want to park their money for a fixed period while earning a steady interest. However, the key to optimizing your returns lies in choosing the right CD for your needs.
Demystifying CD Rates
CDs are time-bound savings accounts that offer a fixed interest rate over a specified period. Several financial institutions offer CDs with varying term lengths and interest rates. For example, FVCbank, powered by Raisin, offers a No Penalty CD at 5.30% APY, while Dow Credit Union provides a 3 Month CD at 5.65% APY.
The current market leader is Alpena Alcona Area Credit Union, which offers a whopping 7.19% APY for a 7-month term. However, the catch is that you must qualify for membership, which generally requires you to live, work, own property, attend school, or worship in any county in Michigan, work at the credit union, or have an immediate family member who is an existing member.
Key Considerations When Choosing a CD
Before choosing a CD, it’s essential to consider how long you can commit your money without facing early withdrawal penalties. Therefore, understanding the timeline of your financial goals is crucial. For instance, if you’re looking for an investment opportunity for a year, the CFG Bank CD offering a 1-year term at 5.67% APY could be a suitable option.
While CDs are a safe investment option, with money in a CD being federally insured by the FDIC or NCUA up to $250,000, they may not be as liquid as a savings account. However, they are a good place to store and grow money that you will need at a predetermined future date.
The Best CD Rates
The highest-paying CD currently is the 7-month certificate special from Alpena Alcona Area Credit Union, offering a 7.19% APY. Several financial institutions also offer CDs paying 5.00% APY or more, including Raisin, CFG Bank, and USALLIANCE Financial.
However, not many financial institutions offer 10-year CDs, and the rates for short-term CDs are actually better than long-term CDs at present. The concept of building a CD ladder could be an effective strategy if you want to diversify your CDs and open multiple terms for more flexibility.
Expert Advice on Choosing the Best CD
Financial experts recommend considering the amount of money you want to invest and the frequency of transactions when choosing between a high-yield savings account, money market account, or CD. If you require any transactions, CDs might not be the best choice.
The timing of your investment also matters. CDs can be a good investment if interest rates are currently high and/or expected to fall, allowing you to lock in a fixed interest rate. However, if rates are expected to rise, then it may not be a good time to invest in a CD.
The Bottom Line
Selecting the right CD requires careful consideration of your financial goals, the amount you’re willing to invest, the term length, and the offered interest rates. With a plethora of choices available, it’s crucial to research and compare rates to ensure you’re getting the best return on your investment. Remember, your financial decisions today can significantly impact your financial health in the future.