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Author: Mark0Young Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 35357  
Subject: Re: FNMA vs Tresaury or other Bonds Date: 1/4/2001 10:23 PM
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If you have an idea of when you need the money, CDs may be appropriate, but make sure the CD matures before you need the money.

Some institutions may offer odd-duration CDs. My credit union, for example, advertises 3-, 6-, 12-, and 30-month CDs, but will issue other terms for the APY of the next shorter advertised CD. For example, this afternoon I got a 9-month CD (maturing a couple weeks before property tax statements go out) issued at the 6-month CD APY. (I figured that with the FOMC lowering interest rates, CD rates will probably likewise go down.)

The idea of splitting the money into three CDs is a good one, but it really also has to be CDs issued by different financial institutions--the FDIC (bank-issued or thrift-issued) or NCUA (credit-union-issued) insurance is for up to $100,000 per institution for the aggregate of deposits (checking, savings, money market accounts, CDs).

If you want flexability of when to withdrawal, money market funds at major brokerages and major fund families, and money market accounts at banks and credit unions may be worth considering (but again for banks and credit union accounts, break up the money among different institutions).

A money market fund that is often mentioned is the Vanguard Prime Money Market Fund (http://www.vanguard.com), but there are others.

If you want to go shopping for rates, you may want to check your favorate brokerage or fund family, your local banks and the credit unions that you are a member of, as well as these rate finder and information sites:

bank ratings, etc: http://www.bankrate.com
various bank rates: http://www.gomez.com/
CD and MMA http://www.banxquote.com
CDs: http://www.money-rates.com/cdrates.htm
MMAs: http://www.money-rates.com/mmarket.htm
MMFs: http://www.ibcdata.com/index.html
Treasuries: http://www.treasurydirect.gov/

Be sure to check the disclosures or prospectus before committing money.

On a personal opinion--it might be nice to lock in good interest rates for a year in CDs and then move the money to something more liquid (MMF, MMA) when those CDs mature. With the FOMC now having a losening bias, I expect rates to go down, and the rates on money market accounts and money market funds may change with little or no notice, but usually the rates on CDs are good until they mature.

Of course I can be completely wrong. 8)
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