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Best Deals for Savers

LISA GERSTNER

PLUNKING YOUR SAVINGS IN A SAFE PLACE won’t sate your hunger for yield, but choosing the right account will keep you from starving. A savings or money market deposit account that is insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. is a good place to stash your emergency fund. The EVANTAGE BANK MEGA MONEY MARKET account, which comes with a debit card, yields 1.1% on balances of up to $35,000; higher amounts earn 0.50%. The SALLIE MAE MONEY MARKET account pays 0.95% on any balance. BARCLAYS ONLINE SAVINGS, a savings account, yields 1%. None of these accounts levies monthly fees or requires a minimum balance. Look for more options at www.depositaccounts.com.

A certificate of deposit may pay slightly more, but don’t go out more than two years. The two-year CD from MELROSE CREDIT UNION pays 1.21%. Or consider a longer-term CD with a minimal early-withdrawal penalty. The five-year ALLY BANK HIGH YIELD CERTIFICATE OF DEPOSIT, which charges only 60 days’ worth of interest for withdrawing before maturity, yields 1.54%. With I BONDS, which recently paid 1.76%, you have to wait a year after the purchase date to cash in, and you’ll lose the previous three months’ interest if you withdraw before five years have passed.

Short-term bond funds involve risk. But you have some protection from losses if interest rates go up because the bonds have short maturities. VANGUARD SHORT-TERM INVESTMENT-GRADE (SYMBOL VFSTX) yields 1.1%, and USAA ULTRA SHORT-TERM BOND (UUSTX) yields 1.3%.

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