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Online Savings & Money Market Account Rates 2019

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I Think I'll Join Mar-A-Lago

Mar-A-Logo membership recently went up from $100,000 to $200,000.  The doubling in price has a lot of people crying foul, for the owners seem to have doubled the cost of membership within days of their father being sworn in.

But, I am thinking about this as a consumer.  $200,000 is still just about the best deal possible.  I don’t particularly enjoy Florida at all.   I don’t play golf or hang out with people who have nothing better to do that to show their adulation for a rich man.   And, even if it is the Winter White House after all, I wouldn’t particularly be excited about spending more than a few minutes there.  Having been in other Trump-branded properties, I know I would find the décor over the top.

But, the access that I would get for my $200,000 is quite extraordinary.  I just need to whisper into the ear of the Secretary of Energy, the Attorney General or even the President himself and I can probably get almost anything done  After a couple of minutes with the right audience, this could all instantly pay for itself.

I think I’ll join.


Taking Away Benefits

I never believed I would say it, but the Republican majority in the House has not served the new President well.  They have produced a pathetic and wholly inadequate replacement for Obamacare.  If it goes through, their hastiness and their stupidity will come to haunt them down the road.

So, why are they so eager to pass this dumb bill?  Is it only the pressure they are getting from Trump who wants the bill for his own purposes, the people be damned?

Or, does their eagerness have more to do with a fire in their belly to kill Obamacare, regardless of what the replacement may look like, than worry about the details of a new healthcare bill, ostensibly designed to serve the people?

Indeed, they have been intensely committed to killing Obamacare for almost a decade.   The speed they are applying now has far less to do with delivering on a commitment they made to their constituents than accomplishing something very very personal and about which they are passionate.

And, that passion has nothing to do with the good of the people.  In this instance, certainly, they care not a whit about the people.  They care about, and only about, themselves. And this obsessive drive to get rid of Obamacare for them trumps the possibility of turning off constituents. 

And the reason dates back precisely to the passage of Obamacare itself.  Republicans were in the minority at the time.  And, their colleagues on the other side were playing to their constituents by insisting that all those in Congress should join the same healthcare program as the people.  Thus, it was written into Obamacare that all federal employees, including those in Congress, would move immediately from the healthcare program they enjoyed to the new Obamacare. 

And so, the Republicans and Democrats alike were forced to give up the expansive, cadillac program they enjoyed under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program and to come under the far less attractive people’s program – Obamacare.

Thus, the Republicans' passionate desire to kill Obamacare has far more to do with recovering fat benefits they enjoyed in the past than delivering a better and new healthcare program for the country.

Message to all Congresspeople: Don’t take away important benefits from your colleagues.  It will haunt you later.


Reading the Federal Reserve's Tea Leaves

Rate information contained on this page may have changed. Please find latest savings rates.

BestCashCow provides the most comprehensive list of US savings accounts and CDs from online banks as well as from branch-based banks and credit unions.  As such, we tend to get a lot of queries when the Fed raises interest rates, as it did yesterday for only the third time in the last decade.  These queries usually end with something like “why did my bank not raise my rate?”

My response is as follows: Your rate was not raised yesterday, last night or this morning because the rates that banks offer depositors on certificates of deposit, savings accounts and checking accounts are more a function of what the banks are willing to pay.  As the Fed funds rate increase was well projected for months by Janet Yellen – and therefore highly anticipated - the most competitive savings, CD, and checking rates had already risen.  In fact, the best savings and CD rates have actually gone up by more than 25 basis points since the Fed’s last action early last year. 

See the best savings rates here and the best CD rates here.

The Fed funds target rate, set by Janet Yellen and the rest of the Fed’s board of governors is now 0.75% to 1.00%.  Neel Kashkari, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, dissented on the Fed’s decision to raise the Fed funds rate by 25 basis points, which leads us to believe that there will be only three quarter-point hikes this year, instead of 4.  The pace of rate hikes will be especially slow for retirees, those who are averse to investments in the stock market, and those who otherwise depend on a risk-free rate of return in order to maintain a certain standard of living.

Nevertheless, it is clear that rates will continue to rise significantly, albeit gradually over the next two years.  The Fed is now indicating that the Fed funds rate will be over 3% by 2019, in which case savings and short term CD rates will be at or over that level by then.  The Fed is also projecting that US GDP will flatline at 1.90% in 2018 and 2019; should it move at the 4% pace that Wilbur Ross, the U.S. Secretary of Commerce, desires, the Fed funds rate may actually be much higher.   It will therefore be important over the next two years to track your savings accounts carefully to make sure that you are earning one of the most competitive savings rates.

We should also note that where you will see change right away when the Fed raises short-term interest rates, as it did Wednesday, is in banks' prime lending rates.  Most major banks yesterday evening responded by increasing their prime lending rates to 4.00%, which has an immediate flow-through to credit card rates and auto loan rates.   If you have been considering locking into a HELOC or a new mortgage, you may want to consider doing so before the Fed’s next raise in the summer or fall.

See HELOC rates where you live here.

Compare the best mortgage rates here.