Top Savings Rates Steady at 2% APY - Average Continues to Drift Lower

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Savings rates continue their slow drift down with the average dropping from 1.40% APY to 1.39% APY. Tthe top savings rate remained at 2% (ReadySaver.com from Southern Community Bank). Everbank also continued to offer their promo rate of 2.25% APY for the first three months on new money. After three months, the rate drops to 1.26% APY for a 1-year blended APY of 1.51%.

altSavings rates continue their slow drift down with the average dropping from 1.40% APY to 1.39% APY. Tthe top savings rate remained at 2% (ReadySaver.com from Southern Community Bank). Everbank also continued to offer their promo rate of 2.25% APY for the first three months on new money. After three months, the rate drops to 1.26% APY for a 1-year blended APY of 1.51%.

Other notable rates include Franklin Synergy Bank at 1.75% APY and EBSB at 1.67% APY.

Rate decreases from the previous week were:

  • Costco Capital One: 1.5% APR to 1.3% APY
  • Colorado Federal Savings Bank: 1.4% APR to 1.35% APR
  • Ally Bank: 1.30% APR to 1.29% APR

There were no rate increases on the BestCashCow savings rate table.

The table below shows the trend with savings rates as well as select rates. For savings, the trend is generally down.

TrendofSavingsRatesandCDRates

Compare the top savings rates.


Highest Savings Account Yet - 4.88%

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Wachovia is offering a savings account with a 4.88%. However there are quite a few quarks with the account.

I am always prowling for the highest interest rate, but I also know who I am (so I think thus far in my life). I have 15 accounts (including CDs, brokerage, checking, savings and money markets). I am risk adverse. I am scared of the stock market for now. So, in my hunt, I have found an internet savings account that is paying 4.88% APY.
                      
However, caveat emptor! There are so many bizarre intricacies with this account. One has to pay close attention. Wachovia has a savings account - calling it WAY2SAVE. This is not new, but in an effort to build up their reserves, they have begun to offer amazingly high rates.
 
There are numerous stipulations with this though. To begin, one must have a Wachovia checking account. Further, one can only ‘purposefully’ deposit $100.00 per month. One can set this up over the phone, by speaking to a bank representative or online. However, one cannot wantonly transfer money into this fund like other internet savings banks – yet one can transfer money out via the internet. To cancel the automatic savings plan, one must call or speak to some one at the bank.
 
There two other ways to add to this account (one dollar at a time). The first is by using your debit card. Each time one uses their debit card (from one’s Wachovia checking account); an extra dollar will be added and transferred to the WAY2SAVE account. This will show on the statement as a WAY2SAVE transfer and will aggregate the total transactions of the day (i.e. if you used your card three times, there will be one $3.00 transfer). Be careful, this is an amazingly easy way to overdraw one’s account! 
 
The second way is by electronic transactions out of your checking account. Every time a student loan payment, car insurance or direct debit is taken out of your account, a dollar is removed from checking and moved into savings. Here is the “trick” for those crazy people like myself. If one were to transfer $0.01 from the checking account to, say, another online savings account, one would also transfer (automatically) one dollar to the high yield WAY2SAVE. While this is an unbelievable grind, it is one way to reap $4.88% - which isn’t half bad (one dollar at a time!).

A Brief Guide to Good Financial Planning

A Brief Guide to Good Financial Planning

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Financial Planning is an essential service for most people. What are some key concepts you need to know about the process and why is it necessary?

Whether you use a broker or financial planner for your personal financial needs, it’s important to take control of the process. Just like when one invests one’s own money into stocks, so one should monitor and evaluate long-term personal financial planning goals.
 
There are only six steps to good financial planning:
 
Establish and define a professional relationship
 
Your Financial Planner will define their responsibilities and the type of service that they will provide. Together, you should agree on the duration of your professional relationship and how you make decisions. You must make the decisions based on your own thorough research, along with the advice of your Financial Planner. Always know what the relevant commissions are. Loyalty is very important.
 
Gather information and set objectives

In this step, your personal and financial goals are defined. Your Financial Planner will gather all the necessary information and documents before giving you advice and will also discuss your time frame for results. Be realistic and honest, as it’s your financial future that’s being mapped out.
 
Conduct a financial needs analysis

Your Financial Planner analyzes your current situation to determine what you must do to meet your goals. This includes analyzing your assets, liabilities and cash flow, your current insurance cover and your investments and/or tax strategies.
 
Prepare report and present to you

Your Financial Planner will offer you recommendations that address your goals, based on the information you provided. Make sure you read all the information the Planner provides, and make a decision based on doing your own homework.
 
Implement financial plan as agreed

When agreeing on how the recommendations will be carried out, your Financial Planner will serve as your ‘coach,’ coordinating the process with you and professionals such as attorneys. Stick to the approach and don’t try to change it based on the vagaries of the market or slightly higher CD rates at a different institution.
 
Monitor the financial plan

Your Financial Planner is responsible for monitoring your progress towards your goals, and providing you with periodic reports to review your financial circumstances. Ensure all reporting is transparent and accurate, and that you receive statements from the institutions you invested in, and not just the broker. This will allow you to rule out many “Madoff-style” frauds.
 
10 principles to good financial planning
 
  • Set measurable goals
 
  • Understand the effect your financial decisions have on other financial issues
 
  • Re-evaluate your financial plan periodically
 
  • Start now - don't assume that financial planning begins when you get older
 
  • Start with what you have - do not assume that financial planning is only for the wealthy
 
  • Look at the total picture - financial planning involves more than just retirement planning or tax planning
 
  • Don't confuse financial planning with investing
 
 
  • Do not wait until a financial crisis to start planning
 
  • Take control - you are in charge of the financial planning process