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Online Savings & Money Market Account Rates 2019

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Best Illinois Money Market Rates

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Illinois has some of the top money market account rates. The national average money market rate is 0.23%. Illinois has many rates far above this level. In fact, Illinois has several banks with money market rates above 1.50% APY.

There must be something in the water in Illinois that's making the state's bankers a bit more generous than the rest of the country. Illinois has some of the top money market account rates. That's especially true of the Davenport area, where Reynolds State Bank and Buffalo Prairie State Bank are offering the two highest money market rates in the country. The national average money market rate is 0.23%. Illinois has many rates far above this level. In fact, Illinois has several banks with money market rates above 1.50% APY.

  • Reynolds State Bank leads the charge with a 1.61% APY money market account with a $2,500 minimum balance. This is the best money market rate in the country. The bank was founded in 1888 and is headquartered in Reynolds, IL, which is located just outside Davenport, near the Iowa border. The bank has a very low Texas Ratio of 2.10% versus the national average of 20.28%. A low Texas ratio is one indicator that a bank is financially stable (the lower the Texas ratio the better). Assets have grown from $59 million in 2006 to $98 million in 2011.
  • Buffalo Prairie State Bank isn't far behind with a 1.51% APY money market account. This is the second best money market rate in the country. The minimum balance for this account is $2,501. Buffalo Prairie was founded in 1920 and has one branch located in Bufallo Prairie, IL, right outside Davenport, near the Iowa border (anyone seeing a pattern here?). This bank also looks strong financially with a Texas Ratio of 1.92%. Assets have grown from $40 million in 2006 to $57 million in 2011.
  • The City National Bank Of Metropolis is offering a money market account that pays 1.26% APY with a $2,500 minimum balance. Founded in 1908, the bank has two branches at the souternmost part of the state near the Kentucky border. The bank's health ratios look strong with a Texas Ratio of 7.24%. Assets have grown from $189 million in 2006 to $338 million in 2011.
  • First National Bank In Taylorville is tied with the Washington Federal Bank For Savings. Both banks offer a 1.01% APY money market account. First National has a minimum balance of $2,500 while Washington Federal has a $1,000 minimum balance. First National is located near Springfield while Washington Federal has two branches near Chicago.

Don't Live Near These Banks?

Another option is to consider opening a savings/money market account online. Online savings and money market accounts offer attractive rates, low minimum balances, and the convenience of banking from home. Some featured accounts are:

  • American Express is offering 0.90% APY with a $0 minimum balance.
  • CNB Bank Direct is offering a 0.85% APY with a $1 minimum balance.
  • Clear Sky Accounts offering a 0.95% APY rate with a $1 minimum balance.

Getting the best rate makes a difference. To understand how earning half a percentage point can put a lot more money in your wallet over time, please visit our financial knowledge section. It pays to get the best rate.

Get the Best Illinois Bank Rates Via Email

Users can now register to receive the best bank rates for Illinois or any state via email every Monday. You can choose to either receive the best rates for banks across the country, or you can receive the best rates for your state. You can cancel delivery at any time and also login to change which product rates you receive for which state. This email service is free. You can register for the service here.


Changes in Markets Make Holding Cash More Important than Ever

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Low interest rates on bank products make it tempting to move money out. Here's why that might not be a good idea.

As interest rates on bank products have continued to fall, it has become increasingly tempting for investors to cut the cash portion of their portfolio. But an article from Morningstar provides a reason why such a move would be a mistake. The article, entitled A Market Lacking Diversification, explains how nine of eleven asset indexes analyzed by the author Abraham Bailin have become increasingly correlated from 2002 to today. The two outliers that didn't show increasing correlation were weighted heavily with Treasury bonds.

What does this mean?

For an investor, it means that diversifying a portfolio has gotten harder than ever. Diversifying means allocating money so that if one asset falls, the other goes up -  or at least doesn't fall. The idea is not to have all of your eggs in one basket. Correlation measures how closely different assets move in relation to one another. So, if the S&P 500 drops, a closely correlated index would also drop by a similar amount. To diversity a portfolio, you want correlations that are as low as possible or negative. Otherwise, when one market goes down, all of your other investments will also drop with it.

Note: A correlation number of 1 means that something perfectly mimicks the indicator it is being compared to. The closer to 1, the stronger the correlation.

Putting money into Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) or commodities used to be one way to diversity. Today, REITS have a .91 correlation to the S&P 500 while commodities have a .46 correlation, up from 0 ten years ago.

Why is Correlation Increasing?

Mr. Bailin hypothesizes that correlations have increased because of the growing importance of the risk on/risk off sentiment. Since the crash in 2008, investors view the market through a risk prism. When risk is perceived as low, they buy up assets that are considered more speculative. When risk is high, money flows out of these assets and into less speculative investments. Less speculative investments, like Treasuries happen to have a negative correlation to more risk based assets in the other indexes.

He also believes that correlation is increasing because more markets and indexes are being made in different asset classes. Ten years ago, trading in commodities was tiny. As more investors have piled in, the commodity index has come to reflect the sentiments of the general market.

The Growing Importance of Cash

Because cash is FDIC insured, it is the least risky of all asset classes. It also has a correlation of 0 to all other assets. Its value does not move in relation to any investment index. Therefore, if the rest of an investor's portfolio is getting increasingly correlated, it makes sense to hold cash, or to even increase the amount of money deposited into the bank. This is a phenomon we notice on BestCashCow. When there is a particularly bad day in the market, we see spikes in traffic as more investors look to protect their cash in insured banks and credit unions. As correlation has increased, it becomes even more important to place money in non-correlated holdings. An investor could put cash into Treasuries as another way to diversity their portfolio, but there is great risk in this. With interest rates so low, rates will eventually go up. When they go, Treasuries will lose value (Treasury prices move inversely to yield). It can be argued that at that point, Treasuries and the stock market will become more tightly correlated since rising rates will hurt Treasury prices as well as stock prices.

The Impact of Correlation on Your Interest Rate

Many investors already intuitively know this. Banks now hold record amounts of cash in the form of savings, CDs, and checking account. Even with the low rates, investors are parking a significant amount of money in cash. The irony is that the flight to safety has helped to bring down savings rates and CD rates. Many investors though, view banks as a safe place to park the safer portion of their portfolio until the world economy stabilizes. Any return is a bonus.


Weekly Rate Update - Aflac Federal Credit Union Offering 2.41% APY Savings Account

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Aflac Federal Credit Union is offering a 2.41% APY savings account for its members, and that's no quack.

Work for Aflac? If so, don't overlook one of the perks of the job. Aflac Federal Credit Union is offering a 2.41% APY savings account for its members, and that's no quack. The average national savings account rate for local banks is 0.21% while for online banks it is 0.80%. That gives you a sense of how competitive this rate is. The rate holds for deposits up to $100,000.01. The rate on deposits over this limit drops to 1.10% APY which is still highly competitive.

Like most credit unions, Aflac has a restricted field of membership. That means not everyone can join the credit union and open an account. To quality for membership, you must be an employee of Aflac, or the spouse of an empolyee. If you qualify, you can call them and request a membership packet. The packet also contains instructions for how to open a savings account.

Aflac is a medium sized credit union with $168 million in assets. It has a Texas Ratio of 15.14%, which is higher than the national average of 10.34% but not high enough to be a big concern. It is NCUA insured, and is located in Columbus, GA.

Our weekly update came out a few day late this week because of the holiday. I'll be back to the normal Monday schedule after the New Year. Happy New Year and here's to higher deposit rates in 2012 (although I think we may have to wait until 2013).

Look for the best savings account rates in your area by clicking the "Savings" tab above.

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