Earlier this year, Ken’s father passed away. He had been investing in certificates of deposit for decades, and had set up each CD with one of his sons as beneficiary, so that accessing or re-investing the money would be simple…or as simple as any transaction with a megabank ever is. Out of all of the CDs, the only problem was one at Wells Fargo. Since the beneficiary information was missing from their computer systems, they needed the original receipt from when the account was opened. Ken’s dad was originally issued the wrong type of receipt for the state he lived in, so there was no proof that Ken was the beneficiary for the account. Now he needs a court order to get to the account.
Laura (no, not me) is trying to track down a 37-year-old certificate of deposit that belonged to her grandparents. This is more difficult than it sounds, since their original bank was gobbled up by progressively larger and larger banks until it became part of…Bank of America. Laura’s grandmother passed away recently, and it bothers her that this situation isn’t resolved. She’s determined to find this lost CD: even though Bank of America alternately claims that there are no records of it, or that her grandfather cashed it in after he died.
Did you know that you might be able to negotiate CD rates with your bank? I didn’t, until I read a recent Bankrate post about it!
Here’s a way to get around the worst part of CDs (certificates of deposit) which give you a higher guaranteed interest rate but lock your money in for a certain period of time: Make a ladder!
With the stock market gyrating wilder than a dashboard hula doll, you probably want an investment that won’t depress you when you open the paper. Certificates of Deposit or “CDs,” an insured savings account with a guaranteed interest rate may sound like the antidote, but even they are not without risk.
The Federal Reserve Board is expected to cut interest rates soon, and you can bet that banks will quickly follow their lead and slash rates on savings accounts and certificates of deposit. By purchasing a CD now, you can lock in favorable rates ahead of the Fed’s September 18 meeting. From the Chicago Tribune:
“Banks usually are really fast to cut rates and slow to raise,” he said.
Bank Deals blog released their latest roundup of accounts and interest rates. Here’s the highest yielding for each category. Be sure to check out the bank’s policies before opening an account, especially as some of these institutions are not exactly name-brand. — BEN POPKEN