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CDs Safe Haven? Where to Find the Best Rates

TheStreet.com regularly goes in search of the best rates for various banking products. Today's focus is on short-term CDs.

Has the wildly unpredictable stock market got you jittery?

You can put your money into CDs instead. As long as they're insured, they're a sure bet. But you can also bet the returns are going to be fairly small.

And they're falling.

Rates on three- and six-month CDs in the secondary market had increased about five times to mid-2006 from early 2004, according to the Federal Reserve's Statistical Releases. They leveled off at more than 5.3% for just over a year, and have fallen markedly since December, losing around two percentage points, spurred on last week by the Federal Reserve's surprise rate cut.

If the Fed shears rates during its meeting this week -- as some speculate -- CD rates may fall further. Whether or not they'll hit 2004 lows is anybody's guess, says Philip van Doorn, analyst at TheStreet.com ratings.

The previous low was brought on by fallout from Sept. 11, 2001 and the bursting of the dot-com bubble, says Mr. Van Doorn, and the new bottom will depend on just how bad economic conditions get.

So for the bearish among you, we searched around for short-term CD rates on BankingMyWay.com. In all cases, geographical and other terms and conditions may apply -- check with the institution. All rates have been updated on or after Jan. 21. All rates are measured by annual percentage yield.

  • Valley National Bank (VLY - Get Report) has a special offer of 4.75% on seven-month investments of a minimum $500.





  • Wachovia Bank (WB), National Association has a special offer of 5.01% on five-month investments of a minimum $5,000.





  • Washington Mutual Bank (WM - Get Report) has a special offer of 4.85% on eight-month investments of a minimum $1,000.





  • Washington Mutual Bank has a Web-only offer of 5.100% on six-month investments of a minimum $1,000.

  • Great Florida Bank (GFLB) has a special offer of 4.710% on three month investments of a minimum $5,000.

  • Internet bank Doral Bank (DRL - Get Report), FSB has a special offer of 5.250% on six-month investments of a minimum $1,000.





  • Internet bank Countrywide Financial (CFC)has an offer for 4.8% on a three-month investment with a minimum $10,000.





  • And for those looking to guarantee rates for longer, Internet bank EverBank is offering 4.7% on a five-year investment with a $1,500 minimum.


    Elsewhere, here's a look at the national averages for CDs of various types:

    To search for local rates on CDs, click here.

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