Yields are staying amazingly low today. Due to the credit crisis the federal reserve is shifting hundreds of billions of dollars from savers to bankers to allow banks to make up for losses they experienced (both in losses on bad loans and huge cash payments made to hundreds of executives over more than a decade). For that reason (and others) yields are extremely low now which is a great burden on those that saved and counted on reasonable investment yield.
Don’t be fooled by apologist for those causing the credit crisis that try and excuse their behavior and act as those paying back the bailout payments means they paid back the favors they were given. They have received much more from the policies of the federal reserve that has taken hundreds of billions of dollars from savers and given it to bankers. It has the same effect as a direct tax on savers being paid to bankers.
What is an investor/saver to do? James Jubak provides some excellent advice.
You could lock your money up for decades and get 4.56% in a 30-year Treasury bond but 30 years is forever. And besides interest rates have to go up from today’s lows and that means bond prices will be coming down, probably fast enough to eat up all the interest that bond pays and more.
Not if you remember that interest rates are going up in most of the world (except maybe Europe and Japan) quite dramatically over the next 12 months. A year from now, perhaps sooner, you’ll be able to get yields swell north of anything you can find now.
That pretty much means that you’re guaranteed to lose money two ways by locking it up for the long term now.
For the short term you need to put your cash into something that’s as safe as possible but that offers you as much income as possible—and that doesn’t lock up your money for very long.
My choice dividend paying stocks—if they pay a high dividend, are extremely liquid, and are battle tested.
Whether you agree with his suggestions in the article is up to you. But even if you don’t he provides a very good overview of the options and risks that you have to navigate now as an investor seeking investments that provide a decent yield. I agree with him that interest rates seem likely to rise, making bonds an investment I largely avoid now myself.
Related: posts on financial literacy – Jubak Picks 10 Stocks for Income Investors – S&P 500 Dividend Yield Tops Bond Yield: First Time Since 1958 – Bond Yields Show Dramatic Increase in Investor Confidence