How to Boost the Value of Your Emergency Fund
A rate hike could impact your savings positively. At least, that’s what most banks said following the Bank of Canada’s latest rate hike, which increased the cost of borrowing last year. As a silver lining, the interest rates offered for savings accounts and investments typically rise along with interest on the debt.
Theoretically, they’re correct. But in reality, the interest rates most savers earn on their emergency funds haven’t changed yet. Most of the major banks pay roughly 1.5%–2.5% on deposits, which is a far cry from the year’s predicted inflation rate of 4.5%–6.5%.
All that is a fancy way of saying your emergency fund will continue to lose value this year. Here’s how you can prepare for another tough year for savings.
Resist the Stock Market
When you’re earning dismal interest on a basic savings account, you might be tempted to invest your savings instead. Over the long term, you’ll receive greater returns in the stock market. However, you are vulnerable to short-term volatility.
In a year flagged for a recession, now may not be the time to invest in short-term savings. You could actively lose money in the stocks if your emergency forces you to cash out at a bad time.
Transfer Your Fund to a High-Yield Account
While basic accounts offer interest of around 1%, some online banks offer high-yield accounts. These accounts can earn between 3%–5% on your deposits. By switching banks, you might break even with inflation.
While shopping around, make sure you read through account conditions carefully. Sometimes, a bank will exchange high-interest rates for minimum balances, draw fees, and transfer delays.
Since your emergency fund should be easy to access, you should make these concessions carefully.
Have a Safety Net in an Emergency
No emergency fund is invincible, even when the rates are good. If your next emergency is more than you have tucked away, you can put the difference on an emergency loan or line of credit.
Before you borrow, it’s a good idea to research your options. As the lender Fora outlines on its website, there are a lot of emergency loans available online today. You can learn more about emergency loans through Fora before comparing the rates and terms of individual loans or lines of credit.
All this work reviewing your options can help you understand the cost of borrowing in your emergency. This will give you a chance to find the best option for your finances.
Adjust Your Savings Goal
Most financial advisors parrot the same-old advice for emergency funds: save three to six months of living expenses for the unknown. Usually, this gives you a reasonable amount of cash to use in an emergency — whether it’s an unexpected car repair or sudden layoff from work.
However, you’re living in unpredictable and challenging times. Not only are everyday items more expensive because of inflation, but economists also believe there’s a reasonable chance of a recession in 2023.
Increasing how much you squirrel away in an emergency fund may set you up for better success for a rocky future.
You’re living through an unusual moment. Your usual savings routine needs an update to reflect these times. Tweak your savings, get a line of credit, and lock in on a better savings rate. These small changes can help protect your emergency fund.
The First Investment I Ever Made – A Wealth of Common Sense
I was always a saver growing up.
Whenever I got money for birthdays, holidays, church stuff, my allowance, or summer jobs, I would sock it away. At first that was in a secret compartment in a wallet in the top drawer of my dresser.
In high school, I finally opened up my first bank account. My first job was as a bus boy. I probably saved a thousand dollars that summer. The next summer I delivered furniture and saved a little more.1
After 17 years or so of saving I had a few thousand dollars saved up so my dad and I went over some cash management options at the local bank where my money was just sitting in a checking account.
CD rates were higher than they were paying on a savings account so that made sense. I think it paid something like 5% over 12 months.
I put a few thousand bucks into that CD with the idea that it would mature as I was going away to college. A year later I collected my money along with a little bit of interest.
Is this the most boring first investment story in history? Probably. Too practical for a teenager? Most certainly.2
But I had no knowledge whatsoever of the stock market at that point and my time horizon was so short that a boring old certificate of deposit made the most sense for my risk profile.
This was back in the late-1990s so CD rates were much higher than they’ve been for the majority of this century.
JP Morgan has a chart that compares average 6-month CD rates by decade along with some different measures of inflation:
It’s hard to believe average CD rates in the 1980s were higher than the inflation rate. It was a stairstep down from there with average rates near the ground floor level by the 2010s. Average rates for the 2020s aren’t any better but the rates today have finally reached the respectable levels I was getting when I made my first CD purchase.
Savers have taken notice.
The Wall Street Journal had a piece out recently detailing the huge flow of capital in CDs:
High inflation, rising interest rates, and economic anxiety are making CDs cool again, with yields rising as high as 5.25% recently at some banks. Balances in CDs rocketed from $36.5 billion in April 2022 to $418.4 billion in January, according to the Federal Reserve.
The average yield on a 12 month CD is still just 1.6% but if you know where to look (just search some of the online banks) you can get something in the range of 4% to 5% right now.
The rate depends on the provider and your time horizon.
I pulled up the CD rates for Ally Bank this morning. A 12-month CD was quoted at 4.5% but go out to 18 months and it was 5%. However, 3 and 5 year rates were 4.25%. Go shorter and rates were lower (2% annualized for 3 months).
There are pros and cons to CDs.
On the positive side of things, locking in 5% short-term rates takes some of the interest rate volatility out of the equation if the Fed is forced to cut rates if they help cause more pain in the economy or banking system (or both).
It’s also nice to have an end date in mind if you’re planning on using the money at a certain point in the future.
One of the biggest downsides of CDs is you give up liquidity to lock in those yields. Most banks will let you pull your money early but there is typically a penalty in the form of lost interest.
On the other hand, locking up your money does take some of the temptation away from constantly tinkering with your cash.
I’m not sure how long today’s CD rates will last. Short-term bond yields have come down quite a bit in recent weeks so that could be a precursor to lower rates in the future. Or maybe the bond market is just as confused as everyone else right now.
I don’t know the future path of interest rates from here so I’m not going to pretend I do.
But I would enjoy the yields we have on CDs right now because they might not last very long.
Michael and I talked about the first investments we ever made and much more on this week’s Animal Spirits video:
Subscribe to The Compound so you never miss an episode.
More Money Doesn’t Make Make You Better at Managing Your Finances
Now here’s what I’ve been reading lately:
1Not a fun job at all but lifting all those heavy sleeper sofas, dressers and sectionals did help keep me in shape.
2My investment style is so boring my second investment was an IRA contribution into a targetdate fund. Sorry not sorry.
Opinion | Peterborough letter: Arts offer city a return on investment – The Peterborough Examiner
Peterborough is proudly a hockey town. We love our Petes. Hockey fans have successfully lobbied the City for a new twin-pad arena. Competition for hockey ice-time is intense. In Peterborough, hockey rules.
But at what cost? The city subsidizes hockey in many ways, as it should. Money well spent, or so we would like to believe. But what do we get back from this financial support?
It might shock many of us to realize that compared to sports, the arts generate a far better dollars-in vs. earnings-out ratio. Considering the relatively meagre support arts groups get from the city, the earnings are far more impressive than those generated by sports. Why?
Arts facilities are smaller and less expensive to operate. Hockey players need an arena. Actors need an empty stage. Artists are paid pitifully little. Yet audiences pay for tickets, buy meals, and for some, accommodation. In short, for a much smaller investment, the arts generate a surprising volume of revenue for our town.
According to Hill Strategies Research Inc., Canadian performing arts organizations generated $2.70 for every $1.00 of government investment.
From a business standpoint, why doesn’t the city increase its investment in the arts? Instead, arts funding is shrinking. Why?
One of Peterborough’s local gems, The Theatre on King or TTOK, has had its grant from the city slashed to zero. This small downtown theatre has a record of brilliant productions that have employed dozens of local performers, artists, dancers and musicians.
TTOK is a success story that has, over its 10-year history, grown to become a cornerstone of the local theatre community. Many local actors get their first onstage exposure at TTOK. Think of TTOK as a successful farm team for larger theatre companies.
Hockey players need ice-time to develop. Theatre artists need time on stage to develop. Peterborough is indeed a hockey town. But it seems that council has forgotten that Peterborough is also an arts town. City council needs to reinstate the city’s grant for The Theatre on King to its 2022 level of $15,000.
Here’s how much money you’d have if you invested $1,000 in Nike 10 years ago
Nike continues to draw in sneaker fans and activewear lovers.
The retailer reported revenue of $12.4 billion for its third fiscal quarter of 2023, beating analysts’ predictions of $11.47 billion, according to Refinitiv consensus estimates. The company also reported earnings per share (EPS) of $0.79, compared with the $0.55 analysts expected.
Additionally, the company reported that revenue rose 14% compared with the year-earlier period.
For several years, Nike has worked to expand its ability to sell directly to consumers rather than through other retailers. This has included increasing its digital sales, building experiential stores and bolstering its loyalty program.
Nike Direct, the company’s direct-to-consumer brand, sales rose by 17% during the holiday quarter to $5.3 billion, according to its quarterly report. Nike Brand Digital sales were up 20%.
But you’ll still be able to find Nike products outside of the company’s own stores and website.
In January, Nike CEO John Donahoe told CNBC that wholesalers remain “very, very important” to the company.
“Consumers in this day and age want to get what they want, when they want it, how they want it, and in our industry, they’ve been very clear they want a premium and consistent shopping experience regardless of channel,” he said.
To that point, Foot Locker touted a “revitalized” relationship with Nike during its “2023 Investor Day” presentation on March 20, saying the partnership is complementary to Nike’s direct-to-consumer strategy.
What this means for investors
Nike reported its fiscal third-quarter results after the bell on March 21. The following day, shares declined slightly by almost 5% and ended the trading session at $119.50 per share.
Here’s how much money you’d have as of March 22 if you had invested $1,000 into the company one, five and 10 years ago.
If you had invested $1,000 into Nike a year ago, your investment would be worth about $908 as of March 22, according to CNBC’s calculations.
If you had invested $1,000 into Nike five years ago, your investment would have nearly doubled to $1,937 as of March 22, according to CNBC’s calculations.
And if you had put $1,000 into Nike a decade ago, it would have more than quadrupled to $4,293 as of March 22, according to CNBC’s calculations.
Investors should do their research
Remember, there isn’t an infallible way to predict how the stock market may behave in the future. Just because a stock is performing well currently doesn’t necessarily mean it will continue to do so going forward.
Instead of picking stocks to invest in one-by-one, a more hands-off investment strategy tends to make sense for most investors. A popular way to start is by investing in low-cost index funds such as the S&P 500, which is a market index that tracks the stock performance of the 500 largest, publicly-traded companies in the U.S.
Experts typically recommend this strategy because it can diversify your portfolio by adding exposure to a wide array of companies.
As of March 22, the S&P 500 declined slightly by close to 13% over 12 months, according to CNBC’s calculations. However, the index has risen by about 49% since 2018 and grown by about 153% since 2013.
DON’T MISS: Want to be smarter and more successful with your money, work & life? Sign up for our new newsletter
Get CNBC’s free Warren Buffett Guide to Investing, which distills the billionaire’s No. 1 best piece of advice for regular investors, do’s and don’ts, and three key investing principles into a clear and simple guidebook.
New York Fed board member warns of commercial real-estate risks – Reuters
Large asteroid to zoom between Earth and Moon – Al Jazeera English
China's Mysteriously Resilient Real Estate Prices: New Economy Saturday – Bloomberg – Bloomberg
Silver investment demand jumped 12% in 2019
Iran anticipates renewed protests amid social media shutdown
Search for life on Mars accelerates as new bodies of water found below planet’s surface
Real eState24 hours ago
Macomb County real estate developer accused of illegally destroying 18.4 acres of wetlands
Health24 hours ago
Thousands of students in the northeast are behind on routine immunizations, say health units
Art15 hours ago
Gagosian’s DALL-E–Enabled Art Exhibition Throws Us Headfirst into the Uncanny Valley
Business22 hours ago
Stock market today: Stocks open lower as further bank-related fears percolate
Investment15 hours ago
Here’s how much money you’d have if you invested $1,000 in Nike 10 years ago
Media21 hours ago
4 ways to use social media to advance your career
News23 hours ago
U.S., Canada may end Safe Third Country Agreement loophole
News19 hours ago
What can I give on Mother’s Day?