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Little-known ways to earn far more interest on your money

Money Talks News logo Money Talks News 5/13/2019 Moshe Berman

Are you earning as much interest on your savings as you could be? 

The national average annual percentage yield (APY) among savings accounts is a puny 0.1%, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp (FDIC). At that rate, a balance of $10,000 earns just $10 a year.

Don’t let your money sit and earn you next to nothing. It’s time to reap a much higher return. Following are several ways to earn more interest on your money that you may not know exist.

One option is backed by FDIC insurance, while the others are investments and as such entail some risk.

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1. Switch to a high-yield savings account

Why not ditch your low-earning savings account and open a high-interest one instead?

Enter CIT Bank, an online bank that offers an APY of up to 2.4% with its Savings Builder account. That’s one of the highest interest rates available — and it’s a 100% risk-free return because deposit accounts like CIT Bank’s Savings Builder account are FDIC-insured.

Read our earlier post to learn about CIT’s Savings Builder account, and other products for getting higher returns on your dollars.

2. Invest in real estate — with as little as $500

You don’t need millions of dollars — not even thousands — to invest in real estate. With Fundrise you can invest in the real estate market with as little as $500.

Specifically, Fundrise enables you to invest in a professionally managed, diversified portfolio of residential or commercial real estate assets. Your portfolio grows over time due to dividends — which are distributed quarterly — and the appreciation of the real estate assets.

Fundrise boasts average annualized returns ranging from 8.76% to 12.42%. The costs associated with your portfolio generally include a 0.85% annual asset management fee and a 0.15% annual investment advisory fee.

To learn more about Fundrise, see “How to Start Investing in Real Estate With as Little as $500.” Money Talks News founder Stacy Johnson also discusses Fundrise in “2-Minute Money Manager: Should I Invest in Real Estate Through Fundrise?

Related video: How to get started investing with $500 or less


3. Invest effortlessly

Sit back and let Acorns, a micro-investing app, help you save and invest your spare change automatically.

The app’s service called Acorns Core rounds up your purchases to the nearest dollar and invests the difference automatically. Let’s say you spend $25.45 at the supermarket. The app will round that total up to $26 and transfer the difference (55 cents) to your Acorns account. Then, Acorns will invest your 75 cents in a diversified portfolio developed with help from Nobel Prize-winning economist Harry Markowitz.

The Acorns app starts at $1 per month, but you’ll earn $5 just by signing up. There are no trade fees.

4. Earn 5% with Worthy bonds

If you’re looking for a better return than savings accounts offer, consider skipping the bank and earn 5% by investing in Worthy bonds.

Here are the basics of how it works:

  1. You buy 36-month bonds from Worthy for as little as $10.
  2. Worthy lends the bond sale proceeds to small businesses.
  3. Your investment is returned plus 5% interest.

Worthy invests bond proceeds in fully secured, asset-backed small-business loans. This makes the bonds less risky than traditional secured loans and other investment types, Worthy says. Worthy bonds are also registered with the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission.


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