Sunday, April 13, 2008

1.65% return with cc

i have been carrying and using an amex cash rebate card for quite some time and have been pretty happy with it -- last year, i got a refund of some $750 by putting absolutely every purchase on the card.

well, thanks to the handy tools available right on the amex website, it was easy for me to calculate that i actually earned a 1.65% return on that money. i pay my balance in full every month, so it's really free money.

cd ladder

over the past several years, i had built up a cd ladder that ended up with me owning 12 one-year cds that were maturing each month. i thought of this, in part, as my emergency fund. if we ever were strapped for cash because of loss of income, we could tap into the cd that was coming to maturity that month. well, my cds are now coming off of 5+% yields and renewing to 2-3% yields -- terrible!

what i decided to do was nothing at all. i still think of the cds as an emergency fund, so i need it to be pretty liquid, so putting that money into the stock market was out of the question. i thought about putting it into a money market or savings account, but with the fed cutting rates, those returns are getting trimmed, too. for now, money markets do seem to be returning a little bit better than cds, but it's not really significant enough for me to do anything about right now.

yup, i decided to be lazy. and to me, that's just about right for my emergency fund.