Best CDs - Where To Find Them

Last Updated Oct 4, 2010 11:52 AM EDT

For whatever reason, investors seem to think I have some super-secret source to find the best CDs. The truth is that, by far, my most valuable source for the best rates and terms is DepositAccounts.com. I've been writing about the site, and its predecessor site, for many years.
I recently interviewed the site's founder, Ken Tumin, and here's why this site has made me tens of thousands of dollars, and how it can also help you.

A brief history
Ken Tumin founded a blog called Bankdeals.blogspot.com in 2005, as he was finding CDs paying much more than Bankrate.com. In January of this year, he moved it from that blog to its current home, DepositAccounts.com. Ken notes that he founded the blog as a hobby to help others to find the best deposit accounts, rather than trying to make money on it. Today, DepositAccounts.com accepts advertising, but doesn't show preference to products coming from advertisers.

Why I love DepositAccounts.com
I happen to like Bankrate.com, yet DepositAccounts.com does seem to find much better rates. Ken stated that they scan over 60,000 rates across the country, posting the top rates for consumers. DepositAccounts.com looks at both banks and credit unions.

How to use the site
Though I had been using these two sites for years, Ken gave me a refresher tour on how to easily get the most useful information. Much like other CD web sites, after opening the home page, you'll see the tabs at the top displaying categories from savings to CD rates. If you are searching for CDs, click on the term that you are interested in and you'll get a sorted list of the highest paying institutions backed by the FDIC or NCUA, whether the institution is large or a local credit union.

Ken noted that any advertisement by an institution plays no role in its ranking on the list. Not only that, every institution has a hyperlink to the institution's web site irrespective of whether they advertise. This is one feature that, in my opinion, makes it much more consumer focused than other web sites.

You can then filter the list, such as looking for jumbo rates, or institutions that are easy to join, or ones having a local presence, if that's important to you. Clicking on the "+" sign to the left of the institution gives you some history of rate changes, rate tiers, and account requirements.

Due diligence made easy
Before you buy, it's important to do your homework. After you click on the institution, you'll first be taken to a page on DepositAccounts.com that gives you the following:
  • Overview
  • Products and rates
  • Health
  • Reviews
The overview page offers useful information on recent changes by the institution, such as new rates. The products and rates page lists all the current accounts and rates. The health page not only gives you useful information on the financial health of the institution, it also gives a direct link to the FDIC or NCUA website to confirm that the institution is indeed a member.

Make sure the address you send the check to is the same as that on the FDIC or NCUA website. After all, anyone can post something fraudulent on the world wide web.

Finally, the reviews tab gives you the opportunity to see what other consumers thought of their experience with this financial institution. It makes this a true user community.

My assessment
I look everywhere for CD rates, including the local newspaper. I never, however, buy a CD without first checking DepositAccounts.com.

In a financial industry world where most try to separate consumers from their money, regardless of whether they are offering true value to those consumers, DepositAccounts.com is the best thing since sliced bread. I'll don my professor's hat once more, and move DepositAccounts.com to the head of the class with an A+ grade.

If you think the fact that Ken has helped me and many clients make a boatload of extra money influenced my grade, you'd be 100 percent correct!


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    Allan S. Roth is the founder of Wealth Logic, an hourly based financial planning and investment advisory firm that advises clients with portfolios ranging from $10,000 to over $50 million. The author of How a Second Grader Beats Wall Street, Roth teaches investments and behavioral finance at the University of Denver and is a frequent speaker. He is required by law to note that his columns are not meant as specific investment advice, since any advice of that sort would need to take into account such things as each reader's willingness and need to take risk. His columns will specifically avoid the foolishness of predicting the next hot stock or what the stock market will do next month.

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