SQUEEZING YIELD

September 16, 2008
Michael Sheehan

Physician's Money Digest, May 15 2003, Volume 10, Issue 9

When you figure in inflation,money market fund yields are in thered—ditto for short-term US Treasuries.So where's a safe place to stashspare cash? One surprising answer isUS Savings Bonds—they're currentlyyielding 3.25% through the end ofApril and will still pay 2.75% to 3%when the US Treasury announcesthe new rate on May 1. Otheroptions include long-term CDs(check www.bankrate.com for rates)or a mortgage-backed security fundlike Vanguard's GNMA (800-635-1511), which has a current yield ofabout 5%. Corporate and high-yield(ie, junk) bond funds can also add apoint or 2 of yield. With corporatebonds, however, higher yields usuallygo hand-in-hand with greater risk ofdefault. With junk bonds, you needto be aware that price volatility canbe much higher than with otherbonds, and falling prices can adverselyaffect total returns.