Big savings can mean the down payment on your vacation getaway home, a luxury car or financial security for your future (retired) self.
XVII Bolivarian Games Trujillo 2013 - Judo
TRUJILLO, PERU - NOVEMBER 17: Frank Alvarado from Peru celebrate after winning the bronze medal of 100kg Judo competition during a Judo event as part of the XVII Bolivarian Games Trujillo 2013 at "Luz Marina Neyra" Moche Coliseum on November 17, 2013 in Trujillo, Peru. (Photo by Hector Vivas/LatinContent/Getty Images)
Add new rungs to your ladder
A timeless strategy for bond investors seeking safety: Hold Treasuries to maturity, eliminating both market and default risk.
Then to reduce the chance you'll have to reinvest all your money at the worst rates, "ladder" those securities, putting equal amounts into Treasuries maturing at different intervals.
The bond market, alas, has thrown a monkey wrench into this approach. With 2015 Treasuries paying just 0.3%, "you might as well keep the money in a mattress," says Envision Capital CEO Marilyn Cohen.
Replace the short rungs of your ladder with FDIC-insured CDs, says planner Phillip Cook. A ladder with Treasuries ranging from three months to 10 years would yield a paltry 0.5%.
Replace the rungs from three months to three years with comparable Ally Bank CDs, and your ladder will yield twice as much.