Supercharge Your Savings Account

Supercharge Your Savings Account "Let me tell you about the very rich," F. Scott Fitzgerald once said. "They are very different from you and me."

Ernest Hemingway famously replied, "Yes, they have more money."1

It's one thing to risk it all in the stock market. But it's quite another to allow our savings to languish unproductively when we could be putting them to work generating much higher, yet completely safe, returns. Are you one of those people who has a sizable checking or savings bank account, money just sitting there, returning next to nothing?

Yes, I love my local credit union, but as a storage place for cash, it is woefully inadequate. Interest rates on its savings accounts are a pitiful 0.25%, and its money market accounts pay just 0.50%.

You and I can do better,much better. Online banks are now offering interest rates as high as 3.25% on the once-humble savings account, and balances up to $100,000 are FDIC insured. There are no fees and no minimum balance requirements. Check out ING Direct (www.ingdirect.com), which pays 2.8% on savings accounts, or Emigrant Savings Bank (www.emigrantdirect.com), which pays 3.25%. With a little luck, the additional interest might boost our savings just enough to help us imagine that we are among 'the very rich.'

1 Apparently this legendary conversation never took place. Instead, the authors wrote these words several years apart.