QE3 offers no joy for savers
September 13, 2012, 2:32 PM
While the stock market may be welcoming news of a new round of quantitative easing by the Federal Reserve, there was no joy among savers.
The Fed’s move is aimed at helping borrowers and stimulating the economy, but it depresses savers who can’t find reasonable yields from the traditional safe harbors of the investment world.
Recently, Bankrate.com’s Greg McBride noted that “Bernanke’s talking about … keeping those rates low and how that’s going to help borrowers and help the economy, but what he is really saying out of the other side of his mouth to savers is that ‘The beatings will continue until morale improves.’
With the latest news, those beatings will now stretch into mid-2015,
a year longer than previous guidance on when the Fed might hike rates.
The low yields are not just a concern for savers, but for anyone who is worried that the current bull market could be ending. After a run of four years – or the average length of time for a bull market throughout market history – plenty of investors worry that things could turn for the worse, driven by events in Europe, the “fiscal cliff” in the U.S. and more.
Now, if the latest round of quantitative easing doesn’t work – and its impact is likely to be less than prior rounds of Fed assistance – a growing number of investors may want to head for the sidelines, a place where they can’t hope for much more than avoiding losses.
Currently, the yield on the 10-year Treasury 10_YEAR -1.36% is hovering around 1.79%, while the top money-market mutual funds are delivering no more than 0.25% — and the average fund is under 0.1% — according to Crane Data Inc.; BankRate.com pegs the average 5-year CD rate at 1.48%; cut that in half if you want to lock up your money for just a year.