So you thought fixed deposits are the easiest, safest, no-hassle forms of investment around? Well, you’re both right and wrong. While the under-lying principle remains the same, there are actually ways to optimise your fixed deposit investments so that they beat the inflation rate and really generate income for you, too.
Take Advantage of Promotions
The main key to take your fixed deposit investments to the next level is to take advantage of fixed deposit promotions. Your fixed deposits are a source of funds for banks, so most banks won’t hesitate to roll a few fixed deposit promotions your way to entice you to save more with them. These promotions offer you freebies, and more importantly, above-board interest rates. These higher interest rates are what you should keep a gimlet eye out for, because they’re the very tools you can use to get aggressive with your fixed deposits. Watch out for the terms and conditions though, just in case the offer is more than meets the eye!
Grow Your Investment Funds
Fixed deposit promotions often require you to have a minimum deposit sum of at least RM5,000, and many would require at least RM10,000 to start netting you better interest rates. If you don’t have that much yet, don’t worry. One way to grow your income is to grow it slow and steady. This means setting aside a portion of your income every month until you have enough to plunge into a fixed deposit promotion. It does NOT mean you should keep that apportioned sum in your savings account. Invest them small-scale in fixed deposits with short tenures first so that they maintain their value against inflation. Then when you have enough funds, withdraw them at maturity and park them in one of the promotions, pronto!
Know the Difference Between Advertised Interest Rates vs Effective Interest Rates
There are several types of fixed deposits around. More accurately speaking, the types of fixed deposits are actually tied to the on-going promotions, and promotions with strings attached will impact the effective interest rate of your fixed deposit investment. Your effective interest rate, by the way, is the actual interest rate you’ll receive from your investment, because sometimes the advertised rates don’t tell the full story. A CASA bundled fixed deposit, for example, will drag your effective interest rate down, while a unit trust bundled one will inflate the advertised interest rate but leave your effective interest rate relatively uncertain.
Be Pro-Active Upon Maturity
Fixed deposits that don’t come under some form of promotion pay interest based on board rates, which barely keeps your neck above the inflation rate at best. The banks are going to use your fixed deposits as their source of funds, so why not make them pay you more for the deposits? Fixed deposit promotions usually revert to prevailing board rates upon maturity. That’s when you should withdraw those funds and invest them in the latest, best promotion in the market to continue enjoying above-board rates! Sometimes it can be as simple as topping up a certain amount or transferring funds through your existing bank account; other times, you might have to transfer to a new, different bank all together to chase those promotions.
It isn’t difficult to turn your passive fixed deposit investments into something more aggressive while maintaining its safety factor. All you need is a keen eye, a sharp ear, and funds to spare, and you’re good to go!