CD rates still stalled PERSONAL FINANCE

November 15, 1992|By Knight-Ridder News Service

If you've been waiting for CD rates to rise, perhaps you should grab a seat and get comfortable. It might take awhile.

As of last Monday, yields paid on certificates of deposit were basically unchanged from the previous week, says 100 Highest Yields, a Florida newsletter that tracks interest rates.

For example, only 12 institutions around the country had six-month CDs yielding 3.5 percent or more. Eleven institutions were offering one-year certificates yielding 3.9 percent or better, and only 10 had five-year CDs yielding 6.5 percent or higher. Those numbers were unchanged from the previous week.

Though overall interest rates have risen slightly in recent weeks, banks have been slow in raising the interest rates they pay on consumer deposits.

"Interest rates may creep up as President-elect Clinton attempts to stimulate the economy," said Porter P. Morgan, investment strategist for Liberty Financial Cos. in Boston. "However, we won't return to double-digit CD rates in the foreseeable future."

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Despite the social gains made by women in recent decades, many still have trouble getting loans or credit cards.

This is especially true for women with no credit histories. In some families, even today, the husband has many of the household bills listed under his name alone, or under both names.

This strategy may work as long as husband and wife are together. But if they were to ever separate, by death or divorce, the woman might find herself without a credit identity.

That's why a woman should have some bills and assets listed in her name alone, says Harry R. Tyler, a financial planner in West Chester, Pa. It gives her a credit history separate from her husband's.

Here are some suggestions for women looking to establish credit:

* Have at least one bank account in your name alone.

* When you apply for credit, don't give information concerning your spouse.

* Never indicate marital status on credit applications.

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When it comes to investing in individual stocks, history has proven that diversification works. You can reduce the risks by spreading your money among many different stocks.

But how many stocks are enough? According to R. Hutchings Vernon, an investment counselor at T. Rowe Price, the Baltimore mutual fund company, a diversified investor should have stocks in at least 10 to 12 companies in different industries.

Mr. Hutchings also says investors should use "common sense" when looking for good stocks to buy. If you want to invest in a certain retailer, for example, visit the store and compare its prices, merchandise and appearance with competing stores.

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