After 5 months I finally got my 2010 Federal tax refund from the US Treasury (it was a complicated tax return). Yes, it took a long time, but they paid out 5.6% in annual interest in addition to the refund. So off I went to my Wells Fargo branch office to deposit the check. (Wells Fargo has a market cap of US $143 billion and 263,000 full-time employees. All this to say it is a really, really big bank). The deposit made, the cashier makes me see a financial adviser. Here is more or less how the conversation went. And what will I do with the money after it clears the checking account? Put it in a Wells Fargo savings account? Oh, I have a savings account already (with an interest rate of 0.01%! incredible but true). Ah, but they can upgrade the account. Then it goes from 0.01% to 0.4% interest. That’s 40 times the current rate, says the adviser. (Thinking). OK. First, I can do the math. Second, on-line bank ING Direct offers 0.8%. (Yes, which is still next to nothing).
So! After being annoyed at the US Treasury for holding on so long to my money, I now want to give it back so they can hold it some more. Bankrate.com says that even if one has $100,000 of cash AND deposit it in a CD for 5 years, the best return offered is some 1.8%. One could always try Dividend.com to find high-dividend yielding stocks. Just don’t pick France Telecom with a fantastic dividend yield of 13%, but off 34% from its 52-week high.
Here’s the seal of the Department of the US Treasury. The Treasury prints and mints all paper currency and coins in circulation through the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and the United States Mint. The Department also collects all federal taxes through the Internal Revenue Service, and manages U.S. government debt instruments, with the major exception of the Federal Reserve System.