What Are Brokered CDs?

You shouldn’t overlook brokered certificates of deposits if you want to grow your wealth. Brokered CDs are a type of certificate of deposit (CD) you can buy through a brokerage.

They have some perks, including higher rates than you’d see at a bank, but their status as an investment product may carry some risks.

This post will help guide you through the ins and outs of brokered CDs. You’ll learn what they are, how they work, and whether they’re a suitable investment for your needs. Let’s dive right in.

What Is a Brokered CD?

Brokered CDs, also known as negotiable CDs, are a type of certificate of deposit sold through brokerage firms or financial institutions.

They are similar to traditional CDs in that they are timed deposits offered by banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions, but there are some key differences.

Traditional CDs are typically purchased directly from the issuing bank, whereas brokered CDs are bought and sold on the secondary market through a brokerage firm.

While the issuing bank remains responsible for paying interest and returning the principal, the investor buys the CD from a broker rather than the bank itself.

Brokered CDs vs. Bank CDs

Now that we have a basic understanding of what brokered CDs are let’s explore how they differ from traditional CDs:

  • Access to a Wider Range of Options: Brokerage firms offer CDs from various banks and credit unions, allowing you to choose from different terms, interest rates, and deposit amounts.
  • Liquidity: Traditional CDs are known for their fixed terms, ranging from a few months to several years. Once you invest in a traditional CD, you can’t access your funds until maturity without early withdrawal penalties. Brokered CDs offer more liquidity because you can sell them on the secondary market.
  • Price Fluctuations: Unlike traditional CDs, which have a fixed interest rate throughout the term, brokered CDs can have fluctuating prices and yields. The face value of a brokered CD can change based on market conditions and interest rate movements.
  • FDIC Insurance: Both traditional and brokered CDs may be eligible for Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) insurance, protecting up to $250,000 per depositor per institution. However, confirming the FDIC insurance coverage before investing in a brokered CD is crucial, as some brokerage firms may hold the CDs in the investor’s name.

Advantages of Brokered CDs

Brokered CDs offer several advantages, making them an attractive option for savvy investors.

Higher Interest Rates

When you invest in a brokered CD, you are not limited to the CD rates offered by a single bank.

Instead, brokers have access to a vast network of banks and financial institutions, allowing them to offer competitive rates to their clients.

By shopping around and comparing rates from different issuers, brokers can help you find the best rate of return on your investment. With the right CD rate, you can earn more interest on your money, potentially boosting your overall investment returns.

Access to a Wide Range of Options

Another advantage of brokered CDs is the access to a wide range of options. Unlike traditional bank CDs, which are typically limited to a few standard terms and rates, brokered CDs offer a greater variety of choices.

You can choose from different issuers, maturities, and interest payment frequencies with brokered CDs.

This flexibility allows you to tailor your investment to your needs and goals. Whether looking for a short-term investment or a longer-term strategy, brokered CDs offer the versatility to match your requirements.

Potential for Higher Returns

Lastly, brokered CDs have the potential to offer higher returns compared to other fixed-income investments. While CDs are generally considered low-risk investments, brokered CDs can provide a higher yield due to the competitive rates offered by different issuers.

By investing in brokered CDs, you can take advantage of the potential for higher returns while still enjoying the safety and security of FDIC insurance.

Risks Associated with Brokered CDs

Brokered CDs can be an attractive investment option for those seeking higher yields than traditional savings accounts. However, knowing the risks involved is essential before diving into this investment avenue.

Lack of FDIC Insurance

One of the significant risks of investing in brokered CDs is the lack of FDIC insurance. Unlike bank-issued CDs, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation doesn’t always protect brokered CDs.

Without FDIC insurance, if the issuing bank fails, there isn’t necessarily a guarantee that you will recover your entire investment.

While many brokerages provide additional protection through private insurance or other arrangements, it’s crucial to understand the specific terms and limitations of such coverage.

Potential for Loss of Principal

Although brokered CDs are generally considered low-risk investments, they are not entirely risk-free. If you sell your brokered CD before its maturity date, you may incur a loss if interest rates have risen since your initial investment.

It’s important to note that brokered CDs may be subject to fluctuations in market interest rates. If you need to sell your CD before maturity, you may be required to sell it at a discount, resulting in a loss of principal.

Keep in mind that the longer the maturity period, the more significant the potential impact of interest rate changes on the value of your investment.

Liquidity Concerns

You can’t cash out traditional bank-issued CDs until maturity, but brokered CDs can be bought and sold on the secondary market if liquidity is a concern. However, the liquidity of brokered CDs can vary depending on market conditions.

If you need to access your funds before the CD’s maturity date, you may face challenges finding a buyer in the secondary market. Sometimes, you’ll have to sell at a discount or incur additional fees to liquidate your investment.

How to Invest in Brokered CDs

Investing in brokered CDs can be a great way to grow your savings and earn a steady return on your investment.

Choose the Right Brokerage Firm

The first step is to choose a reliable and reputable brokerage firm. A brokerage firm is an intermediary between you and the CD issuers, helping you access various CD options from different banks.

Here are a few factors to consider when selecting a brokerage firm:

  • Reputation and Experience: Look for a brokerage firm with a solid reputation and a track record of excellent customer service. Check online reviews and ratings to gauge their credibility.
  • CD Offerings: Consider the variety of CDs available through the brokerage firm. Look for a wide selection of CD terms and issuers to ensure you can find the right fit for your investment goals.
  • Fees and Commissions: Consider the fees and commissions the brokerage firm charges. Compare the costs among different firms to find one that offers competitive rates and transparent fee structures.

Consult with a Financial Advisor

Before investing in brokered CDs, consulting with a financial advisor is wise. They have the expertise to provide valuable insights and guidance tailored to your financial situation.

An advisor can help you understand the potential risks and rewards associated with brokered CDs, ensuring you make informed decisions.

You can make confident investment choices and optimize your financial goals by seeking professional advice.

You can often invest in brokered CDs through your financial advisor.


Open an Account

Once you have chosen a brokerage firm or advisor, the next step is to open an account. This process is straightforward and can be done online or via phone. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Research Account Types: Familiarize yourself with the brokerage accounts offered by the firm. Common options include individual, joint, and retirement accounts like IRAs.
  • Complete Application: Fill out the account application form provided by the brokerage firm. You’ll need to provide personal information, such as your name, address, Social Security number, and employment details.
  • Fund Your Account: Determine how much money you want to invest in brokered CDs and transfer the funds to your newly opened account. Some brokerage firms may have minimum investment requirements, so check before funding your account.

Select the Right CD

Now that you have an account with a brokerage firm, it’s time to select the right CD for your investment needs.

Here are some factors to consider:

  • CD Terms: Decide on the length of time you are willing to commit your funds to a CD. Short-term CDs typically have lower rates, while long-term CDs offer higher rates but require a longer period of time to see returns on your investment.
  • Interest Rates: Compare the CD rates offered by different issuers. Look for competitive rates that will help maximize your returns. The interest rate environment has a direct impact on your return on investment. Compare accounts with simple and compound interest to ensure you get the best returns. You may also see interest expressed as annual percentage yield (APY).
  • Issuer and Safety: Research the financial stability and creditworthiness of the CD issuer. Look for issuers with high credit ratings to ensure the safety of your investment.
  • Callable CDs: Consider whether you want to invest in a non-callable or callable CD. Callable CDs have “no penalty” withdrawals, but this flexibility can affect your potential returns.

Following these steps, you can confidently invest in brokered CDs and grow your savings. Regularly review your investment strategy and consider consulting with a financial advisor if needed to ensure your investment aligns with your long-term goals.

Are Brokered CDs FDIC Insured?

It depends. While the FDIC may cover the underlying CDs issued by insured banks, the investment firm or intermediary that offers the CDs may not be.

FDIC insurance may not protect your investment if the brokerage firm faces financial trouble or goes out of business.

Understanding the fine print and verifying the FDIC coverage is crucial before investing in brokered CDs.

When you purchase a brokered CD, you should receive a disclosure statement outlining the terms and conditions of the investment. This disclosure statement will indicate whether or not the underlying CD is FDIC insured.

Strategies for Maximizing Returns on Brokered CDs

When it comes to investing in brokered CDs, there are several strategies you can employ to maximize your returns.

By utilizing these strategies, you can make the most of your investments and earn higher yields. In this section, we will explore three effective strategies: laddering CDs, diversifying your investment, and keeping an eye on rates.

Ladder CDs

One popular strategy for maximizing returns on brokered CDs is called “laddering.” CD ladders spread your investments across multiple CDs with different maturity dates. Instead of investing all your money in a single CD, you divide it among several CDs with staggered maturity dates.

Using this strategy, you can take advantage of the higher interest rates offered by longer-term CDs while still having access to a portion of your funds through shorter-term CDs. As each CD matures, you can reinvest the funds into a new CD with a higher interest rate, allowing you to capture any upward rate movement determined by market conditions.

Diversify Your Investments

Another key strategy for maximizing returns on brokered CDs is diversification. Diversifying your investment means spreading your funds across different types of CDs and issuers. Diversification mitigates risk and protects your investment from potential losses.

Investing in CDs from various institutions and varying the terms (short-term, medium-term, and long-term) reduces the impact of any single issuer’s financial instability or changes in interest rates.

Diversification allows you to create a balanced portfolio, increasing the likelihood of earning higher overall returns while minimizing risk.

Keep an Eye on Rates

Staying informed about interest rates is crucial when maximizing returns on brokered CDs. Your CD rate can significantly impact the yield of your investments, so it’s essential to monitor any rate changes.

Keep track of the market and economic news that influences interest rates. By staying informed, you can take advantage of favorable rate movements and decide when to invest in brokered CDs.

Additionally, consider working with a financial advisor or using online tools that provide real-time information on interest rates. These resources can help you stay current and make well-informed CD investment decisions.

Tax Considerations for Brokered CDs

When investing in brokered CDs, it’s important to consider the tax implications.

Understanding the tax advantages and reporting requirements associated with these investments can help you make informed decisions and maximize your returns.

Taxable vs. Tax-Advantaged Brokered CDs

Taxable brokered CDs are subject to federal, state, and local income taxes on the interest earned. On the other hand, tax-advantaged brokered CDs offer certain tax benefits that can help you save on taxes.

Tax-advantaged brokered CDs, such as those held in an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) or a Health Savings Account (HSA), allow you to defer taxes or even enjoy tax-free growth.

Tax Reporting Requirements

The interest earned on taxable brokered CDs counts as taxable income on your annual tax return. You will receive Form 1099-INT from the financial institution that issued the CD.

The reporting requirements for tax-advantaged brokered CDs held within an IRA or HSA may differ. Contributions to Traditional IRAs are typically tax-deductible, but withdrawals in retirement are subject to income taxes.

You make Roth IRA contributions with after-tax dollars, so withdrawals are tax-free. HSAs offer tax advantages for qualified medical expenses, so the withdrawals are tax-free.

Bottom Line

Brokered CDs can be a valuable addition to your investment portfolio. They offer the opportunity to earn higher yields than traditional bank CDs due to the wider range of options available.

By working with a reputable brokerage firm, you can access a more extensive selection of CDs from various banks, allowing for diversification and potentially higher returns.

However, it is essential to carefully consider your financial goals, risk tolerance, and time horizon before buying brokered CDs because there are some risks.

For example, a high-yield savings account may be better if you have liquidity concerns. Consulting with a financial advisor can ensure that brokered CDs align with your overall investment strategy.

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