Vanguard offers certificates of deposit (CDs) that are quite different from the standard CDs you find at banks. The firm offers brokered CDs, which are CDs banks issue that brokerage firms buy in bulk and then resell to their brokerage customers at competing rates.
However, Vanguard Brokerage requires a minimum of $10,000 to open a CD followed by $1,000 increments. Still, its 5-Year CD carries a 0.45% interest rate that exceeds most CD rates you’d get through banks directly. However, interest is not compounded within the CD, but rather paid to your linked Vanguard money market account (MMA) at the end of the term, what is known as maturity. In other words, your return would be the same each year and then paid in total at maturity—still a potentially high amount based on the given interest rates.
Many Americans include CDs in their long-term savings portfolios. If you want to integrate these banking products into your financial life, you may want a financial advisor to walk you through them. SmartAsset’s free tool can match you with top financial advisors in your area in five minutes. If you’re ready to work with a local advisor that can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
Vanguard Brokerage CDs
Vanguard offers its customers brokered CDs with highly competitive rates. You can open one for terms stretching from one month to 10 years. And the longer you invest, the higher your interest rate may be.
Because Vanguard offers access to CDs from different institutions, interest rates may vary across different banks. For instance, the interest rate on a 12-month CD from one institution may be different from that of another even though you can get either through Vanguard. However, Vanguard gives you access to a CD search feature, where you can set some parameters. The table below provides rates based on a sample search provided by Vanguard.
|Vanguard Brokered CD||Minimum Deposit||APY|
|1 - 3 Months||$10,000||0.05%|
|4 - 6 Months||$10,000||0.05%|
|7 - 9 Months||$10,000||0.05%|
|10 - 12 Months||$10,000||0.05%|
|13 - 18 Months||$10,000||0.05%|
Overview of Vanguard CDs
Vanguard offers several brokered CD options because the firm sells CDs through a national network of more than 100 dealers.
This means you can buy CDs issued by multiple banks. Why does that matter? The hidden gem here is additional FDIC protection. Say you want to park $1 million in a growth vehicle. If you put it all in a CD with one bank, the FDIC can only legally insure up to $250,000 per account owner per insured institution. But you can stretch that protection if you open up multiple CDs with different banks. And if you open CDs with different term lengths, you’d be ensured access to principal and earnings at different time intervals. This is a strategy known as CD laddering.
Interest will be paid to your linked Vanguard money market account at the end of the term. The interest will then compound within the money market vehicle.
In addition, you can sell your CD on the secondary market—what is commonly referred to as the stock market—and keep all accrued interest. Vanguard won’t charge a commission if you sell a CD on the secondary market. However, commissions will be charged for transactions on the secondary market. CDs sold before maturity on the stock market could also be subject to interest rate volatility which could lead to major gain or loss.
Vanguard Brokerage doesn't charge commission fees on CDs purchased on the primary market However, the bank may receive a concession from the issuer. The firm doesn’t charge commissions when you sell a CD on the secondary market.
In addition, brokered CDs don’t renew at maturity or when the term is over as standard CDs do. Instead, the principal on your matured CD will transfer to your Vanguard MMA. You can open a new CD online or through the phone.
How Much You Earn With Vanguard CDs
If you invest a sizable amount into a Vanguard CD and keep it invested until the term ends without selling it on the secondary market, you could end up with a sizable return at maturity.
Keep in mind, however, that your interest won’t compound at Vanguard. This means that every year, you’d get the interest rate on your CD multiplied by the principal you put in.
Your interest is then transferred to your linked Vanguard money market account where it will compound on that account’s rate.
Compare Vanguard to Other Competitive Offers
How Vanguard Compares to Other Banks
Vanguard CD rates are generally lower than those of its competitors.
Similar offerings sampled by Fidelity are the most similar to Vanguard, but Vanguard CD rates are notably lower than standard CDs found at online banks like Ally Bank and Marcus by Goldman Sachs, which are known for their high-yield savings accounts.
|CD Account||Vanguard Brokered CDs||Fidelity Brokered CDs||Ally Bank CDs||Marcus by Goldman Sachs CDs|
Should You Get a Vanguard CD Account?
You should open a Vanguard brokered CD if you can comfortably meet the minimum $10,000 deposit and are willing to invest for the mid-to-long-term, which is where Vanguard's rates really stand out.
However, keep in mind that brokered CDs operate differently than standard CDs that you can open with banks directly. Also, interest doesn’t compound within the Vanguard CD. Instead, it will compound based on the rates affiliated with your linked Vanguard MMA. Depending on your savings goals, this could have a significantly negative impact.