Best Fixed Deposit Rates in Singapore yield 3.75% – Where to park cash for highest yield today – T-Bills or Singapore Savings Bonds or Money Market Funds or Fixed Deposits? (June 2024)

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If you recall – in Jan the market was pricing in 7 interest rate cuts in 2024.

With hot US inflation and latest comments from Powell, the market is now only pricing in 2 interest rate cuts in 2024.

Despite all that, bank fixed deposit interest rates keep dropping.

And yet the most recent 6-month T-Bills interest rates closed at 3.76% – significantly higher than most bank fixed deposits.

3 issues I wanted to discuss today:

  1. What are the Best fixed deposit rates in Singapore today? (June 2024)
  2. Will interest rates go up or down in 2024?
  3. Where to park your cash for yield / liquidity today – T-Bills, Fixed Deposit, Money Market Funds, Singapore Savings Bonds and Savings Accounts etc.

   

What are the Best fixed deposit rates in Singapore today? (June 2024)

Best Fixed Deposit Rates yield 3.35% if you deposit directly with the bank (as of June 2024)

The latest list of Fixed Deposit rates are set out below.

To summarise, the best fixed deposit option if you deposit directly with the bank are:

Tenure

Best fixed deposit interest rate (June 2024)

Bank

3 months

3.50%

Bank of China

6 months

3.35%

State Bank of India

12 months

3.20%

DBS/POSB Bank

 

Best Fixed Deposit Rates yield 3.75% if you deposit via Syfe (to get institutional fixed deposit rates) (as of June 2024)

If you’re slightly more adventurous – you can use Syfe Cash+ Guaranteed.

The way this works is you park the cash with Syfe, who will then deposit the cash into a bank fixed deposit.

This allows you access to institutional fixed deposit rates which are significantly higher than the retail fixed deposit rates you see above.

If you decide to use Syfe Cash+, these are the latest interest rates:

  • 3 months – 3.75%
  • 6 months – 3.75%
  • 12 months – 3.6%

Comparing interest rates for T-Bills vs Fixed Deposits vs Syfe Cash+ Guaranteed (June 2024)

I’ve tabulated the interest rates for the 3 cash options below:

 

6 months

12 months

Risk Free

T-Bills yields (6 June auction)

3.76%

3.57%

Yes

Fixed Deposit (bank)

3.35%

3.20%

Yes (if below $100,000 SDIC limit)

Syfe Cash+ Guaranteed

3.75%

3.60%

No

Money Market Funds

3.5 – 3.9%

No

 

To sum up.

Both T-Bills and Syfe Cash+ Guaranteed are more attractive vs conventional fixed deposits.

While Money Market Funds (like MariInvest) offer decent yields too at 3.5% – 3.9%, coupled with T+1 liquidity.

However of the above, technically only T-Bills and Fixed Deposits (below $100,000 SDIC limit) are risk free.

The rest are technically not risk free, although admittedly risk is probably on the low side.

Do note – Syfe Cash+ Guaranteed (and money market funds) is NOT SDIC insured

At this point it’s worth mentioning that Syfe Cash+ Guaranteed is NOT SDIC insured, and therefore technically not risk free.

The way Syfe Cash+ Guaranteed works, is that the cash is parked in fixed deposits with the underlying bank.

But if the bank goes under, Syfe as an entity would only be insured up to $100,000, which may not be sufficient to cover the losses.

Whereas if you park the cash with the bank directly yourself, you are SDIC insured up to $100,000 (SDIC limits have gone up on 1 April).

So I leave it to individual investors to decide if they are fine with this risk, or they prefer something absolutely risk free for peace of mind.

Best Fixed Deposit Rates yield 3.35% for 6 months – if you deposit directly with the bank (as of May 2024)

Latest list of Fixed Deposit rates are set out below (bold being the most attractive for each tenure).

After the table I’ll share my views on:

  1. Are interest rates going up or down?
  2. Where to park your cash for yield / liquidity today – T-Bills, Fixed Deposit, Money Market Funds, Singapore Savings Bonds and Savings Accounts etc.

Bank

Interest rate per annum 

Tenure

Minimum amount

Bank of China

3.50% (mobile placement)

3 months

S$500

 

3.30% (mobile placement)

6 months

S$500

 

3.05% (mobile placement)

9/12 months

S$500

ICBC

3.50% (New customers)

3 months

S$50,000

 

3.40% (mobile placement)

3 months

S$500

 

3.15% (mobile placement)

6 months

S$500

SBI

3.35%

6 months

S$50,000

 

3.05%

12 months

S$50,000

CIMB

3.25%

3 months

S$10,000

 

3.20%

6 months

S$10,000

 

3.25%

9 months

S$10,000

 

2.95%

12 months

S$10,000

RHB

3.25% (mobile placement)

3/6/12 months

S$20,000

DBS/POSB

3.20%

12 months

S$1,000 (max S$19,999)

HSBC

3.20% 

3/6 months

S$30,000

Maybank

3.00% (deposit bundle promotion)

12 months

S$22,000

Standard Chartered

2.90% 

6 months

S$25,000

Hong Leong Finance

2.90%

3/4 months

S$50,000

 

2.80%

9/10 months

S$50,000

UOB

2.70%

6 months

S$10,000 (fresh funds)

 

2.60%

10 months

S$10,000 (fresh funds)

OCBC

2.60% (online)

6/12 months

S$30,000

Citibank

2.50%

3/6 months

S$50,000

 

Will interest rates go up or down in 2024? (as of June 2024)

Here’s what is priced into the market as of today:

  1. 2 interest rate cuts in 2024
  2. With the first interest rate cut in Sep 2024 (followed by Dec 2024)

This week saw interest rate cuts from both the European and Canadian central banks.

It’s clear that rate cuts are coming, but exactly when and how quickly is still unclear.

It’s fairly clear from the past 12 months that nobody has any clue how interest rate cuts are going to play out.

My biggest fear is that if the central banks cut too soon, before inflation has been properly tamed (and it hasn’t).

Cutting interest rates will only result in a resurgence inflation, which would require a second round of interest rate hikes.

For current purposes though.

I think it is just a no brainer to spread out your cash over a different range of maturities and option, just in case there are any surprises on interest rates.

Hold some T-Bills, some Singapore Savings Bonds, some money market funds, and so on.

What is the right mix for your cash holdings – we’ll touch on that below.

 

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Singapore Savings Bonds have a higher yield than fixed deposits for tenure >12 months

Note that this month’s Singapore Savings Bonds are actually very attractive.

Yields on the Singapore Savings bonds are:

  • 3.26% for the first 6 years
  • 3.33% for 10 years

For the record, the below is the interest rates on last month’s Singapore Savings Bonds.

Yields are exactly the same up to the 6 year mark, while slightly lower for 10 years.

This is very attractive and higher than fixed deposits once you hit the 12 month and beyond mark.

Tenure

Best fixed deposit interest rate (June 2024)

Bank

3 months

3.50%

ICBC

6 months

3.35%

State Bank of India

12 months

3.20%

DBS/POSB Bank

 

The added benefit with Singapore Savings Bonds is that you can lock in the interest rates for 10 years.

Last month only saw $24,500 allotment per person, and I think you may see similar number these month (demand tends to go up significantly once Singapore Savings Bonds first year yields cross the 3.20% mark).

Singapore Savings Bonds, T-Bills, Fixed Deposit and Savings Accounts? How to split cash between these options for the highest yield?

These are the yield options available to you today for a cash / low risk investment:

 

Yield (indicative)

Liquidity

Risk Free?

High Yield Savings Account (Eg. UOB One)

Good (4%)

Good

Yes if below SDIC limit ($100,000)

Money Market Funds (Eg. MariInvest, Fullerton SGD Cash Fund)

Good (3.5 – 3.9%)

Good

No

T-Bills (6-months)

Good (3.76%)

Low

Yes

Fixed Deposit

Average (3.2 – 3.5%)

Average

Yes if below SDIC limit ($100,000)

Singapore Savings Bonds

Average (can lock in for 10 years) (3.26%)

Good

Yes

 

What to ask yourself – split cash between T-Bills, Fixed Deposit and Savings Accounts?

A lot of you have asked what to consider when deciding how much cash to split between each of the following options:

  1. T-Bills
  2. Fixed Deposits
  3. Money Market Funds
  4. High Yield Savings Accounts

The way I see it, it’s broadly a 2 step process:

  1. How much liquid cash do you need?
  2. Rest goes into highest yield options – based on your comfort level on risk

Key question to ask – how much liquid cash do you need?

I would say the key question to ask is how much liquid cash you need, to meet your spending needs the next 6 months.

Think about how much you need to spend.

Then think about how much cash you are expecting to come in over the next 6 months.

The difference is the amount of liquid cash you would need.

So if all of your spending needs are going to be met by your salary, or if a big bonus is coming in – then you can actually run very little liquid cash.

Whereas if you’re going to buy a house, a new car, or a big renovation, you’ll need to plan ahead and have that amount of cash set aside in liquid cash.

Some guidelines on liquidity – better safe than sorry

As a general note I would say don’t be stingy with liquidity.

It’s one of those where it’s better to be safe than sorry.

So after you run the analysis above – you’ll want to buffer for unexpected scenarios too.

For example a big medical bill that you need to pay upfront, then claim from insurance after.

A big car repair bill.

A decline in stocks that leads you to want to buy some stocks / REITs.

A loss of job, meaning no income in the short term.

Things like that.

As a general note I would say you always want to have enough liquid cash on hand to cover 6 months worth of expenses, as a worst case scenario.

Liquid Cash should go into options accessible on short notice – savings accounts, fixed deposits, money market funds

Once you have the number above.

That amount of liquid cash, should go into options that you can get back with ideally a day or two’s notice.

That will include:

  1. High yield savings accounts (eg. UOB One, OCBC 360) – as a savings account you can withdraw any time
  2. Fixed Deposits – can break anytime by telling the bank, although you will lose accrued interest
  3. Money Market Funds – they are T+1 liquidity

Number (1) tends to have the highest interest rates, although with the recent change UOB One Account now only pays 4.0% on $150,000.

That said it’s still higher than T-Bills, for a savings account you can withdraw any time.

But I still think this should be the priority – and you shouldn’t move on to fixed deposits or money market funds until you’ve maxxed out this option / set aside sufficient liquidity.

Singapore Savings Bonds is an outlier, because technically the money only comes back at the start of the next month.

In a worst case scenario if you just missed the redemption window, you might need to wait a whole month to get the money back:

I would say some Singapore Savings Bonds is fine as you can get the money back reasonably quickly, but don’t overdo it and put 90% of your liquid cash into Singapore Savings Bonds.

Rest of the cash goes into highest yield options – based on your comfort level on risk

Once you have the above – the rest just goes into the highest yielding option.

As of today, that’s probably T-Bills, followed by Money Market Funds like MariInvest or Fullerton SGD Cash Fund.

But Money Market Funds are technically not risk free, so I know not everyone is comfortable putting their entire nest egg into something that is not zero risk.

In which case you can consider overweighting T-Bills.

But… how much cash to hold, vs stocks or REITs or real estate?

Do note that the discussion above only addresses where to put your cash.

It doesn’t address the question of how much cash to hold, vs stocks or REITs or real estate.

That’s a much harder question (that we try to answer on the rest of Financial Horse).

But long and short, I would say it depends on 2 factors:

  1. Individual risk appetite
  2. Market conditions

Individual Risk Appetite

Individual risk appetite is how much risk you can take.

If you’re a 62 year old approaching retirement, the amount of risk you can take is very different from a 25 year old starting his career.

Life goals matter too.

If you’ve saved up over a lifetime and finally have enough to afford a comfortable retirement, you may not want to put all that into high risk stocks and risk losing it all.

Whereas if your current capital is very low, you might not mind taking on higher risk for the chance to get great returns.

How much risk to take – only you can answer this question for yourself.

Market conditions

The other factor to consider is market conditions.

Yes I know this is market timing and all.

But I would say there are some times in markets like March 2020 or 2008/2009.

That as long as you have enough cash set aside for spending needs and contingencies, it probably makes sense to increase risk exposure given how cheap valuations are.

And vice versa.

But I know not everyone is comfortable with market timing, and some prefer to just dollar cost average regardless of market conditions.

In which case you can ignore this factor and focus on risk appetite above.

 

This article was written on 7 June 2024 and will not be updated going forward.

For my latest up to date views on markets, my personal REIT and Stock Watchlist, and my personal portfolio positioning, do subscribe for FH Premium.

 

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1 COMMENT

  1. Hi FH, I’ve a question on SSB. Can I apply multiple times for SSB in each month? Example, I apply for $1000 today. One day later, I decide to apply for another additional $1000. Can?

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