Where to park your cash for higher yield? T-bills vs Fixed Deposit vs SSB (July 2024)

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Bonds

By Gerald Wong, CFA • 09 Jul 2024 • 0 min read

We share the best ways to earn a yield on your cash through fixed deposits, Singapore T-bills, SSBs and money market funds.

Singapore T-bill vs fixed deposit vs SSB July 2024
In this article

What happened?

Interest rates have been very volatile in recent months.

In July, I noticed that the yield of the Singapore 6-month T-bill and Singapore Savings Bonds has declined. However, some banks have raised the interest rates on their fixed deposit accounts.

As a result, there has been a lot of discussion in the Beansprout community about where we can park our cash to earn a higher yield. 

In this article, I will share the following:

  • Latest interest rates on fixed deposits, T-bills, SSBs and money market funds
  • Advantages and disadvantages of putting your cash into these options
  • What I would consider in deciding between fixed deposits, T-bills, SSBs and money market funds
  • My strategy for parking my cash to earn a higher yield

Best 3-month fixed deposit rate in Singapore of 3.5% p.a.

Firstly, let's take a look at the best fixed deposit rates in Singapore in July. 

  • The best 3-month fixed deposit rate is 3.50% p.a. offered by Bank of China and ICBC
  • The best 6-month fixed deposit rate we found was 3.40% p.a. offered by SBI
  • The best 12-month fixed deposit rate we found was 3.25% p.a. offered by RHB
TenureBest fixed deposit interest rate (p.a.)Bank
3 months3.50%Bank of China and ICBC
6 months3.40%SBI
9 months3.10%DBS
12 months3.25%RHB

To get the latest list of best fixed deposit rates this month, check out our guide to the best fixed deposit rates in Singapore.

Latest 6-month Singapore T-bill offers yield of 3.7%

The yield on the Singapore T-bill has been declining in recent weeks.

The cut-off yield on the 6-month T-bill in Singapore was at 3.7% in a recent auction on 4 July 2024, having fallen from a recent high of 3.8% in March this year. 

Despite the decline in the T-bill yield, it remains above the best 6-month fixed deposit rate of 3.40% p.a.

Auction DateT-billCut-off yield
4 Jul 2024BS24113N3.70%
20 Jun 2024BS24112W3.74%
6 Jun 2024BS24111X3.76%
23 May 2024BS24110T3.65%
9 May 2024BS24109A3.70%
25 Apr 2024BS24108V3.74%
Source: MAS
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Latest Singapore Savings Bonds (SSB) offer a 10-year average return of 3.22%

The August issuance of the SSB (SBAUG24 GX24080W) offers a 1-year interest rate of 3.19%, and a 10-year average return of 3.22%. 

The 1-year interest rate of 3.19% is slightly below the best 12-month fixed deposit rate of 3.25% p.a.

However, I would consider the SSB mainly for the opportunity to lock in the yields for a period of up to 10 years.

While the 10-year average return of 3.22% has fallen from the previous issuance, it still remains close to its historical high.

What are the other options to earn a higher yield? 

Fixed deposits are seen as relatively safe options to park our cash as our savings will be insured to up to S$100,000 under the Singapore Deposit Insurance

At the same time T-bills and Singapore Savings Bonds are relatively low risk investment options as they are issued by the Singapore government. 

I have also seen a lot of discussion in the Beansprout community about other ways to earn a higher yield.

From the way I see it, I would group them into products that claim to offer guaranteed returns and those that do not. 

However, I would highlight that these are not capital guaranteed, even if they were to offer guaranteed returns. 

#1 - Cash Management Accounts that offer more liquidity 

Cash management accounts aim to provide higher potential returns compared to savings accounts, and greater flexibility compared to fixed deposits.

Some examples of cash management accounts include Moomoo Cash Plus, Tiger Vault, Webull Moneybull, Endowus Cash Smart, Mari Invest and Phillip Smart Park 

By putting your money in a cash management account, you will be investing in money market funds or bond funds. 

These professionally managed funds will put your cash in instruments such as bank deposits or short-term debt to earn higher interest rates.

The indicative 7-day annualised yield of the Fullerton SGD Cash Fund was 3.67% as of 8 July 2024. 

Fullerton SGD Cash Fund
Source: Fullerton Fund Management. Returns are not guaranteed and past performance is not indicative of future performance. 

However, it is worth pointing out that these funds are not capital guaranteed, and funds in cash management accounts are not insured under Singapore Deposit Insurance Corporation Limited (SDIC).

There are several ongoing promotions for investments in Singapore dollar money market funds. 

  • Tiger Brokers is offering a interest bonus coupon that allows you to earn 6.8% p.a. with Tiger Vault. Learn more about the Tiger Vault promotion here.
  • Moomoo Singapore is offering a guaranteed return of 6.8% p.a. when you deposit your funds into Moomoo Cash Plus. Learn more about the Moomoo Cash Plus promotion here.
AmountReturn over 30 days based on 6.8% per annum
S$5,000S$27.95
S$10,000S$55.89
S$20,000S$111.78
S$80,000S$447.12
Source: Beansprout calculations

#2 – Cash Management Accounts with guaranteed returns

Firstly, a few of the robo-advisors have introduced cash management solutions that offer guaranteed returns. 

They generate the returns by investing your funds into fixed deposits products provided by banks in Singapore.

For example, Syfe Cash+ Guaranteed is the cash management solution offered by Syfe which offers investors guaranteed returns for their idle cash. 

Syfe Cash+ Guaranteed offers a guaranteed return of 3.8% per annum for a term of 3 months as of 9 July 2024.

TermGuaranteed Rate
3 months3.8% p.a.
6 months3.6% p.a.
12 months3.5% p.a.
Source: Syfe as of 9 July 2024

What I like about Syfe Cash+ Guaranteed that there is no minimum and maximum investment amount required, and I can invest with as little as S$1. 

You can learn more about Syfe Cash+ Guaranteed here.

StashAway Simple Guaranteed also offers a guaranteed return on your investments. However, the rates offered have been lower than Syfe Cash+ Guaranteed, with the 3-month guaranteed rate at 3.7% as of 9 July 2024. 

 #3 – US dollar denominated options to park your cash 

If you have idle cash denominated in US dollars, you can also consider the following options to earn a higher yield compared to the T-bill.

However, if you are converting from SGD to USD,  you should be aware of the foreign currency exchange risks. This is because the US dollar could weaken against the Singapore dollar. 

USD Fixed Deposits

  • The best 6-month US Dollar fixed deposit rate is 5.05% p.a. offered by SBI
  • The best 12-month US Dollar fixed deposit rate is 5.25% p.a. offered by SBI
  • The best 3-month US Dollar fixed deposit rate is 5.01% p.a. offered by DBS
TenureBest fixed deposit interest rate (p.a.)Bank
3 months5.01%DBS
6 months5.05%SBI
12 months5.25%SBI
Source: Varous bank websites as of 9 July 2024

You can check out the best USD fixed deposit interest rates in Singapore here

US Treasuries 

US Treasuries are debt securities issued by the US Department of the Treasury, just like the Singapore T-bills are backed by the Singapore government. 

The US 1-year Treasury yield climbed to close to a year-to-date high of above 5.2% as of 31 May 2024, but have seen declined on rising expectations of interest rate cuts. 

You can purchase US Treasuries using on either Moomoo Singapore or Tiger Brokers

USD Money Market Funds

Some of the cash management accounts also allow us to invest in money market funds denominated in US dollars. 

There are several ongoing promotions for investments in USD money market funds. 

  • Webull is offering a 1.8% USD p.a. Moneybull interest booster for 30 days for new users. 
  • Revolut Singapore is offering a promotional rate of up to 5.48% annual interest for all customers on its Revolut Flexible Account from now till 31 July. 

What to consider when choosing between T-bills vs fixed deposits vs SSB vs money market funds? 

There are 4 questions I would think about when considering these options.

  • Am I comfortable with a product that is not be insured by SDIC or backed by the Singapore government?

If I am comfortable in doing so, then I would also consider cash management accounts to earn a higher yield on my cash.

  • Will I need the money in short notice? 

If liquidity is of importance as I may need the cash for other uses in short notice, then I may prefer cash management accounts that offer liquidity typically within days. 

  • Do I want to lock in the yields for a longer time period?

If I am looking to lock in the current high interest rates for a period of up to 10 years and not have to worry about reinvestment risks, then the Singapore Savings Bonds allow me to do so while having the flexibility to redeem anytime.

  • Do I have any use for the cash in US dollars?

If I am looking to invest in US stocks or ETFs or have other uses of US dollars, then I may consider the US dollar denominated fixed deposits, money market funds or Treasuries. 

Otherwise, I may face foreign currency risks when converting the money back into Singapore dollar in future. 

What would Beansprout do? 

I would make use of the current high interest rates to make my cash work harder, and put my money across various instruments for diversification purposes.

Firstly, I would have a preference for T-bills over fixed deposits as the yield on the T-bill is higher than the best fixed deposit rate currently. 

Next, I would spread my cash across T-bills, SSBs and money market funds to meet my liquidity needs, as well as lock in interest rates over a longer period of up to 10 years. 

To limit foreign currency risks, I would only put my savings that I am already intending to buy US stocks with in the US dollar denominated options.

Of course, this would assume I have already parked my emergency cash in a savings account with a high interest rate. 

Join our Beansprout Telegram group to get the latest updates on Singapore bonds, stocks and REITs. 

To stay up to date on the best options to earn a higher yield on your cash, sign up for our free newsletter below.

 

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1 comments


  • SarumanWise • 15 Jul 2024 09:24 AM