Cash, meaning savings accounts, money market funds, and other cash-equivalent investments, have been yielding next to nothing since the beginning of the pandemic. Even before the pandemic, the federal funds rate† peaked around 2.40% in early 2019. If we go back even further, the federal funds rate was near zero from the beginning of 2009 through the end of 2015. For over a decade, except for a brief period a couple years ago, cash has been yielding essentially nothing. It may feel like the opportunity cost of keeping your emergency fund and other short-term savings in cash is enormous.
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