Wasting a Perfectly Good Postage Stamp

How low are interest rates today?

So low that it literally doesn’t pay to spend 44¢ on a first class stamp to mail a deposit to my broker’s local branch, vs. using their (free) self-addressed envelope and sending it out-of-town.

Time Value of Money?  Infinitesimal

Once upon a time — when interest rates weren’t microscopic — it was a no-brainer to mail a larger (for me) deposit to my bank or broker’s local branch, so the money could be deposited faster (and start earning interest).

Which is what I just did earlier this week when I made a deposit to my Fidelity money market account.

Just out of curiosity, I whipped out my Excel spreadsheet to see whether I came out ahead doing that.

The result?

Assuming that depositing $5,000 locally saved three days, and that the interest rate on my Fidelity account is .05% (it may actually be less), that manuever earned me  . . . . a whopping 21¢!

Bottom line:  I would have been better off saving the 44¢ postage stamp!

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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