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My new strategy: boring old CD

So I shut down my trading account Friday and went shopping for a CD.

I decided I couldn’t afford to pay fees anymore on the managed account when I wasn’t making any money in it.

To date, I’ve lost about 10 percent on my trading account, including taxes and fees. That’s a lot better than other folks out there, particularly some professional fund managers who have lost 40 percent or more.

But it’s still disappointing and discouraging to me.

The only reason I didn’t lose more is because I stayed out of the market more than I stayed in it this year.

I hear many people say that they just don’t look at their portfolios during times like these, opting instead to “stay the course” and wait for better market conditions to return.

For me though, too many stocks have fallen too far for me to stick around and have “faith.” Murphy’s Law probably dictates that this week will mark the definitive “bottom” and stocks will go soaring off into the atmosphere. I’ll probably be kicking myself and thinking: “If I had just waited one more week!”

Then again, the opposite might happen, and the market might continue to go lower.

No, for right now, I’d rather be safe than sorry.

I’d rather regret gains lost out on, than losses gained.

My search for a CD was a bit frustrating though. Yields are mostly pitiful.

My financial adviser actually suggested I go shop around somewhere, rather than accept the only poor yields she could offer. After surfing around on the Web, I managed to find a deal from MetLife Bank for a 4.15 percent yield on 1-year CDs with balances of $15,000 or more. That sounded perfect for my IRA that has been basically sitting dead in cash while I waited to see where this market was going to go.

Several other institutions are offering yields in the same ballpark, GMAC Bank and ING among them.

If you’re like me, and looking for something that at least comes with a guarantee of earnings (and FDIC backing), then you may want to do some shopping around yourself.

More unemployment woes

Bank of America rattled the economy last week with news it will cut 35,000 jobs.

That news came on the heels of Citibank’s decision to let 52,000 of its workers go.

Both announcements produced the equivalents of two small towns suddenly left without jobs.

Close to 2 million jobs have been lost since the recession began in December 2007, according to the Associated Press. Depending what happens with the Big 3 auto-makers and ongoing bailout talks, that number could continue to grow. With all those people out of jobs not spending, that can’t bode well for stocks in the near future.