The US Federal Reserve building is seen on August 9, 2011 in Washington, DC. New recession worries and market havoc posed the toughest challenge yet this year for the US Federal Reserve as its policy board met Tuesday holding a near-depleted box of stimulus tools. Economists said the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), meeting for the first time since its "QE2" asset purchase program ended in June, had few options to overcome stagnating growth and the growing pessimism that sent stock markets on their deepest plunge since the crisis of 2008. AFP PHOTO/KAREN BLEIER (Photo credit should read KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)
KAREN BLEIER—AFP/Getty Images
October 25, 2012

Waiting for higher yields on savings? Don’t hold your breath.

The Federal Reserve said in September it would buy $40 billion of mortgage-backed securities a month until the labor market rebounds. The goal: to free up banks to lend more.

It’s the Fed’s third attempt since 2008 to use this tactic, called quantitative easing.

Targeting the 8%-plus jobless rate, QE3, as it’s known, is likely to hold down mortgage rates which in October hit a 60-year low of 3.36%.

The Fed also plans to keep short-term rates near zero through mid-2015, so get used to current savings yields (recently averaging 0.12%).

And if you’re looking to beef up bond fund income, Morningstar Investment Management economist Francisco Torralba suggests short-term corporates, which yield about 2% today. Though the risk of inflation is low, he says, a spike would hit higher-yielding long-term bonds harder.

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