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Annual Returns of High-Yield Savings Accounts Versus Other Investments

We’re comparing the average annual returns of high-yield savings accounts versus various other types of investments. This analysis aims to highlight the performance of these financial vehicles over different time periods, helping investors make informed decisions aligned with their financial goals.

Key Topics:

High-Yield Savings Accounts: A Steady Performer:
  • Competitive high-yield savings accounts are currently delivering 5.00% APY or better, making them an attractive option right now.
  • High-yield savings accounts have historically delivered stable and predictable returns. Over the last decade, average annual returns for high-yield savings accounts have ranged from 0.50% to 2.00%, showcasing their appeal to risk-averse investors seeking reliability.
Equities: The Volatility of Stock Markets:
  • Historically, equities, or stocks, have demonstrated higher average annual returns than savings accounts.
  • Over long-term periods, spanning multiple decades, the average annual returns for stocks have shown a broad range, typically falling between 7% and 10%. Shorter time frames are subject to substantial fluctuations due to market volatility.
Bonds: Striking a Balance Between Risk and Stability:
  • Bonds have historically provided more stable returns compared to stocks.
  • Over the past 20 years, the average annual returns for bonds have consistently ranged from 2% to 5%, offering investors a reliable income stream with lower volatility.
Real Estate: The Tangible Investment:
  • Real estate investments have shown historical appreciation and the potential for rental income.
  • Examining the last 30 years, the average annual returns for real estate have typically fallen within the range of 4% to 7%. This stability, coupled with the tangible nature of real estate, provides diversification benefits and long-term wealth accumulation potential.
Mutual Funds: Diversification and Professional Management:
  • Mutual funds historically offer diversified portfolios managed by professionals.
  • Over the past 15 years, the average annual returns for mutual funds have consistently ranged from 5% to 8%, showcasing their effectiveness in covering various asset classes and investment strategies.
Cryptocurrencies: The Emergence of Digital Assets:
  • Cryptocurrencies have exhibited high historical returns but come with significant volatility.
  • Examining the last 10 years, the average annual returns for cryptocurrencies have been notably high, often exceeding 100%. However, this heightened potential for gains is accompanied by substantial risk and price volatility.
Inflation-Indexed Securities: Preserving Purchasing Power:
  • Inflation-indexed securities historically protect against inflation.
  • Over the last 20 years, these securities have provided returns in line with changes in the Consumer Price Index (CPI), helping investors preserve purchasing power over time.
  • I-bonds have come into the limelight recently given higher inflation figures, but their appeal has quickly faded as inflation has cooled.


High-yield savings accounts stand out as a steady performer, offering stability and competitive returns. Equities, bonds, real estate, mutual funds, cryptocurrencies, and inflation-indexed securities each bring their own set of opportunities and risks, quantified by historical averages. Evaluating this data over different time frames can allow investors to make nuanced and informed decisions that align with their risk tolerance, financial goals, and the desire for returns. Each investment vehicle can play a role in a diversified portfolio, contributing to your overall financial strategy and long-term success.