Certificate Program Offers Attractive Alternative to Bank CDs


Have you looked at CD rates lately? If you have, you may have discovered that CD rates are hitting an all-time low. Do you want a higher return? So did Dr. Patrick Monroe of Macon.       

Patrick first learned that the Georgia United Methodist Foundation's Certificate Program offered an attractive alternative to bank CDs when he came across a brochure at Liberty UMC in Macon where he and his wife Sharon of 50 years have been active members since the mid-70s.

“I checked the CD rates at the bank and found them to be poor. There is a substantial difference between the Foundation’s rates and the bank rates. Initially I was hesitant to earn higher returns through the church. We do our pledging and don’t expect anything in return,” Patrick said. “I just felt that the Foundation could put the money to better use than I could. Then I thought, ‘If investing in the Foundation is going to help a church do renovations, this would be a good thing to do even though I might be making a little money.’”

As the bank CDs came due, Patrick transferred those funds to the Foundation. Since 2012, the Monroes have purchased six interest-bearing certificates with maturities of 1-, 2-, 3- and 4-years. “I read the way to make the most out of your investment is to ladder the certificates, which is what I did, since I don’t need the money at this time,” Patrick said.

Former Foundation director of lending services Frank Craft said, “Several Certificate Program investors have chosen the option of laddering the maturities of their various investments. Investors who ladder certificates to various maturities can improve yields on interest payments or reinvestments. This strategy is also good for investors who feel they may need to access their money prior to maturity, while at the same time, keeping their other certificates undisturbed and earning interest.”

Patrick worked loyally for the Medical Center of Central Georgia for over 25 years before his retirement in 2001. Sharon worked as a stay-at-home mother until she returned to work in 1984. She retired from the Bibb County Board of Education in 2008.

As retirees, the Monroes also wanted to make sure the Certificate Program offered a safe alternative to bank CDs. “I read the information and feel secure that the money is in good hands,” Patrick said. “The Foundation’s track record looks very good.”

Patrick wholeheartedly recommends other United Methodists invest in the Certificate Program. “This is another way of giving, especially if you are older,” he said. “We just feel that it is a good way to use any surplus funds that you might have available to invest, and that it’s a good way to be involved with the church because these funds are being used for good works.”

This article was originally published in the Fall 2013 edition of Faith & Money.