PRESS RELEASE
Investors get help in shopping for certificates of deposit -- Handy worksheet available from the Oklahoma Department of Securities --
 
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, August 28, 2001 
 
Contact: Irving L. Faught, Administrator
  Oklahoma Department of Securities
  405-280-7700
 
 
Oklahoma City/////  While the volatile stock market can make certificates of deposit appealing to investors, some CDs are not what they seem. That is the message behind a handy worksheet now available from the Oklahoma Department of Securities on its website (http://www.securities.state.ok.us).

With many elderly investors complaining they've been misled into buying "callable" CDs with 10- to 30 -year maturities, the Securities Department hopes investors will use the worksheet to avoid getting stuck with something they don't want.

"Not all CDs are created equal, so investors need to ask questions and understand exactly what they're buying," cautioned Irving Faught, ADMINISTRATOR of the Department. "Callable CDs often have higher yields than traditional bank-issued CDs because they require a 10-, 20- or even 30-year commitment. Investors should be careful and ask the questions on the worksheet to make sure they know what they're getting into and whether it meets their investment objectives," said Faught.

The fill-in-the-blank worksheet consists of 13 questions designed to help investors distinguish between traditional bank-issued CDs and callable CDs. While usually offering higher returns, there are substantial penalties for cashing callable CDs before their maturity date.

According to Faught, many investors do not realize that with callable CDs only the issuer, not the investor, can "call" or redeem the CD. Investors who want their money before a callable CD matures risk a substantial loss of as high as 30 percent.

Callable CDs are being marketed in newspaper ads, high-pressure telephone solicitations and direct mail. In many print ads, the CD's interest rate is trumpeted in large print while its maturity date is buried in small type and technical jargon.

Before purchasing any CD, the worksheet prompts investors to learn its maturity date, where the money will be deposited, the penalties for early withdrawal, any costs associated with selling before maturity and whether the interest rate is fixed or variable.
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Callable CD Worksheet 
 
This press release, and related information, is available on the Securities Commission's web site at securities.ok.gov, by phone at (405) 280-7700, or in writing at:  Oklahoma Securities Commission, 204 North Robinson, Suite 400, Oklahoma City, OK 73102.