**What Is The Annual Percentage Yield (APY)?**

The annual percentage yield (APY) is the real rate of return earned on an investment, taking into account the effect of compounding interest. Unlike simple interest, compounding interest is calculated periodically and the amount is immediately added to the balance. With each period going forward, the account balance gets a little bigger, so the interest paid on the balance gets bigger as well.

APY is the actual rate of return that will be earned in one year if the interest is compounded.

Compound interest is added periodically to the total invested, increasing the balance. That means each interest payment will be larger, based on the higher balance.

**What Is A Good APY Rate?:**

APY rates fluctuate often, and a good rate at one time may no longer be a good rate due to shifts in macroeconomic conditions. In general, when the Federal Reserve raises interest rates, the APY on savings accounts tends to increase. Therefore, APY rates on savings accounts are usually better when monetary policy is tight or tightening. In addition, there are often low-cost, high-yield savings accounts that consistently deliver competitive APYs.

**How Is APY Calculated?:**

APY standardizes the rate of return. It does this by stating the real percentage of growth that will be earned in compound interest assuming that the money is deposited for one year. The formula for calculating APY is (1+r/n)n – 1, where r = period rate and n = number of compounding periods.

**How Can APY Assist An Investor?:**

Any investment is ultimately judged by its rate of return, whether it’s a certificate of deposit, a share of stock, or a government bond. APY allows an investor to compare different returns for different investments on an apples-to-apples basis, allowing them to make a more informed decision.

**What Is The Difference Between APY And APR?**

APY calculates the rate earned in one year if the interest is compounded and is a more accurate representation of the actual rate of return. APR includes any fees or additional costs associated with the transaction, but it does not take into account the compounding of interest within a specific year. Rather, it is a simple interest rate.

## Variable APY VS Fixed APY:

Savings or checking accounts may have either a variable APY or fixed APY. A variable APY fluctuates and changes with macroeconomic conditions, while a fixed APY does not change (or changes much less frequently). One type of APY isn’t necessarily better than the other. While locking into a fixed APY sounds appealing, consider periods when the Federal Reserve is raising rates and APYs increase each month.

Most checking, savings, and money market accounts have variable APYs, though some promotional bank accounts or bank account bonuses may have a higher fixed APY up to a specific level of deposits. For example. a bank may reward 5% APY on the first $500 deposited, then pay 1% APY on all other deposits.

**APY And Risk:**

In general, investors are usually awarded higher yields when they take on greater risk or agree to make sacrifices. The same can be said regarding the APY of checking, saving, and certificate of deposits.

When a consumer holds money in a checking account, the consumer is asking to have their money on demand to pay for expenses. At a given notice, the consumer may need to pull out their debit card, buy groceries, and draw down their checking account. For this reason, checking accounts often have the lowest APY because there is no risk or sacrifice for the consumer.

When a consumer holds money in a savings account, the consumer may not have an immediate need. The consumer may need to transfer funds to their checking account before it can be used. Alternatively, you cannot write checks from normal savings accounts. For this reason, savings accounts usually have higher APYs than checking accounts because consumers face greater limits with savings accounts.

**What Annual APY Can Tell You:**

Any investment is ultimately judged by its rate of return, whether it’s a certificate of deposit (CD), a share of stock, or a government bond. The rate of return is simply the percentage of growth in an investment over a specific period, usually one year. But rates of return can be difficult to compare across different investments if they have different compounding periods. One may compound daily, while another compounds quarterly or biannually.

Comparing rates of return by simply stating the percentage value of each over one year gives an inaccurate result, as it ignores the effects of compounding interest. It is critical to know how often that compounding occurs, since the more often a deposit compound, the faster the investment grows. This is because every time it compounds the interest earned over that period is added to the principal balance and future interest payments are calculated on that larger principal amount.

**Conclusion:**

When the APY is the same as the interest rate that is being paid on a person’s investment, he is earning simple interest. When the APY is higher than the interest rate, however, the interest is being compounded, which means he is earning interest on his accumulating interest.

People sometimes confuse APY with APR. APR refers to the annual interest rate without taking compounding interest into account. APY, on the other hand, does take into account the effects of compounding within a year. The difference between the two can have important implications for borrowers and investors.

When financial institutions are looking for clients for interest-bearing investments, such as money market accounts and certificates of deposit, it is in their best interests to promote their best APY, not their APR. APY is higher than APR, so it looks like a better investment for the client.

The more frequent the compounding periods, the higher the APY. Thus, people who save money in their bank accounts should check how often the money is compounded. Typically, daily or quarterly is better than annual compounding, but make sure to check the quoted APY for each option beforehand.

APY in banking is the actual rate of return you will earn on your checking or savings account. As opposed to simple interest calculations, APY considers the compounding effect of prior interest earned generating future returns. For this reason, APY will often be higher than simple interest, especially if the account compounds often.