# What is an Annual Percentage Yield (APY)?

Annual Percentage Yield (APY) is **a metric used to measure the effective annual interest rate earned **on a deposit or investment. It is an important tool for individuals who are looking to compare the returns of different investment options, such as savings accounts, certificates of deposit (CDs), or money market accounts. APY is expressed as a percentage and takes into account the compounding of interest over the course of a year.

APY is different from the nominal interest rate, which is the interest rate that is** paid without taking into account the effect of compounding**. For example, if a savings account has a nominal interest rate of 2% and compounds interest monthly, the APY would be higher than the nominal interest rate due to the additional interest earned on the interest already earned in the account.

APY is an important metric for investors to consider when comparing investment options. For example, a **savings account with a higher APY will generally provide a higher return** over time than a savings account with a lower APY. Investors should also consider other factors, such as the stability and security of the financial institution and any fees or charges associated with the account, when making investment decisions.

APY is also an important metric for financial institutions, as it helps them to attract and retain customers by offering competitive interest rates. Financial institutions may also use APY as a way to price different investment options, taking into account factors such as the level of risk, the stability of the institution, and the cost of funds.

In conclusion, APY is a metric that measures the effective annual interest rate earned on a deposit or investment. It takes into account the effect of compounding and provides a more accurate picture of the returns earned over time compared to the nominal interest rate. **Investors should consider APY when comparing investment options **and financial institutions may use APY as a way to price and market investment products.

## Simplified Example

The Annual Percentage Yield (APY) is like a score that shows how much money you'll get from your savings each year. Imagine you have some allowance money that you want to save for a special treat, like a big toy or a trip. Instead of keeping the money under your mattress, you put it in a special piggy bank that pays you interest every year. The APY is like a number that tells you how much interest you'll get, expressed as a percentage of the total amount you saved. Just like a high score in a game can mean you're doing better, a high APY means you'll get more money back from your savings. So, when you're choosing where to put your savings, it's important to compare the APYs to see which piggy bank will give you the most money back.

## History of the Term "Annual Percentage Yield (APY)"

The term "Annual Percentage Yield" (APY) was** first used in the 1980s in the United States**. It was introduced as a standardized way to compare the interest rates offered by different savings accounts and certificates of deposit (CDs). Prior to APY, the interest rate was often quoted as a simple annual percentage rate (APR), which did not take into account the effect of compounding.

## Examples

Savings Accounts: The Annual Percentage Yield (APY) is the total amount of interest that a savings account will earn in one year, expressed as a percentage of the account balance. For example, a savings account with an APY of 2% will earn 2% interest on the account balance each year. The APY takes into account not only the interest rate, but also the frequency of compounding, which is the process of adding interest to the account balance over time.

Certificates of Deposit: APY is also used to express the yield of Certificates of Deposit (CDs). CDs are savings products that offer a fixed interest rate for a set period of time. Consumers can use the APY to compare the yield of different CDs and to determine which CD is the best fit for their savings goals. For example, a CD with an APY of 3% will pay 3% interest on the deposit each year, and the APY takes into account the frequency of compounding, so consumers can understand the true yield of the CD.

Money Market Accounts: APY is also used to express the yield of money market accounts. Money market accounts are savings products that typically offer higher interest rates than traditional savings accounts and provide access to the funds through checks or debit cards. Consumers can use the APY to compare the yield of different money market accounts and to determine which account is the best fit for their savings needs. For example, a money market account with an APY of 1.5% will earn 1.5% interest on the account balance each year, and the APY takes into account the frequency of compounding, so consumers can understand the true yield of the account.