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What Is a Deposit Note?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 16 October 2014
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A deposit note is a type of certificate of deposit that is configured to allow the financial institution holding the note to redeem it before the projected maturity date. When this happens, the owner of the deposit note receives the full amount originally invested in the note, plus any interest that has accrued up to the date the note is settled in full. Deposit notes may be offered through banks, brokers, and other financial institutions, and usually come with a long maturity date.

One of the benefits of a deposit note is that this type of negotiable CD is issued with a settlement date that is further into the future than other forms of the certificate of deposit. It is not unusual for the note to have a maturity of as much as five years. This is in contrast to other forms of CDs that may have a maturity date of 18 months. In addition, the notes are usually offered for sale at a set amount and for a specific period of time. At the same time, the issuing institution also retains the ability to redeem the notes early if certain events should take place what would make that action viable.

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The way that interest is calculated on the balance of the deposit note is also a little different from other forms of the certificate of deposit. In most cases, the process calls for using an accrual method that assumes a 360-day year, with each month having a total of 30 days. This factor can be important to keep in mind, especially if the amount of the deposit note is significant. Investors can easily project the return from purchasing the note in comparison to similar investment opportunities by allowing for differences in the duration of the investments and the way the interest is calculated.

As with many other types of investments available through financial institutions, a deposit note generally carries a lower level of risk. The notes usually do offer a little more in the way of interest than investments carrying a similar level of risk. Assuming that an investor can afford to have the funds tied up in the deposit note for a five year period, this approach can be a great way to set aside funds for some future project and earn the best possible interest on the balance while still avoiding taking on a great deal of risk.

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