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Why it could be better to buy Westpac shares instead of using its savings accounts

The current interest rate on a Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) eSaver savings account is 2.51% for the first five months (for new customers) and then just 0.5% per annum thereafter. This is broadly in line with what’s on offer with the rest of the big four banks.

At the last reading, Australian inflation stood at 1.8%, which means that if your money is in a savings account earning just the standard variable rate of 0.5% per annum, your savings are actually losing 1.3% of their value to inflation each year.

It is for this reason that I would consider skipping savings accounts and putting my money to work in the share market.

After all, over the last 30 years the share market has provided an average return of 9% per annum according to data by Fidelity.

Here are three shares that I think would be great places to invest right now:

CSL Limited (ASX: CSL)

CSL is one of the world’s leading biotherapeutics companies and arguably the highest quality company on the Australian share market. I believe its strong core business, heavy investment in research and development, and fast-growing Seqirus business have positioned it perfectly to continue growing its earnings at a solid rate over the next decade.

SEEK Limited (ASX: SEK)

I think this job listings giant could be a great buy and hold investment option. Due to its leadership position in the Australian market and its fast-growing international businesses, I expect SEEK to provide strong returns for shareholders over the long term. Especially if its China-based Zhaopin continues its impressive form. In the first half Zhaopin grew revenue by 39% to $319 million and EBITDA by 13%.

Westpac Banking Corp.

Rather than having my funds in one of its savings accounts, I would prefer to buy this banking giant’s shares. Especially given the generous dividend yield they offer at current levels. If Westpac maintains its $1.98 per share dividend again in FY 2019, its shares will provide investors with a fully franked 6.9% yield.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro owns shares of SEEK Limited and Westpac Banking. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended SEEK Limited. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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