Safe Havens in a Crazy Market
With the uncertainty in the stock market, some people, particularly the elderly, might be wondering where to put their money. It does stand to reason that the greater the risk, the greater the potential for higher returns. Still, with the existing climate, a relatively sure thing with lower gains might not be so bad. While some people may wish to sit tight with their present allocation and ride out the storm, others are looking for secure havens. The following list briefly summarizes a few ideas to consider if protecting principal is vital to your sleeping patterns.
- Savings Account-Savings accounts pay specified interest rates, and your money is usually unrestrictedly available. Credit unions, banks, and savings and loans are three institution examples that offer this type of account. The money is generally FDIC insured up to $100,000 for a single account and up to $200,000 for a joint account.
- Treasury Bills-Treasury Bills are short term notes you buy from the government. You can purchase T-Bills from Federal Reserve banks or investment firms. The bills could be 30 days, 60 days, 90 days, etc., and are guaranteed by the government. They are bought at a discounted rate, but when they mature, the full amount is paid. The interest rate is extremely low, but the money is secure. It’s somewhat similar to placing your cash in a home vault for a specified period of time.
- CD’s-Certificates of Deposit are insured by the FDIC up to $100,000, so this is also a safe option. Unlike a regular savings account, though, the money is tied up for a specified term (3 months, 6 months, 9 months, etc.). The more money you put in and the longer the term, usually the higher the interest rate (but this is not a steadfast rule). At the end of the allotted time, both the original investment and interest can be withdrawn. It’s important to mention that if the money is taken out before the maturity date, an interest penalty may apply.
- Money Market Funds-Money Market Funds are similar to savings accounts. However, they generally require a minimum amount, perhaps $1,000, to open the account. They usually offer a higher interest rate than a regular savings account, but the number of withdrawals per month is limited. Bank-issued money market funds are FDIC protected up to $100,000 for a single account and up to $200,000 for a joint account. Investment firm money market funds might not be FDIC insured, so it is always important to check.
Some individuals will leave their investments “as is” until a clearer understanding of current market trends become known. Others might wish to sacrifice the possibility of higher returns for peace of mind. If you are concerned about your money, it is always wise to sit down with an investment advisor or bank representative to go over your savings options.