People who are motivated to save have a hard time trying to figure out where to put their money in order to earn good returns these days. The interest rates on traditional bank savings accounts are often stated in fractions of a percent, and that is not enough to keep up with inflation. With the economy in flux, many people are hesitant to invest in anything they don’t fully understand. The key to enjoying a comfortable future is to get your money working with you by providing you with good returns. There are still some ways to put your money to work to provide you with income for the future.
Bank Certificate of Deposit
Bank CDs are still considered very safe investments. They usually pay considerably more than simple savings accounts. This is mostly because you have to agree to keep your money deposited for the term of the CD that you buy. The interest rate usually depends upon the amount of money you have to deposit, the length of the CD, and the bank. It also pays to shop around for the best rates, so it’s important to research.
If you take your money out early, you could be forced to pay a penalty, which would obviously defeat the purpose of saving money. The term of the CD could be anywhere from a few months to a few years, so you should try to deposit money that you will not need to have access to in the near future.
Fixed Indexed Annuities
Insurance companies actually sell fixed indexed annuities. The returns on these investments are tied to some financial market, but they also have a guaranteed return rate for periods when the financial market drops. In good years, annuity owners have an opportunity to make more money than they would if they simply put money inside a bank account. In bad years, annuity owners are protected by the guaranteed minimum return.
Again, there will be surrender charges if the money is taken out early, so they should be regarded as long-term investments. Typical surrender periods last a few years.
There are funds that are managed by money & markets investing experts. These funds might concentrate on buying stocks in one type of industry, or they might diversify risks and opportunities by including a portion of shares from several different industries.
There might not be any guarantees when you invest in a mutual fund, but you can do research to find funds with very good track records. There might not be any penalties for withdrawing money early, but stocks tend to fluctuate over short periods of time. You might do better to keep your money inside of the fund for a few years.
There are obviously advantages and disadvantages to all of these different investment strategies. You may have personal constraints that prevent some of them from being the right answer for you. It is best to weigh risk verses reward to see with idea will best fit your needs.