money markets, cd's, mutual funds, etc.

Farmgirl22

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My hubby and I have been thinking about putting some money into a money market account or something similar. Has anyone had any experience with this kind of thing? Some suggestions about what path to take or whatever? Where do you go to research these things to get an idea of which one to go for? I have a couple of cd's, but they don't have very good interest rates, and the inability to access them makes it not so great of an idea. Anyway, advice and information is VERY welcome! Thanks in advance for your help!!
 

Farmgirl22

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I'm scared to play in the stock market. I don't have the time to study it all the time, and while I know that money can be made in stocks, they are too risky...I'd like something safer...preferably (but maybe not realistically) I would like something that will not let me lose my principal...we can't afford to lose money, but it would be great to make it...do you know what I mean??

I've heard about a group called Primerica, one of my friends tried to recruit me into it, but I just wouldn't go for it. Anyway, they are tied to Citigroup, and supposedly Smith-Barney has something (thinking money market, but could be wrong) that could bring in up to 15% or something...it's been a couple of years since I heard about this, so I am not positive as to the accuracy of my thoughts, but are the rates really that good? I was suspicious of their methods, which was why I didn't join primerica, but if they are really going to pull in that kind of money with minimal risk, I'd be interested...along with everyone else...HAHA!!

So since Candy is good at this, how do I get her attention? Or is her forte more with stocks?
 
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http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/ripoff64414.htm

Primerica seems to be a ripoff. If your friend is trying to "recruit" you into anything, go far, far away.

You can invest in anything that is on the stock market, be it mutual funds, etc. I'd recommend Scottrade. Research, buy, and keep watch. Nothing is certain and does require diligence on your behalf. To begin with Sottrade, you have to invest $500, not sure if that is something you can do. There is another option, Sharebuilder, but they have a limited selection of stocks. You can start with them at any amount of money.
 
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I have a Roth IRA I started for my son. You can invest up to $3,000 per year into the account. The great thing about a Roth is that it's tax free. Once you close it, all the money is yours as long as it stayed open for the required length of time - 5 years I think.
 
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Believe it or not, I work with someone whose wife works for Primerica, they are totally into the whole scheme - it sounds like a pyramid deal to me, but she is making money (even to the point that she quit her day job years ago to do it full time) and they win trips all the time..... I haven't asked too many questions, as I didn't want to be pressured into it. Part of it seems to be refinancing your debt with the purpose of freeing up money that they then have you invest with them.

If you need access to you money, then mutual funds or stocks are not the way to go, they only give you a high return if you can leave the money in for an extended period of time, at least 5 years or more. I've heard American Funds is a good established mutual fund company. Always check the returns for 3 years and more. Stocks are only if you can afford to lose the money - it is a total gamble - I have invested in three different companies in the past - two went bankrupt :( - the third, I got in at ground level and made 5 times my investment, but that was purely being in the right place at the right time :rolleyes:

Except for retirement funds, I'm playing extremely conservative at the moment and just keep my money in CD's. ING is my favorite as they have high rates and I can do it all on the internet. I hate having to go to the bank. :p I also listen to Dave Ramsey.

Good luck (y)
 
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katonca said:
I have a Roth IRA I started for my son. You can invest up to $3,000 per year into the account. The great thing about a Roth is that it's tax free. Once you close it, all the money is yours as long as it stayed open for the required length of time - 5 years I think.
are you sure about that :confused:
 
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Roth IRA vs. Taxable Account

One of the alternatives to a Roth IRA is a regular taxable account with a bank, mutual fund or stockbroker. Either way you get no deduction when money goes in. The Roth IRA provides earnings that are tax-deferred and possibly tax-free. But if you make a taxable withdrawal of earnings from the Roth IRA, you'll report ordinary income (not long-term capital gain), and you may pay a 10% early distribution penalty.

* Choose the Roth IRA over a taxable account if you expect to qualify for tax-free distributions of the earnings. Remember, you can withdraw contributions tax-free at any time, but earnings generally have to stay in until you're 59½ and have satisfied the five-year requirement.
* If you expect to withdraw earnings when they're taxable, you're generally better off with a taxable account — especially if you're investing for long-term capital gains, or if the 10% early distribution penalty will apply.
http://www.fairmark.com/rothira/thumb.htm

this doesn't sound like what she needs right now...
 
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Thanks for the info hanna, I'll have to do more reading on this (y)

Edit: for what it's worth, this is from wikipedia:

A Roth IRA can invest in securities, usually common stocks or mutual funds (although other investments, including derivatives, notes, certificates of deposit, and real estate are possible.) As with all IRAs, there are specific eligibility and filing status requirements mandated by the Internal Revenue Service. A Roth IRA's main advantage is its tax structure. Contributions are made only from earned income that has already been taxed (and is not tax deductible), but withdrawals up to the total of contributions are federal income tax free, and withdrawals of earnings (anything above the total of contributions) are often free of federal income tax.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roth_IRA
 

Farmgirl22

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This is more what I had in mind, but if anyone knows of a reliable company with better rates with the same options, I'd like to hear about them.

*Begin thread hijack* Can you believe that this same company offers "insurance" for elective dental/vision/etc. procedures??? It's like the Wal-mart of credit companies...LOL:D !! *End of thread hijack*
 

Farmgirl22

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hannab said:
Believe it or not, I work with someone whose wife works for Primerica, they are totally into the whole scheme - it sounds like a pyramid deal to me, but she is making money (even to the point that she quit her day job years ago to do it full time) and they win trips all the time..... I haven't asked too many questions, as I didn't want to be pressured into it. Part of it seems to be refinancing your debt with the purpose of freeing up money that they then have you invest with them.
Actually, it is a pyramid deal...the "uplines" make a killing off of everyone under them. It also costs like $200 up front, AND you have to pay to take an insurance exam, which is $90...I know, because, as I said, I was a potential recruit...too much up front cost for me. I was supposed to be able to get a refund of my $200, but that didn't happen...BIG surprise there. I think that's how the "uplines" make their money...and at $200 a pop, for God only knows how many recruits a day, it's prolly not a bad deal...for them. *sigh*

Yeah, I wouldn't ask many questions if I were you either...they are pretty convincing, and they brainwash you pretty good...:eek: Plus, you are expected to go to meetings two or three times a week...on top of everything else you are doing...total pain in the butt!! However, I did get a free trip to KC and got to spend some time in a very high on the chain guy's house...and apparently, he's making d@mn good money!!

I gave up on that, and now I do the Pampered Chef thing...I'm pretty good at it, and it actually brings in some money, unlike the Primerica thing. Plus, since I'm a pretty serious cook, it's nice to get some stuff for half price. However, I personally have absolutely no intention of bringing in recruits...I'm just in it for the stuff...LOL!! How else can I get top of the line kitchen gadgets on my budget?? :p
 
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Farmgirl22 said:
This is more what I had in mind, but if anyone knows of a reliable company with better rates with the same options, I'd like to hear about them.
Try ING

http://home.ingdirect.com/

Like I said, I've been using them for years and they are FDIC insured and have always had the best rates compared to any local banks. Since everything is on line, they have lower overhead and can offer better interest rates, even on totally liquid funds. :)
 
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ING has by far the best rates of any bank. However, if you can invest in a good stock, you can get 3 times as much return as that. I invested overseas in a mutual fund which has returned 17% over a 8 month period. Look around, research, read, and ask questions.
 

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