Bill Gerhard: Hi! I am Bill Gerhard, Director of Financial services for AAA. In today's discussion of building a sound saving strategy, I'll focus on where to go to open an account.
You can save with the bank, both online in Bricks and Mortar, a mutual fund in stock brokerage firms, insurance companies or a credit union. More recently a finite groups are working with banks to offer CDs. These groups can leverage your large membership, to get preferred rates. AAA is a good example, of an affinity group.
The best interest rates shouldn't be your only deciding factor though when choosing where to invest your money. High rates may signal a problem with the institution or just a need for funds. So check the interest rate out, but also consider some additional factors, which we'll discuss.
Your first question should be, is my investment insured by the FDIC or NCUSIF which insures funds and credit unions, if not keep looking. Next, check to see if there are any maintenance or management fees. Also look for provider that offers you a range of savings vehicles; online banking options and quick access to information through an easy to navigate website and toll free number.
You also, want to check the organization's overall reputation per performance and customer service with the better business bureau. If you are considering a bank or credit union check out its safety and security rating. You can check out banks online, at www.
com and www.
gov. Check credit union at www.
If you are considering saving through an affinity group such as AAA, check the rating of the banking partner. If you have savings accounts in several places, you may also want to consider consolidating your IRA, CDs and money market accounts into one place. This may simplify account administration, elevate your status to a preferred customer in even lower fees. Just be careful you don't exceed the insurance cap.
I hope this overview will encourage you to explore all your options to find the organization that meets your financial needs. AAA offers the information in this series for educational purposes only. Carefully consider objectives, risk, expenses and tax implications before investing.
Up next, I'll provide tips that will help you start putting what you have learned to use. We'll talk about setting and achieving your financial goals.