Your Questions About How To Invest In Bonds

William asks…

What is the best way to save for a car?

I’m 15 and I hoping to get a job this summer and make at most $2500. What would be the best way to make that money grow for a year until I can get a car? Should I invest in the stock market, invest in bonds or what? What kind of financial institution should i go to? Credit union, or my normal bank? I currently have no savings anywhere.

John answers:

With $2500 I suggest a savings account. Dont invest it, you are too young to understand what you are doing and could easily loose it all.

There are online banks (like INGDirect, which I use) which offer good interest rates, but you still need a bank account in your neighborhood in order to do that.

Lisa asks…

What is the benefit of whole life insurance?

My husband and I have been advised to buy a significant amount of whole life insurance as a safe way to invest. We have just started our family and I am a little wary. I am not really sure I understand why it would be better to do this than to invest in bonds, annuities, etc. Any ideas? answers?

John answers:

You do NOT want to invest in whole life. First, your savings are generally going to gain very small interest amounts. Second If somthing happens and one of you passes away, your benefit will not be that large. Third, whole life is expensive and the amount of money can seriously effect a budget, especially for a growing family.

Instead of a whole life program you want to invest in term life insurance, and invest the difference. This is where you are only insured for thirty years or so and then the insurance ends. First, term insurance is cheap, it is not going to be a big piece of your monthly spending. Second of all your benefit if one of you dies is much larger, You can get ten times the coverage for less money. Third, you will not need tons of life insurance in thirty years when your children have left the house and made it on thier own.

For your savings, simply open a ROTH IRA account. When you make the term insurance payment take the extra money you would have spent on whole life and put it in the ROTH. If you do this you will see significantly more savings when you retire, and it will not be taxed as income when you take it out. This plan will leave you with more money in the long run,and more flexability in
the short run.

Michael asks…

What is a good overview book on investment management?

I’m starting an internship very soon at an investment management company, and I could use a refresher, to say the least. I’m looking for a concise book that explains the basics of investing (stocks, bonds, mutual funds, options, etc) so I don’t sound like an idiot when I show up to work. Preferably a book available in ebook form. I suppose a sufficiently detailed web article would work as well. Thanks, from my boss as well haha.

John answers:

How to invest, by benjamin franklin, its available free of cost

Ken asks…

What is the best way to invest savings bonds?

My kids have well meaning grandparents who send savings bonds for birthdays and holidays and I have no idea what to do with them. I have thought about putting them in a mutual fund at some point. Does anyone know what amount of money you have to have to start one up?

John answers:

Most mutual funds require minimum amounts of around $2,000 to $3,000 to open an account. If you’re thinking of redeeming the savings bonds and using the money to open a mutual fund account, beware of the early redemption penalty on the bonds (3 months interest). And they cannot be redeemed until they are at least 12 months old. If your kids are under 18, the mutual fund company will want you or another parent to sign the account papers, since the kids won’t be old enough to enter into legal contracts themselves.

If the savings bonds are small amounts (like $25 or $50), and the total is nowhere near $2,000 or $3,000, there’s nothing wrong with just letting the savings bonds accrue interest. While the interest rates aren’t high, they are reliable (because the U.S. Government stands behind the bonds). In 15 years time, they’ll probably compound into a nontrivial value. Remember the power of compounding (see the webpage listed below). Maybe the bonds can help the kids cover their college expenses.

Daniel asks…

what stock is good for gold and bonds to invest?

iam considering investing in some differant directions, one would be in gold and two may be in bonds, so what would be a good way to invest in gold in the stock market, and what bonds would be good to invest, i have allways heard when the economy is in a slump its good to invest in bonds.

John answers:

If you’re going to invest in gold, then just buy gold. Gold stocks are a completely different thing- they are an investment in a mining company. Some mining companies are well run, others are scams. It’s almost impossible for the average investor to tell the difference, and even a well-run mining company can make a mistake.

You invest in gold by going to a local coin shop and buying bullion. A one-ounce Krugerrand is a great way to start, if you can afford it. It’ll run you somewhere around $900 right now.

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