Investing 101

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You may have been thinking of buying a home because mortgage interest rates are the lowest, they have ever been-hovering @3% per year. This really is terrific for the real estate market for what is one of the largest economic pieces to a healthy national financial recovery. But what if you’re NOT in the real estate market and just trying to make a good investment on your savings? What interest are you getting on your savings account right now? The Annual Percentage Rate quoted from First America Credit Union is 0.10%. If you want to invest in a money market by depositing $0-$4,999.99 the APY is 0.15% and for $5,000-$9,999 it’s 0.30%.  For example, if you deposit $5000 into a savings account and then contribute $100 per month at 0.15%, you’ll earn a whopping $8.32 at the end of a year on your investment.  Hell, you could hold a virtual yard sale or sell some clothes at Uptown Cheapskate that will net you more than that savings account ever will!  The Federal Reserve (aka ’the Fed’) is the central bank of the United. It’s been called the bank for all the banks in the country and one of its biggest jobs is to help economic growth and keep inflation in check by controlling interest rates.  Basically, when banks need to borrow money, they go to the Fed. Depending on what the Fed charges, the bank wanting money will then filter down to what that bank charges its customers for home loans, car loans and credit cards.  For a simple ‘Econ 101’ class we learned that when the Fed lowers interest rates when the economy isn’t doing well to help jump start a sluggish economy. Visa versa, when the economy is growing too fast, the Fed will raise its lending rates to banks.  Right now, the Fed may be moving to charge BELOW ZERO interest rates, which would be a negative interest rate. That would be like if our Fed changed its lending rate from 0.1% to –0.1%. In 2016 Japan adopted this negative interest rate policy to generate economic growth but that has proven to be a dismal failure for what had been the world’s second largest economy. This doesn’t forebode well for our country as the corona virus is causing severe economic distress with insane unemployment figures and predictions for massive business bankruptcies and permanent business closings. How do you make money then if the world is in crisis and our economy sucks? Buying stocks, bonds or annuities are risky for the uneducated investor, especially during a recession. Look hard at buying a primary residence or an investment property. Sure, I’m a REALTOR and thus suspect in my intentions, but when property values are going up at say 10% a year, that’s something to analyze and investigate deeply. A $350,000 home in two years could be worth @$424,000 given inflation. That’s a gain of $74,000. Maybe you should be in the real estate market?