Banks may seem all-powerful, but without individuals and companies providing the funds, banks cannot operate. Whether you choose to invest in a simple savings account or in stock purchases made through your bank, investing in your bank can help the business and your own personal financial savings.
Basic Savings Account
A savings account is the simplest way to invest money in the bank. You deposit a certain amount, and the bank pays you interest on that amount. The interest rates paid out on savings accounts are low, but with most savings accounts you can access your funds at any time. The bank uses your money to loan out to borrowers at a higher interest rate, enabling them to provide funds and make profit while essentially sharing that profit with you.
An Individual Retirement Account (IRA) is a way to save money and avoid taxes while investing. You can set up an IRA account through your bank. Most offer a choice of various mutual funds, stocks and bonds as the means of saving.
529 College Savings Plan
A 529 College Savings Plan allows you to set up an account for your child’s higher-education costs. You pay no taxes on the account’s earnings, there are no income limitations, and most have no age limits on when the savings can be used. If the particular child chooses not to go to college, the account can be deferred to another family member. If the child gets a scholarship and doesn’t need all the money for college costs, the excess can be withdrawn without paying additional penalties. It’s a good way to ensure your child can afford college and to invest in your bank in the meantime.
One of the most popular choices for investing in the bank, a certificate of deposit (CD) is basically a closed savings account. You put money in, and you cannot access it (without a penalty) for a certain amount of time. There are 5-year and 10-year cds, and the interest rate on a CD is significantly higher than it would be on a regular savings account. At the end of the term for the CD, you can either withdraw your money or re-invest it.
An index fund is one of the safest ways to invest money in the stock market. Investing in an index fund and using your bank as the broker gives them the opportunity to get the commission of your purchases and sales, rather than paying those to an individual broker or brokerage firm.