Savings V. Investing, Either Or or Both

JONESBORO (KAIT) The economic news today is grim with the unemployment rising to all time highs.  Those us of with capital on our hands are having trouble deciding what to do with our money, Do we put it in a bank in savings? Or is it still safe to invest?

The key is to not stop saving or planning for the future. Even if your employer has stopped paying into your 401k you still need to be making contributions.

In January the government announced that personal savings rate has jumped to 5 percent the highest since 1995.

At the Bancorp South main office I asked Caryl Steele, a marketing officer if it was a good time to save money.

Steele, "Absolutely, it is never not a good time to save money. Saving money is something we always want people to do we just want people to save."

Every bank may call their programs something different but they all have many options for you to choose from.

Steele, "At Bancorp South we have savings accounts, we have certificates of deposit, we also have annuities."

And saving at a bank is safe, guaranteed by the FDIC for up to 150 thousand per depositor.

Steele says every bank has the FDIC signs posted.

Feeling pretty good about savings I headed over to Wachovia Securities to visit with Fran Bell an Investment counselor.

Fran says it is a good time to invest if you are not in a hurry for your money.

Bell,"If you don't need your money for 5, 10, 15 years then yes, you need to invest."

Fran also says to be prepared for fluctuations in the market, how you would deal with a 50 percent loss. You have to know how much you can afford to invest and still have enough to live on.

But can you make money in the market right now?

Bell, "There are stocks out there that are making money, you have to do a lot more research. An awful lot of people come in and say my friend at the coffee cop said I need to buy this or that maybe it's a good tip, maybe it's not."

Whether you decide to invest in the market or get a savings account you need to get good professional advice, either from an investment counselor or your local banker. And each person deals with their money differently.

Caryl Steele, "What might be a good solution for one customer may not be a good solution for another person.