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So i have $10,000 in an account and i'm only making around $1 per month interest on it. It's not doing much and i want to make it work harder.

What are some better (safe) ways for me to invest / move it? Are CDs a good idea?

closed as off-topic by Michael, Nathan L, Dheer, JoeTaxpayer Aug 15 '17 at 18:57

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions seeking product or service recommendations are off-topic because they tend to become obsolete quickly. Instead, describe your situation and the specific problem you're trying to solve." – Michael, JoeTaxpayer
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  • Is this all your savings? Is it more than you need for 6 months of expenses? Many people keep 6 months worth of expenses saved up in savings accounts/CD's, and beyond that they'll expose a portion of their money to market risk for a higher return. I get ~0.75% for savings, and 2.3% for CD's on my emergency fund. There is a penalty for withdrawing funds from a CD early, but the penalty is just some number of months of interest, is 6 months interest on a 5 year CD, so as long as you leave it for more than 6 months you don't lose money, shorter CD's have shorter penalty periods. – Hart CO Aug 15 '17 at 14:40
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Based on your question, I am going to assume your criterion are:

  1. Risk: loss of principle must be negligible
  2. Gains: must have greater returns than a about 0.12% per year
  3. Minimum investment: Can invest around $10,000

Based on these, I believe you'd be interested in a different savings account, a CD, or money market account. Savings account can get you up to 1.3% and money market accounts can get up to 1.5%.

CDs can get you a little more, but they're a little trickier. For example, a 5 year CD could get up to 2%. However, now you're money is locked away for the next few years, so this is not a good option if this money is your emergency fund or you want to use it soon. Also, if interest rates increase then your money market and savings accounts' interest rates will increase but your CD's interest rate misses out. Conversely, if interest rates drop, you're still locked into a higher rate.

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    I believe this is the best answer - it involves no change to the OPs current risk profile and would net roughly $130-$150 in interest per year. In short, it would be safe and allow his money to work 100-150x 'harder'. – Andy Aug 15 '17 at 18:11
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There are many considerations before deciding on the best place for your funds:

How liquid do you need the funds to be? If this is for an emergency fund I would keep at least some in an account that you have instant access to,

What is your risk (volatility) tolerance? Would you be OK with the value dropping by as much as 30% in a year knowing that over time you'll probably earn 8-12% on it? If not, then equity funds or other stock investments are probably not the best move for you.

Do you need the funds now or are they for long-term (retirement) savings? Are you eligible to fund an IRA? That would defer your taxes until you withdraw the funds from the account, but there are age restrictions that you must heed to avoid penalties.

Are CDs a good idea?

They do pay decent interest, but in return for that you lock up your funds for a set period of time.

All that to say that there are many facets to determining the best place for your funds. If you provide more specifics you can get a more specific answer.

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I disagree with most of the answers here so far because they are either too risky or too conservative and don't take taxes and retirement into consideration. OP, keep in mind the higher the potential return, the greater the risk. You haven't stated your risk tolerance, but consider the following:

  1. Pick a certain percentage of your $10k to invest for the long term. Pick a low-cost index fund like the S&P500 Index. Historically this investment does well in the long run, and it gets you started in investing.

  2. Keep the balance, the money you will need for the short term, right where it is not earning much interest.

  3. Have you started saving for retirement? Consider starting a Roth IRA (if you are in the USA) with some of the money for tax advantages.

It's up to you to decide how much you should invest and how much you need to keep on hand for emergencies or short-term needs. There are plenty related questions on this forum you can browse.

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What is your risk tolerance? Personally I invest about $5k in digital currency as an experiment. A lot of people told me I am stupid, which I agree at some point. I plan to let the money sit for 5~10 years. I can tell you there is a lot of emotion in the digital currency though.

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Put the whole lot into a couple of low-cost broad index funds with dividends reinvested (also known as accumulation funds) and then don't look at them. Invest through a low-cost broker. There are a number to choose from and once you start googling around the theme of "index fund investing" you'll find them.

The S&P 500 is a popular index to start with.

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    Not a bad answer, but what if the $10,000 is for college tuition in 3 months and the OP can't afford to have the value drop by 10%? – D Stanley Aug 15 '17 at 13:53
  • @D Stanley : I suspect you already know the answer to that question. – Moschops Aug 15 '17 at 18:30
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    No, I don't, which is the point of the comment. There's a lot that needs to be considered before recommending a specific investment. Your suggestion is not a bad investment in general, but it might be inappropriate for the OP specifically. – D Stanley Aug 15 '17 at 18:35
  • @ D Stanley : Oh, OK. Well then, I can answer your question. If the OP can't afford to have it drop by 10% in the next three months, then the OP should be careful not to invest in anything that has a real risk of that drop. This would rule out funds and effectively leave only CDs, savings accounts and the like. Did you really not know? It was a very prescient question if you really didn't know. – Moschops Aug 15 '17 at 18:40
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    S&P 500 Index funds are not some generic catch-all investment strategy. Right now the money is in a 0.12% insured savings account; is the stock market really the next movement from there? The question asks about CDs specifically, and you've jumped directly in to "put the money in the stock market" while ignoring risk levels and the idea of CDs as an option completely. What is this money intended to be used for? What is the investment horizon? Neither of those questions is answered in the question as it's been posed (which is likely why there are three votes to close this question). – quid Aug 15 '17 at 18:42

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