What the Wall Street Crisis Means for Your Money


Washington Mutual (Stock Quote: WM) is causing depositors and investors to worry. Bank of America (Stock Quote: BAC) looks like it's getting bigger! The name of your bank might change in the next few months, but here's what remains unchanged in the world of finance:

Your Deposits Are Still Safe.
For starters, what is unlikely to change is the value of your deposits, thanks to FDIC provisions. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation ensures bank accounts per individual per bank up to $100,000. Separately, a joint account you own with a spouse or partner is backed by another $100,000 per account per bank. Additionally, any retirement account you hold at a bank, like an IRA, is insured up to another $250,000. If you have more than the insured limit in an account, you may want to open an additional savings account at a separate bank. Compare rates at www.bankingmyway.com

Cash Rules.
Investors are rebalancing their portfolios to boost their exposure to cash as you read this. Make sure – especially if you’re risk-averse and approaching retirement - that you don’t have too much exposure to equities right now. Cash is proving more and more to be king, evidenced by this morning’s rally in the Treasuries market.

Borrowing Won’t Be Easier.
At present, a 700 or better FICO score, stellar credit, proof of income and cash in the bank are all minimum requirements to qualify for a bank loan. The latest developments in the banking world mean those standards are no doubt going to elevate. Now is not a time to slack off on paying your bills or charge up your credit card - especially if you hope to get a mortgage, car loan or any private loan in the next year.

Catch more of Farnoosh’s advice on Real Simple. Real Life. on TLC, Friday nights at 8 p.m.

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