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How to squeeze every last dime from your investments

Aug 23, 2012, 8:36 a.m.
It's never too late to learn about money, what an investment strategy is or how to squeeze every last dime from your investments.

It's never too late to learn about money, what an investment strategy is or how to squeeze every last dime from your investments. Tips on saving money are abundant and are generated by all kinds of people, from your in-laws to a reputable New York investment firm financial advisor. Not all are good tipsters, however, or they would all be wealthy!

If you have any investments at all, it is worth your time to figure out how to get the very best return possible from those investments. Don't put all your "eggs" in one basket! CD savings accounts pay higher interest, stocks are risky but could show large gains, money market savings accounts and IRA's are less risky, but they pay better than your local bank accounts.

Most advisors tell you that as you increase in age, your investments should decrease in risk. This is because you no longer have decades to recover from problems like an economic downturn. Your goal should be to have your savings and investments earn the highest gains possible with the least risk incurred. It's like a teeter-totter. High risk = high yield or disastrous losses. Low risk = safety but not a big gain. Somewhere in between is the balance. Diversification of investments is an excellent way to spread risk and gain a little more safety.

For starters, do some general research on investments. There are many opportunities like these:

Bank accounts

Stocks

Bonds -- government, corporate

Mutual funds

Real estate

Businesses

CDs -- certificates of deposit/savings accounts

Venture capitalism

401 K

Precious metals & coins

College & education

Annuities

Insurance

Remember these important points about investing:

  • Risk -- you could lose it all
  • Time -- the more time you have before retirement, the more you can earn
  • Plan -- you need a plan to follow so you do not make snap decisions
  • Goal -- you need goals and a timeline for achieving those goals
  • Safety -- many investments do have some protection like FDIC insurance

CAUTION : If you want to get the most for your money, beware of advisors that tell you to move things around a lot. This is called "churning" investments and they make a lot of commission off you when that happens. Always find an experienced, proven investment or financial advisor before making any big money decisions.

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