Is your money really safe?

The Ticker

January 07, 1991|By Julius Westheimer

In the wake of severe problems in some of Rhode Island's banks and credit unions -- at the weekend five banks and 11 credit unions there were not able to get federal insurance and will not open soon (shades of the l985 Maryland savings and loan crisis) -- many people here are asking, 'How safe are my credit union deposits?" Probably quite safe. Although l3 credit unions in Maryland are still not federally insured ($60 million in deposits), their private insurer appears to have more than adequate reserve coverage.

That said, however, I strongly suggest that credit union depositors ask, "Is my money federally insured?" (there's no middle ground; it's either yes or no), because only then can you make an intelligent decision about whether to leave your money there or withdraw it. (The official name of the federal insurer is the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund). If your money is federally insured, I recommend you get that statement in writing. If it isn't, you face a decision. (Doing nothing is a decision too.) As we've said before, it's your money, and nobody cares as much about it as you should.


What industries will be best and worst in 1991? Here, from Business Week, Jan. 14, on newsstands this week, are brief excerpts on what may lie ahead for your job and/or your business: "Because steel is already lean, there will be little pain . . . Chemical shipments could rise 5 percent, also after-tax profits . . . Consumers don't have to buy new cars in a recession, but they do have to eat; food processors will fare better than many other industries this year . . . We'll hear fewer rings on retail cash registers . . . The nation's health care system faces more surgery in 1991; Congress will again try to curb Medicare spending . . . Transportation will be horrible; airlines have more to worry about than oil and recession . . . Restaurants will do well by being big, chains will gain share . . . The world is Hollywood's oyster; the world clamors for hit movies, videos and CDs . . . Computers will see lots of downtime . . . Drugs just keep getting healthier . . . No holiday for the banks." (The $2.50 issue is worth buying.)


"Career strategies are more important now than ever," states career-counselor Nella Barkley, president, Crystal-Barkley Corp., New York. She states, in part: "Learn to make whatever skills you have relevant to what you enjoy doing . . . Instead of waiting for someone to give you a promotion or raise, take action so that you control your next move . . . If you want a raise, propose how you can make the company more money so you can get a piece of it . . . Don't stay in the same job too long; it's the saddest mistake of all. The first day on a new job, start thinking about your next move." (Many of Barkley's ideas are from "What Color Is Your Parachute?" by Richard Nelson Bolles, $9.95.)


"You can plan for tomorrow today but you can't plan for today tomorrow," runs the first sentence in Middle Fixed-Income Letter (January), suggesting everyone look into IRA (Individual Retirement Account) opportunities. Excerpts: "Money you contribute is tax deductible (with some income limitations); a wide range of choices may be suitable for your IRA; it's certainly a plan to look into for retirement, an excellent vehicle for future income." Your banker, broker or insurance person has details . . . "Before you decide to retire, take a week off and watch daytime TV." (Bits & Pieces).

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