DLG Wealth Management Discusses 3 Things To Do With A DollarSometimes when things seem to be too much to understand the best thing to do is go back to the basics. In the world of investments things can get quite overwhelming, so let’s slow it down and discuss the 3 things you can do with a dollar. SPEND, LEND, OR OWN. These are the only 3 things you can do with a dollar, although some would say there is a fourth - DESTROY. We will leave that to the Federal Reserve.
- If you have a dollar you can buy a hamburger, pay a bill or get a haircut. Pretty simple to understand.
- The second thing you can do with a dollar is lend it. Lending your dollar means to give your dollar to an entity that will pay you interest on your dollar for a specific length of time. The common way of lending is to give your dollar to a bank (savings account) and the bank will pay you interest as long as you keep the money in the account. Investors who want a higher rate of return from the bank can look at Certificates of Deposits (CD's). CD’s pay a higher rate of interest because you tie up your dollar for a specific time (1 month to 5 years).
- You can lend your dollar to the U.S Government (Treasuries). The government will pay you an interest rate depending on the maturity. The longer you go out, the higher the rate of interest.
- Another place to lend your money is with Corporate Bonds. By lending your dollar to a corporation (IBM, APPLE, etc) you will receive a fixed interest payment usually paid every 6 months for a specific amount of time. These corporate bonds usually pay higher interest rates than the bank but do have more risk. The longer the maturity is the higher the rate of interest. The higher the risk (can the corporation make its interest payments and pay the bond back at maturity) the higher the interest rate. All of the above examples of lending are taxable.
- You can also lend your dollar and receive a tax free interest payment. Municipal Bonds are issued by states, state agencies & local governments. The interest is federal tax free and can be state tax free if you lend within the state you reside.
- The last thing you can do with your dollar is own your dollar. You can buy a house, buy stock in a corporation, buy a business, buy collectibles or buy many other assets. Buying means you own an asset. That asset may increase or decrease in value but you own it. When you invest in a stock, you own a piece of the corporation (hoping the value goes up). Owning your dollar usually is called equity investing. As with bonds you can invest in a mutual fund to diversify your dollars owned which can lessen risk.