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Notes on Personal CD Investing: IRAs - Part 1

Notes on Personal CD Investing: IRAs - Part 1

As the readers of DepositAccounts.com know, rate chasing is a great way to maximize the interest you earn from CDs. However, rate chasing has complications, and that’s especially the case for CDs held inside IRAs. A long-time reader and friend of the site, Charles Rechlin, has graciously offered to share his experience in CD investing inside IRAs. Charles has many years of experience with multiple IRA CDs at banks, credit unions, and brokerage firms. I’m very thankful that Charles was willing to share his experience in two guest posts. Part one is below. Part two will be published next week. Update: Part two has now been published and is available here.

Notes on Personal CD Investing: IRAs - Part 1

by Charles Rechlin

Like many seniors who follow this site, I have a meaningful individual retirement account (IRA) nest-egg, accumulated over many years.

Being risk-averse, I’ve invested pretty much all my IRA assets in federally-insured certificates of deposit. About half are in traditional IRA CDs established directly with banks and credit unions (direct CDs); the other half in CDs held in traditional IRA accounts at online brokerage firms (brokered CDs).

As with most things financial, I’ve found both advantages and disadvantages in each type of CD investment. However, as time has passed, and managing my IRA portfolio has become more complicated, I’ve increasingly steered my IRA assets away from direct CDs and into brokered CDs.

Direct IRA CDs

Because IRS rules permit taxpayers to have more than one traditional IRA, I’ve been able to invest my IRA assets in direct CDs at multiple banks and credit unions.

My IRA CDs have included nationally-available accounts at online banks such as Ally, CIT and Synchrony, and accounts at local brick-and-mortar banks such as Rabobank and First Republic. IRA CDs at credit unions have included those of giants PenFed and Alliant (nationally-available) as well as tiny, Riverside, CA-based RAFE Federal.

Direct IRA CDs have a number of attractions for me, in addition to the obvious one of up to $250,000 in FDIC or NCUA deposit insurance separate from the insurance on my other accounts.

although direct IRA CDs, like standard CDs, generally impose restrictions on, and penalties for, early withdrawals, many banks and credit unions have a special exception permitting early withdrawals, without penalty, to allow meeting annual required minimum distribution (RMD) obligations after age 70-1/2.

First, at most banks and credit unions that offer them, IRA CDs usually pay the same rates as those posted for standard CDs of identical maturities. So, if the bank’s or credit union’s regular CD rates are competitive, its IRA CD rates are as well.

Often, but not always, IRA CDs are included in special CD rate promotions. And sometimes, institutions will offer a premium rate on IRA CDs not available for standard CDs.

Because paid interest can be added back to principal, IRA CDs also permit compounding at the rate borne by my CD, without incurring current taxes on that interest.

Moreover, although direct IRA CDs, like standard CDs, generally impose restrictions on, and penalties for, early withdrawals, many banks and credit unions have a special exception permitting early withdrawals, without penalty, to allow meeting annual required minimum distribution (RMD) obligations after age 70-1/2.

Of course, IRA CD terms vary from institution to institution. And some banks and credit unions charge maintenance and other fees to IRA CD customers. Thus, I’ve had to pay close attention to the fine print of account documentation, Truth in Savings Act disclosures and fee schedules.

To my mind, the major downside of direct IRA CDs is the cumbersome nature of opening and closing accounts. More often than not, when an IRA CD matures at an institution, the renewal rates posted at that institution can be improved upon, sometimes significantly, by moving the funds into a CD at another institution.

This requires a full-blown transfer, and that’s where the problem lies, particularly with so-called "trustee-to-trustee" transfers.

To my mind, the major downside of direct IRA CDs is the cumbersome nature of opening and closing accounts.

Although some online banks have simplified the process to a degree, a trustee-to-trustee transfer remains mired in pre-Internet-era hard-copy paperwork and snail mail requirements that are time-consuming and prone to error, including funds transfers by check rather than electronic means.

A trustee-to-trustee transfer can also take many weeks to complete, even if done correctly. Almost always, unless an IRA savings or money market account can be established at the existing institution, transfer requests must be initiated well in advance of an IRA CD’s maturity date to avoid the running of the renewal grace period.

Because of the built-in delay in moving funds, IRA CDs aren’t ideal instruments for "rate-chasers" like me. Many banks and credit unions won’t honor a posted CD rate during the prolonged transfer period, reserving the right to change it up to the moment the old bank’s check arrives.

Although the rollover transfer proved much more efficient than the normal trustee-to-trustee transfer, the IRS limits you to only one rollover every 12 months from all your IRA accounts. Trustee-to-trustee transfers are not limited.

Some top-tier online banks, however, show sympathy for the plight of the IRA customer by locking in the rate for a limited period. For example, Ally expressly gives you 90 days to finish the process. CIT informally offers 60 days.

I recently experimented with bypassing the trustee-to-trustee transfer process by engaging in a "rollover" transfer—i.e., taking an otherwise taxable distribution out of the balance of a maturing CD at one institution and then reinvesting it in a new IRA CD account at another within 60 days, thereby avoiding taxes on the distributed funds.

Although the rollover transfer proved much more efficient than the normal trustee-to-trustee transfer, the IRS limits you to only one rollover every 12 months from all your IRA accounts. Trustee-to-trustee transfers are not limited.

Because of the time, effort and risk involved in opening and closing IRA CDs, I’ve increasingly moved funds from maturing CDs to my IRA accounts at online broker-dealers Fidelity Investments and Vanguard Brokerage. I then invest those funds in brokered CDs, as I will describe in Part 2.

Anonymous   |     |   Comment #1
You can speed up the process and get an IRA transferred within one week time if you fax the IRA transfer documentation and wire the IRA funds that are being transferred to the receiving institution.  In most cases, the wire fee may cost $20 to $25 but in most cases, the added interest rate that you receive will make up the difference.  
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #20
In my experience, multiple banks have required hard copy paperwork/signatures and refused to accept faxes related to IRAs.  Be sure to check in advance!
ChasR   |     |   Comment #31
I agree with Comment # 20.  I recently transferred IRA funds by t-to-t transfer from Androscoggin Bank to Fidelity Investments.  Androscoggin told me they would accept a faxed IRA transfer request from Fidelity, so I wrote that and the bank's fax number on the paperwork I submitted to Fidelity. Fidelity, I believe, still sent it out by snail mail.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #33
I have done it both ways - snail mail and FBO check deposit for small IRA amounts, but for larger IRA amounts, my records show that I have done the wiring/faxing method eighteen different times.  So not doubting your word on this, but for me I have not had a problem with the credit unions and banks that I have dealt with.  It is still a pain to do the transfer, lots of followup is required to help expedite it along the way, but for the extra interest rate that you are going for, it adds up to quite a bit over a lifetime.  I do brokerage IRA CD's also when their rates are the best, but currently I think you will find that they are not so good.
ChasR   |     |   Comment #34
Whatever our individual successes or failures are in t-to-t transfers, I think we can all agree with one comment made by a reader on this site in 2014:
"I hate, hate, hate trustee to trustee transfers. They are a pain in the ****, but with the new rules for rollovers there is really no alternative."
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #35
If one does not "chase" rates for IRAs...they are local IRAs.  If local (all mine are), then I have a check cut from one trustee made payable to the other trustee...pick it up and carry to the next trustee...painless.  I do the same thing for QCDs, i.e. check from trustee to charity and I pick up and deliver or mail as the case may be...painless.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #2
All depends how the check is written:

"It's important to note that the rule doesn't apply to trustee-to-trustee transfers, the type of transfer that is done between brokerages. If a check is involved, it will be made payable to the brokerage or bank, for benefit of the client's account, but the client won't access the funds. "You can do those all day long. You can do 15 a day if you wanted," Slott says."
pearlbrown   |     |   Comment #3
Good coverage of the process, thank you.

One thing to remember with a rollover transfer is that the "from" institution will issue a tax form at year end coded in a way which identifies the amount of the rollover transfer as a taxable distribution.     When you file your income tax return for that period, if you have completed the transfer by the 60th calendar day after the day you receive the distribution from your IRA, you must be careful to document that it is therefore NOT a taxable distribution.  In addition to completing line 15, parts a and b on Form 1040 appropriately, I also include a note with my return explaining the timing of the transactions involved to show that the 60-day window was met. 

I learned to do that after being audited one year because the IRS thought I had failed to report a significant amount of income.   My first thought on receiving the notification was that someone must have fraudulently used my SSN.  However, the amount had a familiar ring.  When I reviewed my files, realized that it coincided with the amount of an IRA rollover.  I confirmed that Form 1040, line 15 had been completed correctly according to the instructions, but apparently not to someone's satisfaction. 

Fortunately I keep careful records and composed a letter explaining why it was not taxable income.  Attaching copies of the actual documents I submitted requesting the transfer, a copy of the check made payable to me, and a copy of the overnight receipt showing delivery at the receiving institution within the appropriate time frame laid it all out clearly and the audit was closed promptly. 

This event did not dissuade me from doing other rollovers, only reminded me to be careful with the details so that I could prove everything had been done correctly. 
CharleyR (anonymous)   |     |   Comment #4
From Charley R: Thanks for the tip about the tax wrinkles.  I actually had a problem several years back when Discover Bank erroneously reported to the IRS that a trustee-to-trustee transfer I did was a taxable distribution.  Frankly, as far as I'm concerned, it's probably "one and done" for rollovers for me for the rest of my days.
BTW--I'm responding as "Anonymous" (I think) until Ken and I can change my screen name to "CharleyR" from "OldGuy" (the name I've haunted this site with in the past).  
pearlbrown   |     |   Comment #6
Soon I'll start stocking up on Pepto-Bismol because I suspect the odds of no more rollovers in my future are somewhere between slim and none :)  

I have several IRA CDs maturing over the next three years, with the first one in a couple of months. 90% are with an institution that in the past has moved slower than molasses in January.  They had wonderful rates several years ago - although unfortunately not any longer.  So, in order to get the best rates I may have to resort to moving the money myself.  Of course, since some mature within six months of one another, there will be an added complication :  keeping a careful eye on the calendar in order to avoid running afoul of the new "once every 12 months" rule.

Realistically, most may end up moving as trustee-to-trustee transfers.  I'll hope for the best and cross my fingers that the receiving institution will hold open whatever rate I find.

Old Guy/Charley R;  always enjoy your posts, regardless of what name you use.
I hate Fort Knox FCU
I hate Fort Knox FCU (anonymous)   |     |   Comment #5
Many banks (like ALLY) require a local bank's gold medallion signature guarantee on any IRA transfer-out paperwork. Additionally, Ally didn't tell me about their requirement until they received my paperwork from the new bank.  Thus, I had another 2 week delay in the transfer.

I know you haven't written the broker IRA cd section yet, but please be careful about the FDIC insurance limits on broker CDs.  You must be sure which banks you get these cds in so as to not overlap with your privately held IRA cd banks.
jimbeau   |     |   Comment #19
Earlier this year I transferred an IRA CD out of Ally and no gold medallion signature guarantee was required.  Ally used to require the paperwork to be notarized but gave up on that sometime last year.  
ChasR   |     |   Comment #29
I've had same experience as jimbeau.  Ally didn't require a signature guarantee for two transfer-outs I did in the last year.  IHFKFCU--did you have a difference in the name registration on the old and new IRA accounts?  That could have triggered it.
bwk1954   |     |   Comment #30
I tried to do an IRA CD transfer out of Ally in June 2015 and they required a medallion signature at that time.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #7
IRA CDs are bad investments. My friend started to withdraw last year and believe it or not, most of that income (over 90%) is taxable as ordinary income (since IRS says accumulated interest comes first) and he is actually paying almost 30% income tax on the money and all of the benefits and interest accumulated over the years will go to IRS as 30% penalty or tax or loss, what ever you want to call it.
I converted mine to Roth IRA years ago and could not be happier for doing that.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #8
That concern isn't specific to IRA CD's. It's true for any traditional IRA no matter where the funds are invested.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #9
#8, the subject is IRA CDs, however, you could convert or buy annuity with any IRA and spread the tax liability over 10, 15,  20 or more years and not feel the sting from IRS.
People need more education on how to avoid high taxes, I guess.
jimbeau   |     |   Comment #24
Since the annuity payout is based upon prevailing interest rates, this is hardly the time to be purchasing annuities.  Also, annuities are not guaranteed in any way, shape or form by the government - any goverment.   Annuities are backed by a pool of cash provided by the individual insurance companies.  Once that pool's exhausted, you have no recourse.   It's like that old TV game show, "Who Do You Trust?".    After what happened in 2008, the answer seems to be the FDIC and NCUSIF.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #32
#24. all of the annuities contracts are guaranteed by the states and nobody in the history of insurance has lost any money on annuities. FDIC has limits and restrictions too. You can get 3% or more minimum interest rates guaranteed for 5 years today.
jimbeau   |     |   Comment #40
They are not guaranteed by the state governments.   The state governments merely "supervise" the pool of money supplied by the insurance companies.   The state government doesn't backstop the insurance pool.  
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #38
Actually, as an Enrolled Agent, I do know a bit about taxes.

While your statement about annuities is true, that's the same as for CDs. The interest is taxable when withdrawn. If you put $100K in an IRA CD 30 years ago and it's grown to 300K, then a third of each withdrawal is return of principal. If you took a deduction when you put that $100K into the IRA, your entire withdrawal is taxed. If you had made non-deductible contributions, the $100K would be return of principal and so only 2/3 of each withdrawal would be taxable.  Again, that's not specific to CDs, it's just how IRAs work. Even if you had bought annuities in your IRA, anything you contributed pretax is taxable when withdrawn, and earnings are always taxable when withdrawn. Keep in mind that IRAs are not a tax avoidance tool, but a tax deferral tool.

If you're able to support yourself with other retirement funds and just take RMDs, it's probably not a big concern. But if you're withdrawing the majority of your living expenses from an IRA, that's going to generate taxable income no matter what you invested the money in. #7's friend got a tax benefit when he put the money into the IRAs and now it's time to pay the piper. Alterrnatively, he could have paid the taxes along the way and not be taxed now. Remember, TANSTAAFL.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #12
Every pre-tax account has a Federal tax liability. If you're in the 28% bracket, that $1,000,000 balance is worth $720,000 in your pocket. Add in (my) state taxes of 3% and the number is $690,000. Few understand this until the tax man cometh! 
jimbeau   |     |   Comment #21
If you're in a high tax bracket during your working years, regular IRA's are a good idea.  Roth IRA's aren't.   So, it really just depends on your personal experience as to which one is better.  Also, I wouldn't really call an IRA CD an investment.  It's more of a tax shelter.   It's simply a vehicle to lower your taxes while your working.  Once you're retired, you try to keep the distributions to a minimum.   If you play your cards right, you should pay virtually no taxes.  This will be the first full year that I've been retired and I expect to pay around $100 bucks in taxes.   
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #39
Please list your sources of retirement income.
jimbeau   |     |   Comment #41
Social Security, taxable interest income, disbursements from taxable savings accounts and distributions from IRA's (up to taxable deductions).   
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #42
You must have a lot of deductions to only pay $100 in federal taxes.
jimbeau   |     |   Comment #50
For a variety of reasons, I've kept a mortgage into retirement.   This allows me to file itemized deductions.  Medical expenses, real estate taxes, mortgage interest add up to a tidy sum.    If this isn't enough to avoid paying taxes, this gives me the option of donating to charity to get my taxes down to a nominal amount.  For example, last year I donated $3,000 to avoid paying taxes.  I'd rather donate to a charity of my choice than to the war machine.  I wish that we had the option of directing our taxes to the department of our choice.  But, that will never happen.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #26
Roth IRAs do not offer BK protection
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #10
nicely done Charles
CharleyR (anonymous)   |     |   Comment #14
Thanks.  I'll accept a compliment any day.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #11
So your next article might be what early tax strategies there might be to avoid the higher tax hit when you reach the 70-1/2 mandatory distribution age.  I know of only one that is highly praised - paying lower taxes now by converting to a Roth, but my calculations have not proved that to me yet.
CharleyR (anonymous)   |     |   Comment #13
I am planning on doing a piece, at some point, giving my take on RMDs.  Being on the verge of turning 70, I've given a lot of thought to the tax stuff, but I'm afraid I haven't come up with anything that would be helpful to most readers.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #15
thank you for your post.  I would be glad to

read whatever thoughts you have on rmds.
jimbeau   |     |   Comment #25
Each person has to create a spreadsheet that will show the benefit of a regular versus Roth IRA while they're working - and, another based upon their expected retirement income.   Calculating your taxable retirement income is a real joy.  When I did it I found-out that it would be better for me to wait until I'm 70 before I start taking Social Security.   And, this has nothing to do with getting higher monthly benefits.   I need to burn some of my IRA money to lower my RMD.   This will actually lower the amount of Social Security money that will be taxable.  It will also allow me to offset the IRA distribution that will take this year with various deductions that I have so that I don't pay any taxes on the IRA distribution.   It's beyond bizarre!    Also, people need to realize that the municipal bond interest that they have is counted as income when determining the amount of social security that is subject to tax.   The interest per se isn't taxable.  However, it may cause more of your social security to be taxable.   It just depends if you have deductions to offset the taxable income.  It's truly mind boggling!   You actually have to fill-out the forms to get a good idea how you'll be affected by all of the various and sundry rules that affect to what extent your social  security is taxed.   
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #28
What higher tax bill at 70 1/2?  I merely have QCDs made to cover it for charities...no tax, no pain!.  If you are worrying about taxes then, you are not giving to charities!  Sham(e) on you!  And, a Roth IRAs will/could be taxed in the future?  Remember Soc Sec...originally tax free b/c someone paid taxes on the funds going in...no more
DaveJ   |     |   Comment #16
Thanks Charlie. Looking forward to part two next week!
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #17
Thanks Charles for sharing your experience.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #18
Grammar issue at underline..or typo...
"Because of the time, effort and risk involved in opening and closing IRA CDs, I’ve increasing moved funds from maturing CDs to my IRA accounts at online broker-dealers Fidelity Investments and Vanguard Brokerage."
ChasR   |     |   Comment #22
Typo--should be "increasingly."  One of those word mistakes Microsoft Word doesn't underline in either red or blue.  Thanks.
jimbeau   |     |   Comment #23
Well Charlie, although I agree with you on being ultraconservative with IRA funds once you reach retirement,  I've sort of gone in the opposite direction with the brokered CD's.

Before the crash, I used to have everything in Fidelity's CD's.  Since I was still working at that time, I didn't have a lot of time to go rate chasing.  And, my buddies at Fidelity had pretty competitive rates back then.   After the crash,  their rates stank (and still do).  Since my wife wasn't working, I had her do the rate chasing for me.  She yanked everything out of Fidelity and found better IRA CD rates at online banks. 

Now that I'm retired, she's wised-up and dumped the IRA CD rate chasing back on me.  I've moved most all of the IRA CD's to credit unions.  This is mostly because they give higher rates.  But also because I hate banks.   I don't think that the clowns that crashed the economy deserve my money.   I've also moved some money into about 10% into TIPS.  I'd move more but with inflation low and the bond prices sky high, it's just not the right time to do this.

The main disadvantage that I have with brokered CD's from Fidelity or Vanguard is that if you need the money before they mature you're stuck with selling them on the secondary market.  This means that you can lose principle if interest rates ever do start going up in a meaningful way.   There's other CD brokers out there.  But, I've never found one that could offer better rates than I can find on the internet (especially this site).    So, I find zero upside to these CD's.

As you have pointed-out, the main disadvantages to non-brokered IRA CD's is the tedious IRA transfer paperwork and the amount of time it takes to get the new IRA funded.   If an institution requires the documents to be mailed, this can take a couple of weeks.  In the meantime, that CD rate your chasing may expire.

About the only way to get around that conundrum is to deposit the IRA funds into an IRA savings account. Then if the CD rate your chasing is still available on the day that the IRA funds are received, you can simply open an IRA CD by transferring the funds from the savings account to the CD.   These internal transfers are done the same day and therefore guarantee that you'll be getting the rate you were chasing.  

So far, I've never had to deal with the situation where the CD rate is no longer available.  But, at least this approach gives you the option of avoiding being locked into a lower CD rate than the one chased.   Or, having to face an early withdrawl penalty if the new rate is totally unacceptable.

If I was still working I doubt if I'd be doing this.  So far this year, I've had an IRA transfer check and paperwork go missing.  I've also seen CD rates disappear 16 days into the promotion.   Since that one was not an IRA, I was able to get it funded on the very last day that it was available.

But, I'm retired now.   So, this is my new hobby.   Also, I've managed to keep my average CD term under 5 years with with average rates over 2.0%.   In a way it's pretty comical.  When I was in grammar school some 60 years ago, I was getting 5% on a passbook rate. 
ChasR   |     |   Comment #27
Thanks, jambeau, for your observations.  I think you will find that Part 2 addresses your problems with brokered CDs (by essentially agreeing with what you say).  You see, I'm producing this piece like an old Flash Gordon serial--come back next week to see the next thrilling episode in the adventures of Charley and his CD investments!
I have a feeling you and I have a lot in common vis-à-vis CD investing.  Actually, I handle my taxable portfolio--which is significantly larger than my IRA portfolio--basically the way you handle your IRA portfolio.  Each and every dollar is invested in a direct CD at some bank or credit union.  No brokered CDs at all.  Since I pay the bills out of the income from my taxable portfolio, I'm much more sensitive about getting the highest rate. Your 2% average yield for an average maturity of something less than five years is identical to the results I've gotten.  I also get a kick out of managing a taxable portfolio of direct CDs--it's fun.
Managing a portfolio of direct IRA CDs is--for me--no fun at all, for the reasons stated in Part 1. 
But if we all did the same thing, I suppose we'd have nothing to write and talk about.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #36
Does anyone know how the taxable "interest income" is handled when the CDs are in a state other than the owner's state of residency?  Assume both states have state income taxes.

Anonymous   |     |   Comment #37
Interest income is taxed in the state of your permanent residence, and not in the state of the paying institution. 
DCGuy (anonymous)   |     |   Comment #43
This is one reason why retirees move to a state without an income tax like Nevada, Texas, and Florida.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #44
Check out the property taxes, hurricane ins, utilities, etc. before you move to Florida...adding it all together...very high
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #45
All states pull money from you one way or another.  States that don't have a state income tax have various other taxes and/or fees to make up the difference.
jimbeau   |     |   Comment #48
You should retire where you can have the best quality of life that you can afford. Don't save a few bucks on income taxes just to be miserable in some hellhole like Nevada, Texas or Florida. Besides that, Texas has the 3rd highest property tax rate in the nation.  So, it makes no sense to move to a low income tax state when your retirement income is probably going to be significantly lower than during your working years.  You have to consider the total tax environment for a state.   When you retire you also have to take into consideration the services provided for seniors.   A lot of the low income tax states don't provide anything but the most  basic services.     
Ken Tumin
Ken Tumin   |     |   Comment #46
Part two of this two-part article has now been published and is available here.
rjm (anonymous)   |     |   Comment #47
Ive only had ONE IRA opened at one broker and then transferred to another directly. Somewhere along the way, someone told me it was a rollover so now my IRA is forever marked with rollover even though I don't think it really was. I never touched it.

Mostly its done really well in stocks but I have a large chunk of it earning next to nothing right now.(About 24%)

Im more interested in investing that than buying CDs with it. 
jimbeau   |     |   Comment #49
If your retired and have sufficient assets to last the rest of your life, there's really no need to take on any risk.   There's no reason to purchase anything that can lose principle.  I would imagine that's the bulk of the people that visit this site.   Most of us would be happy to break even relative to inflation.   

When you're retired you probably don't have the ability to recover from losses incurred by investing in risky investments.   The older you get, you may not even have time to wait for the market to recover from a downturn.   You might be dead by then.
Also, I'm alway amused with "professional financial advisors" that use your "risk tolerance" as a measure of the degree of risk that you should take.  What they should be measuring is your capacity for risk.    Which is really a nice way of saying your capacity to recover from a loss.

If you're young, you have a lot of time to recover from a loss.  If you're rich, you probably don't even have to recover from a loss.  If you're not either of the two, you need to think hard and long about investing hard-earned cash into risk asset classes.

Since there's such a huge psychological component to capitalist markets, I've steered clear of them.  If I can't quantify risk, I really don't want anything to do with it.   This has definitely prevented me from realizing potential gains.  However, it has protected me from potential losses.   I've alway been happy just to to keep up with inflation.

We're nearly ten years into the latest financial fiasco of the US led capitalist system.   Even though the original recession officially ended back in 2009, it's affects are still being felt worldwide.   If you look back upon the last ten years, it's almost unbelievable what happened.  Worse yet, it's truly scary to think about what almost happened.

I'll stick with my CD's, thank you.
OAG   |     |   Comment #51
Agree 100%. I will take a "known" 2.77% rate on a 7 year CD Ladder rather than an "Unknown" return (or lack thereof) on the Stock Market. My three CU's and 0 banks are just fine (NFCU, PENFED, & Wright Patterson FCU). 
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #53
There were no bread lines, tent cities, wandering hobos or hungry mouths. The poorest have cell phones, automobiles, HD TV, warm domiciles, air-conditioned domiciles and sufficient nutrition. This has been nothing like a real depression, but only a beginning student of history would know that. Most fail to study, much less comprehend historical facts. What happened was a realization that our financial structure is based on reckless speculation. The solution was to temporarily cover it up with newly issued cash. The core problems still exist, they are metastasizing and every investment portfolio is increasingly at risk. Cities and states can't produce budgets, pension plans continue to erode, cheap money results in stock price manipulation, GDP grwoth has not approached 3% in almost eight years and, last but not least, the rich get richer and richer. And the lemmings will soon go to the polls and clamor for more!
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #52
So Charles, since you do numerous IRA transfers and taking "Murphy's Law" into account,  what if, by mistake, you or I were to receive a 1099R from the transferring institution that the IRA transfer was a distribution?  What is the process of getting that corrected?
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #54
And, if any doubt get a proforma 1099 from the institution before the transfer...I've done that over the years with certain annuity companies "who I had issues with" and we solved those "issues" by getting my money out early with a clean 1099.  Amended 1099s are easy too if you are right but on the latter if the check is payable to the other/transferring institution should be a non-issue...but always copy the check for attaching to the return, if needed. On the latter point, I always have the IRA checks picked up by me and I send them out...good quality control!
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #55
Do banks impose EWP if IRA-cd holder dies and beneficiary (spouse) closes cd before maturity?