Author Topic: What do you guys recommend for investment of "Emergency Fund" besides Ally  (Read 8794 times)

Michael in ABQ

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Re: What do you guys recommend for investment of "Emergency Fund" besides Ally
« Reply #50 on: February 13, 2018, 08:09:41 AM »
I just transferred part of my emergency fund to Live Oak Bank ( https://www.liveoakbank.com/personal-banking/personal-savings/ ), they're paying 1.6% on a savings accounts and there's no gimmicks of minimum debit transactions or online logins to worry about.  They're an online only bank but I'm familiar with them from my regular job as they are a lender that specializes in certain types of specialized real estate like breweries, veterinary clinics, bowling alleys, etc. The kind of properties that most regular banks aren't familiar with and don't want to lend on.

An emergency fund isn't an investment, it's insurance. Insurance costs money but it's there to provide protection and peace of mind. Keeping some amount of cash liquid and not invested will cost you money due to inflation and opportunity costs but for many people the peace of mind of knowing there's $5-10k of cash that can instantly be tapped in an emergency is worth forgoing the additional return. Stick it in a decent online savings account at least offsets most of the inflation loss.

dustinst22

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Re: What do you guys recommend for investment of "Emergency Fund" besides Ally
« Reply #51 on: February 14, 2018, 12:38:27 PM »
@dustinst22 I am also interested in CCU. Could I use their credit card to pay my other credit cards? I hardly ever use credit, so spending $1k a month would only be valuable to me if I could use it to pay my other balances that I pay off every month anyway, as well as my rent (which I currently pay in cash).

No, I don't think paying off other credit cards would be an option to hit the tier, as bonus credit cards dont allow it (essentially "manufactured spending").

That said, they still offer 3.1% up to 10 K with no credit card needed (still have other "hoops" you have to hit, though).
« Last Edit: February 14, 2018, 12:40:01 PM by dustinst22 »

COEE

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Re: What do you guys recommend for investment of "Emergency Fund" besides Ally
« Reply #52 on: February 14, 2018, 07:12:34 PM »
Another option not mentioned yet - Series I savings bonds (I bonds).  Your EF will keep up with inflation, at least, be state tax-free, and federal taxes are deferred until withdrawal (or even eliminated altogether if used for higher education).  Currently paying 2.58% (0.1% fixed rate + inflation).  Risk free, as well.

You will probably want to ladder it a bit, since the funds are not available for 1 year, and then you will pay 6 months' interest penalty if redeemed within 5 years. 

I've been moving my EF over to I bonds over the past few years, which really is just having my EF as part of the fixed income portion of my overall portfolio.

Another Ibond investor here. I'm in the process of putting about 8 months of my emergency fund in them.  Just slowly buying some every 3 months or so.  I think of it as my extended emergency fund.  I consider theseas part of my bond portfolio also.

The other 4 months is in ally.

These are massively simple.  And im not losing value to inflation.  Working for $1k on $15k investment just seems like too much work to me.

One small correction.... I think if you cash out before 5 years is complete thenyou actually lose thelast 3 months interest. Not 6. 

PDXTabs

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Re: What do you guys recommend for investment of "Emergency Fund" besides Ally
« Reply #53 on: February 14, 2018, 08:42:56 PM »
CIT Bank is marginally better at 1.55%.

Will

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Re: What do you guys recommend for investment of "Emergency Fund" besides Ally
« Reply #54 on: February 14, 2018, 09:12:12 PM »
Another option not mentioned yet - Series I savings bonds (I bonds).  Your EF will keep up with inflation, at least, be state tax-free, and federal taxes are deferred until withdrawal (or even eliminated altogether if used for higher education).  Currently paying 2.58% (0.1% fixed rate + inflation).  Risk free, as well.

You will probably want to ladder it a bit, since the funds are not available for 1 year, and then you will pay 6 months' interest penalty if redeemed within 5 years. 

I've been moving my EF over to I bonds over the past few years, which really is just having my EF as part of the fixed income portion of my overall portfolio.

Another Ibond investor here. I'm in the process of putting about 8 months of my emergency fund in them.  Just slowly buying some every 3 months or so.  I think of it as my extended emergency fund.  I consider theseas part of my bond portfolio also.

The other 4 months is in ally.

These are massively simple.  And im not losing value to inflation.  Working for $1k on $15k investment just seems like too much work to me.

One small correction.... I think if you cash out before 5 years is complete thenyou actually lose thelast 3 months interest. Not 6.

Yeah, it is 3 and not 6.

I know I Bonds would be much more attractive to me if Washington had a state tax.

Timodeus

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Re: What do you guys recommend for investment of "Emergency Fund" besides Ally
« Reply #55 on: February 15, 2018, 06:44:20 AM »
I keep a third at Ally, a third in CDs (CD Ladder), and a third in US Savings Bonds. Savings Bonds are underrated probably because we've had such low interest rates and low inflation their yields have been decimated. With both increasing, savings bonds are looking more attractive.

Wayward

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Re: What do you guys recommend for investment of "Emergency Fund" besides Ally
« Reply #56 on: February 15, 2018, 06:58:35 AM »
Insight card - 5% on $5,000.  If you have a SO, you can easily do 2 accounts.  More info here: https://www.doctorofcredit.com/insight-5-apy-prepaid-card-5000/
+1 for this.  It involves some upfront work to set up, but you can have multiple NetSpend/Insight accounts per person. Link in my signature for more information. If you do it make sure you read that article in full or PM me for how to avoid all fees!

ChpBstrd

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Re: What do you guys recommend for investment of "Emergency Fund" besides Ally
« Reply #57 on: February 15, 2018, 07:24:52 PM »
My checking account at a small local bank earns 2.25%, has no annual fee, offers ATM refunds nationwide, has free online bill pay, AND is FDIC insured. I keep less than 10k there. Some people aren't earning that on a CD, which is not liquid.

If the SHTF and I needed even more money, I have access to tens of thousands of dollars via credit cards, some with 2% cash back rewards. I could access these funds during the 3-5 days until the ACH transfer from my brokerage came through and pay it off the next month.

I also keep several hundred in cash in a hiding place, but that's mostly in the rare case I find a Craigslist bargain and must rush out the door!

If I'm physically incapacitated, I have short-term disability insurance through work.

If I'm physically dead, my dependents have life insurance.

Levi421

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Posting to read later.

EvenSteven

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Posting to read later.

When you are reading later, you should know that the insight card that has a 5% interest rate on up to 5K is no longer a thing.

Acastus

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Money market mutual fund. I use Vanguard for investing, and their prime MM pays 1.98% today. I assume other fund companies are competitive, and it is convenient to have all my money in one place. I would trade 0.1-0.25% yield for convenience. Not sure if the interest rate increase from last week is fully incorporated. It increases when the Fed increases. Assuming rates increase 1% per year, this looks like a better choice than CD's for the time being.

Timodeus

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I keep one year's worth of expenses in cash and cash equivalents. One third goes into Ally Savings, another into a CD ladder, and the rest into I-Bonds. I do this to address the risks of cash like investments- namely interest rate changes and inflation. If the interest rate goes up, Ally's savings account pays more (currently 1.64% and raising), if it goes down then I have CDs out to 5 years that have locked in higher rates. If inflation goes up, my I-Bonds yield more, compensating somewhat for the loss of value. It's cash so I don't worry about deflation. Not a good investment but it helps me sleep at night and will probably form a chunk of my down payment when I eventually buy a house.

PizzaSteve

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Savings Bonds are not horrible either.  Historically have had only 3 month min for interest and decent guaranteed rates until maturity.

Clean Shaven

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Money market mutual fund. I use Vanguard for investing, and their prime MM pays 1.98% today. I assume other fund companies are competitive, and it is convenient to have all my money in one place. I would trade 0.1-0.25% yield for convenience. Not sure if the interest rate increase from last week is fully incorporated. It increases when the Fed increases. Assuming rates increase 1% per year, this looks like a better choice than CD's for the time being.
I hadn't looked at that in awhile - thanks. I'm using Synchrony for an online savings account, but this is better, and since I have most $ in Vanguard already it is convenient. I think I'll move over all my Synchrony cash to Vanguard.

OurTown

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I have an emergency fund at a local credit union.  It makes almost nothing and we never touch it.  I also have a "spending account" which doubles as a backup emergency fund in a Sallie Mae money market fund.  That money is making 1.75%. 

dustinst22

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Money market mutual fund. I use Vanguard for investing, and their prime MM pays 1.98% today. I assume other fund companies are competitive, and it is convenient to have all my money in one place. I would trade 0.1-0.25% yield for convenience. Not sure if the interest rate increase from last week is fully incorporated. It increases when the Fed increases. Assuming rates increase 1% per year, this looks like a better choice than CD's for the time being.
I hadn't looked at that in awhile - thanks. I'm using Synchrony for an online savings account, but this is better, and since I have most $ in Vanguard already it is convenient. I think I'll move over all my Synchrony cash to Vanguard.

Same, going to look into this as well.  Newb question, where do you look up the current MM rate?  Is it the SEC yield?

https://advisors.vanguard.com/web/c1/fas-investmentproducts/0066/overview

Acastus

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where do you look up the current MM rate?  Is it the SEC yield?

https://advisors.vanguard.com/web/c1/fas-investmentproducts/0066/overview

Yes, SEC yield. Be aware MM funds are not FDIC insured. They have never "broken the buck" or defaulted. There is a small added risk vs. a MM account at a bank. you get paid for it, though.

PDXTabs

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Yes, SEC yield. Be aware MM funds are not FDIC insured. They have never "broken the buck" or defaulted. There is a small added risk vs. a MM account at a bank. you get paid for it, though.

But right now CIT Bank has an FDIC insured money market at 1.85%. Why would I take the risk of it not being FDIC insured for an extra 0.19%?

Systems101

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They have never "broken the buck" or defaulted.

This is factually incorrect.  There are at least two MM funds that have 'broken the buck'.  See: https://dealbook.nytimes.com/2008/09/17/money-market-fund-says-customers-could-lose-money/

Also, there are many others where the management companies have filled in holes (also noted in the article above), but in any bad scenario, one shouldn't rely upon that happening all the time.

Why would I take the risk of it not being FDIC insured for an extra 0.19%?

Agree, folks should beware that risk and return are related, see: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/lessons-from-schwabs-yieldplus-debacle/


zazpowered

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I use PurePoint for savings. 1.9% on 10k min

privatefarmer

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The stock market.

Emergency funds are for people who don't have money. Not trying to sound ridiculous here, seriously think about it: If you are a mustachian, close to FI or at FI, you are not living paycheck to paycheck. If something happens and you need money, you can sell stock. Some say "well what if the stock has gone down then you sell at a loss". Yes, but does the market not go up more than it goes down? Would you not be at higher risk of missing out on growth than you would of selling at a loss? Of course you would. So play the odds, and if anything just double the size of the "emergency fund" so that if it does go down it will still be larger than whatever amount you set aside for emergencies. Also, when you sell at a loss you can tax-loss-harvest that so it's not a 100% loss, it's more like a 78% loss depending on your tax bracket.

If you have plenty of money do not worry about an "emergency fund". Just follow your stock/bond allocation. Obviously we need to have SOME cash in a checking account for simplicity sake, to pay the bills. We don't need to be selling stock every time a utility bill comes due. But if you are a mustachian you most likely do NOT need a large chunk of cash sitting idle.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2018, 03:44:05 AM by privatefarmer »

Zamboni

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^I agree with this and consider the principle in my Roth IRA to be my long term emergency fund.

For being nimble in short term "emergencies" (which I consider normal expenditures, like when the water heater goes out) I keep a couple of thousand in savings which is only earning me 1%. Meh, money comes and goes from that account as I need it for things and then replenish it the next month. It's mostly for keeping my life at a level of simplicity that works for me, so the lower yield is a small price I pay for that simplicity.

Scandium

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Yes, SEC yield. Be aware MM funds are not FDIC insured. They have never "broken the buck" or defaulted. There is a small added risk vs. a MM account at a bank. you get paid for it, though.

But right now CIT Bank has an FDIC insured money market at 1.85%. Why would I take the risk of it not being FDIC insured for an extra 0.19%?

Same, I see little reason for the vanguard MM fund. It's currently (6/20) only 1.95 after fee, but my discover bank gives 1.65% in a basic FDIC insured savings account (and others are higher). A 12 month CD yields 2.25%!
So for 0.3% less than MM you get FDIC insurance, and can get 0.30% more for locking it up for 12 months. And 2.52% on an i-bond.

Clean Shaven

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The stock market.

Emergency funds are for people who don't have money. Not trying to sound ridiculous here, seriously think about it: If you are a mustachian, close to FI or at FI, you are not living paycheck to paycheck. If something happens and you need money, you can sell stock. Some say "well what if the stock has gone down then you sell at a loss". Yes, but does the market not go up more than it goes down? Would you not be at higher risk of missing out on growth than you would of selling at a loss? Of course you would. So play the odds, and if anything just double the size of the "emergency fund" so that if it does go down it will still be larger than whatever amount you set aside for emergencies. Also, when you sell at a loss you can tax-loss-harvest that so it's not a 100% loss, it's more like a 78% loss depending on your tax bracket.

If you have plenty of money do not worry about an "emergency fund". Just follow your stock/bond allocation. Obviously we need to have SOME cash in a checking account for simplicity sake, to pay the bills. We don't need to be selling stock every time a utility bill comes due. But if you are a mustachian you most likely do NOT need a large chunk of cash sitting idle.
My cash pile isn't really an emergency fund - it's cash. I want a small % in cash for immediate upcoming spend. I'm not going to sell stock every time I need $100 or $1000.

grandep

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Ally is currently at 1.65%, only 18 points below Vanguard's Prime Money Market Fund once you account for fees.

For those who keep funds in I-Bonds, where do you buy/hold these bonds? Do you just use TreasuryDirect?
« Last Edit: June 20, 2018, 09:19:16 AM by grandep »

PDXTabs

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For those who keep funds in I-Bonds, where do you buy/hold these bonds? Do you just use TreasuryDirect?

Yes, that's your only choice. I have buys setup on the 15th of every month for the next 55 months.

dustinst22

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My cash pile isn't really an emergency fund - it's cash. I want a small % in cash for immediate upcoming spend. I'm not going to sell stock every time I need $100 or $1000.

exactly.  You do need a good place to keep cash that has a decent return  For this purpose, I still haven't found better than consumers credit union checking acc @ 4.6% up to 20 K after hoops.

CorpRaider

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For those who keep funds in I-Bonds, where do you buy/hold these bonds? Do you just use TreasuryDirect?

Yeah, I do.  Could do paper bonds purchased via tax refund, but I don't like to have a big refund and I didn't really want them titled jointly with my spouse, just seems like it could be a PITA for redeeming or something.

grandep

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My cash pile isn't really an emergency fund - it's cash. I want a small % in cash for immediate upcoming spend. I'm not going to sell stock every time I need $100 or $1000.

exactly.  You do need a good place to keep cash that has a decent return  For this purpose, I still haven't found better than consumers credit union checking acc @ 4.6% up to 20 K after hoops.

It looks like even without the monthly CC spend they offer ~3.05%. That's incredible, much higher than even the best 12 month CD rates at most banks.

dustinst22

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My cash pile isn't really an emergency fund - it's cash. I want a small % in cash for immediate upcoming spend. I'm not going to sell stock every time I need $100 or $1000.

exactly.  You do need a good place to keep cash that has a decent return  For this purpose, I still haven't found better than consumers credit union checking acc @ 4.6% up to 20 K after hoops.

It looks like even without the monthly CC spend they offer ~3.05%. That's incredible, much higher than even the best 12 month CD rates at most banks.

Yeah, I've used them for a few years now, no issues.  They did lower their % from 5.1% a few years back, but no big deal.  For the debit transactions, 50 cent amazon balance reload fills that requirement, takes like a minute.  I use the cc for the full return and have found it worthwhile too.  It is pretty insane this is a checking acc.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2018, 09:56:10 AM by dustinst22 »

Will

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It looks like Beam is a great place to earn a great interest rate (which you can do things to increase, starting around 2% and going up to 4%) AND it is FDIC-insured.  If you decide to get on the waitlist, can you please use my link here?  https://meetbeam.com/?r=CASH-Hklmi5Qaof


grandep

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It looks like Beam is a great place to earn a great interest rate (which you can do things to increase, starting around 2% and going up to 4%) AND it is FDIC-insured.  If you decide to get on the waitlist, can you please use my link here?  https://meetbeam.com/?r=CASH-Hklmi5Qaof

This does look cool. I just used your link. Thanks for sharing.

Will

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It looks like Beam is a great place to earn a great interest rate (which you can do things to increase, starting around 2% and going up to 4%) AND it is FDIC-insured.  If you decide to get on the waitlist, can you please use my link here?  https://meetbeam.com/?r=CASH-Hklmi5Qaof

This does look cool. I just used your link. Thanks for sharing.

You are very welcome!  Thanks for using my referral code/link.  I hope they get the Android part up and running soon (since I am not an Apple/iOS user).

Will

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My cash pile isn't really an emergency fund - it's cash. I want a small % in cash for immediate upcoming spend. I'm not going to sell stock every time I need $100 or $1000.

exactly.  You do need a good place to keep cash that has a decent return  For this purpose, I still haven't found better than consumers credit union checking acc @ 4.6% up to 20 K after hoops.

It looks like even without the monthly CC spend they offer ~3.05%. That's incredible, much higher than even the best 12 month CD rates at most banks.

Yeah, I've used them for a few years now, no issues.  They did lower their % from 5.1% a few years back, but no big deal.  For the debit transactions, 50 cent amazon balance reload fills that requirement, takes like a minute.  I use the cc for the full return and have found it worthwhile too.  It is pretty insane this is a checking acc.

Do you happen to have a referral/promo code?  This looks like a great place to keep my money until Beam is up and running.

dustinst22

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Do you happen to have a referral/promo code?  This looks like a great place to keep my money until Beam is up and running.

Nope, I haven't bothered checking if they have one.  Guess I should, I have recommended them quite a bit.

grandep

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Yeah, I've used them for a few years now, no issues.  They did lower their % from 5.1% a few years back, but no big deal.  For the debit transactions, 50 cent amazon balance reload fills that requirement, takes like a minute.  I use the cc for the full return and have found it worthwhile too.  It is pretty insane this is a checking acc.

Do you pay the $6/month in Amazon debits from the interest the account generates, or do you transfer $6 from your "actual" checking account into the CCU account each month? A $6 transfer seems pointless but if you take the $6/month from the interest that reduces your yield by a substantial amount (varies depending on your principal obviously). Still better than any other saving accounts at other banks though.

For example, by my own math if I were to hold a balance of $15k with the lowest interest rate of 3.05%, the monthly $6 charges lower the yield to 2.77%. Obviously that $6 is used elsewhere (i.e. on Amazon purchases) but then I am basically skimming the yield from my savings account to pay for everyday consumption and not for EF type expenses. Granted, even the lower yield is still very good and would be even better if you meet the CC spending requirements (like you say you do), but I'm just curious how you approach this.

Mikila

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Discover Bank pays 1.65% on online savings accounts and 2.25% on 1 yr CD's.  You could ladder CD's so some $$ is always available.

DreamFIRE

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Correction to some previous info.

Yesterday, Vanguard Prime MM hit 1.99% SEC Yield, and that includes factoring in the expenses on the fund.  Compounded yield makes it 2.01%.  As of right now, that is listed as the current yield today.

On May 30th, the SEC yield was 1.90%, compounded 1.92%.  It's been on the rise little by little.

It's rated a lower risk investment than bond funds, and certainly more so of a lower risk than stock funds.

dustinst22

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For example, by my own math if I were to hold a balance of $15k with the lowest interest rate of 3.05%, the monthly $6 charges lower the yield to 2.77%. Obviously that $6 is used elsewhere (i.e. on Amazon purchases) but then I am basically skimming the yield from my savings account to pay for everyday consumption and not for EF type expenses. Granted, even the lower yield is still very good and would be even better if you meet the CC spending requirements (like you say you do), but I'm just curious how you approach this.

It comes directly out of my checking acc as its a debit transaction.  3% on $6 would be 1.5 cents, not really sure what you're referring to in regards to the interest rate dropping to 2.77, and I'm not sure how you're calculating that?  Its still 3.05% on up to 10 K in your account (without hitting the other tiers).
« Last Edit: June 20, 2018, 04:14:29 PM by dustinst22 »

DreamFIRE

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Correction to some previous info.

Yesterday, Vanguard Prime MM hit 1.99% SEC Yield, and that includes factoring in the expenses on the fund.  Compounded yield makes it 2.01%.  As of right now, that is listed as the current yield today.

On May 30th, the SEC yield was 1.90%, compounded 1.92%.  It's been on the rise little by little.

It's rated a lower risk investment than bond funds, and certainly more so of a lower risk than stock funds.

Jumped up another .01% today for 2.00% SEC and 2.02% compounded yield.

Michael in ABQ

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One of my credit unions just started a savings account that offers 2.50% on up to $2,500. The yield drops for higher amounts (2.00% for the next $2,500, 1.5% for the next $5,000) but I'm definitely going to put at least $2,500 in there as it beats my Live Oak Bank account which offers 1.70%.

Pizzabrewer

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It looks like Beam is a great place to earn a great interest rate (which you can do things to increase, starting around 2% and going up to 4%) AND it is FDIC-insured.  If you decide to get on the waitlist, can you please use my link here?  https://meetbeam.com/?r=CASH-Hklmi5Qaof

I also just bumped you up with your link. Thanks for the tip!