investing

10 Easy Ways to Save Money

Times are still kind of tough, but there are some time-tested and easy ways to get ahead and in this episode Josh and Chuck explore them. Learn about not only how to save, but also how to make your new-found dough grow.

How Investment Banks Starved a Lot of People but Made a Tidy Profit

In this month's Harper's magazine, there is a disturbing feature by Frederick Kaufman on the Goldman Sachs Commodities Index, the world's first investment fund that was dedicated to real-life, salt-of-the-earth products like wheat, corn and pork bellies -- delicious stuff -- mixed with other stuff like oil, a commodity that is customarily non-delicious, but which we're starting to find goes well in Gulf shrimp. Rolled together, Goldman began offering shares in the products that built the United States.

I generally prefer to invest my money in bacon chili cheeseburgers and 10-pairs-for-$3 socks, but I'm fascinated by all of the other ways there are to invest that can actually make money. People try to grow their cash through buying gold they never actually see and hog bellies from the future and with insurance policies on other people's investments. I've recently learned of another investment strategy I hadn't heard of called CD laddering. From what I understand it's safe (though comparatively low returning) and is gangbusters for people living on fixed incomes, since it generates predictable, dependable cash flow. Investing in certificates of deposit (CDs) is about as close to a sure bet as you'll get when you give your money to other people, since like savings and checking accounts, CDs are guaranteed by the Federal Insurance Deposit Corporation (FDIC). Back in the day, before the bailout, the FDIC insured accounts up to $100,000; since then the federales have temporarily extended the guarantee to $250,000 and in May continued the extension until December 31, 2013.