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A Guide to The Best Low-Risk Investments

Low-risk investments are a smart and simple way to make money off of your disposable income. Most are also federally insured up to $250,000. If you’re looking to invest your money short-term, below is a list of low-risk options to consider. 

Money marketing accounts

Similar to a savings account, money marketing accounts allow you to spend directly from the account. Although the number of transactions you can make is normally limited, the rates are often higher than those of traditional savings accounts. Money marketing accounts are best suited for large expenses, down payments, emergency savings, and vacation funds. Dividends are paid monthly, and savings are federally insured. Gulf Winds offers money marketing accounts with tiered rates that reward higher balances, with an APY of up to 2.50%. Click here for more information about Gulf Winds’ money marketing accounts. 

High-yield savings accounts

Although technically not an investment, high-yield savings accounts can offer an enticing return on your money. These account types are completely safe and are federally insured. Some financial institutions offer high-yield savings accounts with an APY of up to 5%. While Gulf Winds does not provide high-yield savings accounts, we do offer high-yield checking accounts! You can earn up to 2% APY on your account’s balance by having at least 12 debit card purchases post and clear each month. You must also have at least one direct deposit or automatic payment post and clear every month, and receive your monthly statements electronically. For more information on Gulf Winds’ high-yield checking accounts, click here

Certificates of deposit

Banks offer certificates of deposit, or CDs, because it supplies them cash they can invest or lend to other customers. To get this money, banks offer their customers CDs with higher rates than traditional savings accounts. This investment type is federally backed with a guaranteed interest rate. The only downside is that if you withdraw funds from a CD before it matures, you could lose some of the interest you’ve accumulated. Some banks also incur an early withdrawal penalty. CDs are best suited for investments in the short term, as interest rates among financial institutions can change. Gulf Winds offers a 12-month rate bump CD that allows you to bump up your interest rate if our rates increase during your term. You are also able to withdraw money once during the CD’s term with no penalty. We also offer a 5-month CD account with a slightly higher APY. Click here to learn more about our certificate of deposit accounts.

Treasury bills, notes, and bonds

In a nutshell, a Treasury is a loan paid by the taxpayer to the government. In return, the government will pay you interest on that loan regularly. Each type of Treasury differs in interest rates and how long the government holds your money. Treasury bills are paid back to you in under a year, while Treasury notes are paid back between two and ten years. Treasury bonds are paid back in 20 or 30 years. These investment types are backed by the United States government, and you’ll receive regular interest payments as long as you own the bill, note, or bond. You also have the option to sell your Treasury, but you’ll lose any future interest payments. To view current rates of Treasury securities, visit Treasury.gov.

Preferred stocks

Like bonds, preferred stocks supply the investor with a regular cash payout. They’re also safer than traditional stocks, but riskier than bonds. Although they’re not federally insured, owners of preferred stocks receive payouts before common stockholders. One thing to note is that companies that issue preferred stocks are allowed to suspend payments. Even so, they’re required to make up any missed payments. Before investing in preferred stocks, it’s crucial to analyze the stock exchange, as preferred stock values can fluctuate as a result of the market’s value. Interest rates can also play a part in the value of preferred stocks.

Low-risk investments are an easy way to make a little extra money. Most are also short-term, meaning you’ll see a return on your investment sooner than other investing options. So, instead of working for your money, why don’t you make your money work for you?


Hunter Morrison

Hunter Morrison

Hunter has freelanced for various print and radio publications across Northwest Florida, including The Bay Beacon, Navarre Press, Inweekly, Crestview News Bulletin, and WUWF. He was also the Editor in Chief of the University of West Florida’s student newspaper, The Voyager. In 2023, Hunter moved to Kenai, Alaska to take up a news reporting position with KDLL Public Radio. For fun, Hunter enjoys cross-country skiing, hiking, photography, thrifting, traveling, and looking for the best Thai food around. 

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