In tonight’s “Ask Amy” segment, we showed you how to check out investments before you hand over your money to some company you’ve never heard of.
You should compare the interest rate being offered to the going rate on Bankrate.com. You can also call the Texas State Securities Board to inquire about the company. That agency can let you know if the business is licensed in Texas. They can also tell you if the business or the owner of the business has any criminal complaints or past convictions of fraud. The # to the Houston office is (713) 426-0336.
Now for the tricky part. I reported that you should check www.myfdicinsurance.gov to find out if a financial institution and its investments are insured by the FDIC. The website is not all that user-friendly, so here’s what you need to do.
Start with this site: FDIC Bank Find
You can type in a bank or financial institution name and the city/state where it is located. It will give you a profile of the bank and let you know if it is insured by the FDIC.
For specific information on FDIC coverage at that bank, go to the website we mentioned earlier: www.myfdicinsurance.gov. Click on the green “Get Started” button.
If you don’t already have an account at that bank, you can type in dummy information just to check coverage for varying dollar amounts.
For example, if you typed in that you have a personal checking account at Chase with $13,475.00 in it, the website will tell you that you are insured for the full $13,475.00 in your account.
If you type in Buddy’s Big Bucks, you’ll likely get a different message.