CORVALLIS - Salting away all your savings in the bank for a rainy day could evaporate your financial security unless you invest for a higher return on your dollar, economic experts say.

Although a savings account is a good idea as an emergency fund, the low interest paid on such accounts doesn't keep up with inflation or pay taxes, said Alice Mills Morrow, an Oregon State University Extension family economics specialist.

Yet Americans have more than $1.5 trillion in such low-interest savings accounts. In fact, more than half the households in America don't own stocks or participate in employer-sponsored retirement accounts, even though such investment plans are easily accessible ways of building wealth.

Now a new publication entitled "Investing for Your Future," offers good information on how to graduate from basic saving to savvy investing. Available from the OSU Extension family development program, the investment guide covers:

  • Setting goals 
  • Investment principles
  • "Finding" money to invest 
  • Specific types of investments, including stocks, fixed-income securities and mutual funds 
  • Tax-advantaged investing, sometimes called tax sheltering 
  • Investing with $1,000 or less

The 135-page publication is the work of economists from Rutgers University, Cornell University, Clemson University, Virginia Tech, Michigan State University and the University of Idaho in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

For more information on "Investing for Your Future," PNW 537, is available by mail for $13.50 per copy. Send your request along with check or money order payable to OSU to: Publication Orders, Extension and Station Communications, OSU, 422 Kerr Administration, Corvallis, OR 97331-2119. The publication is available online.

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Alice Mills Morrow, 541-737-1013