St. Charles Herald-Guide

MONEYTALK with Al Suffrin

By Al Suffrin - January 17, 2007

Dear Mr. Suffrin: I am 12 years old and I want to start saving half of my allowance. I get $10 a week doing chores around the house. Are U.S. Savings Bonds a good value for me, or should I look into other ways to save money. -Confused in Ama

Dear Confused: The question you need to answer is when will you need the money you will save weekly.

If you answer within the next five to eight years, then U.S. Savings Bonds are a good investment because they are safe and pay a competitive interest rate compared to other investments.

If you answer more than 10 years, you should get with your parents and open up an investment account through a local broker or directly through a mutual fund company, and invest your savings in a conservative equity mutual fund.

The reason is over the long term, an equity mutual fund may provide you with more earnings compared to bonds.

Students' questions about finances answered - only in the Herald-Guide. Financial expert and school board member-elect Al Suffrin takes on the tough questions from parish kids and their parents.

Send YOUR questions to: editor@heraldguide.com or write: MONEYTALK, P.O. Box 1199, Boutte, LA