Around the third time our brokers told us our investments were losing strength but that we needed to keep our heads down and ride out the storm, it struck us that Wall Street, for all the fun it had been in the past, may not be the best place to invest at the moment. So the Tulsa Business Journal started searching for alternatives. Not alternative investments, but rather alternatives to investing at all. The following, loyal reader, are the best of the best.
Standard Savings Account
Pros: Low risk, no investment limit
Cons: Low yield, bank robbers
If you’re anything like us, you’ve had some sort of savings account since your parents realized the quarterly profits from your lawn-mowing service were being reinvested in useless crap. It has served you well over the years with its fraction-of-a-percent interest rate, but a savings account is all wrong.
For starters, where is the adventure? A savings account is supposedly safe, but our extensive research on investment strategies — the author once skimmed a Suze Orman book — dictates higher-risk investments at a young age pay off big down the road.
Problem number two: bank robbers. Granted, nobody has pulled off a solid heist recently, but it’s only a matter of time. And while the FDIC says you’re insured, who knows with those guys?
At the Bottom of a Lake
Pros: Low risk of discovery, makes for a great story
Cons: No payroll deduction option
For a land-locked state, Oklahoma has an impressive amount of water under which to hide your money.
The problems with nautical nest eggs, however, are multi-fold. While our infinite waterways provide plenty of hiding places, they make it easy to forget where you hid your money. Marking the site isn’t really an option, since a dollar sign-shaped buoy is bound to give you away.
Second, according to the Oklahoma Water Resources Board, average annual lake evaporation in Oklahoma ranges from 48 to 65 inches, which exceeds average yearly rainfall. That means some day your money will be on dry land.
Buried, in the Back Yard or Elsewhere
Pros: Easier than under water
Cons: Attracts pirates
Similar in spirit to hiding your money under water, burying your treasure has several distinct advantages.
For starters, there is the unique opportunity to draw a cryptic treasure map or compose a riddle to remind you where your pot ‘o’ gold is stashed. Second, it’s fun for the kids. Cons, however, are also ample. For one, your treasure map or riddle will be easy to figure out. Second, as we all know, buried treasure attracts pirates, and the last thing you need is a bunch of bearded miscreants digging up your lawn.
Wall Safe Hidden behind an
Pros: rates a 10 on the awesome scale
By far the coolest option, a one-hour-fire-proof wall safe runs about $600 installed, a little less than your broker’s commission for a month of trading, and it will never bet heavy on a dot-com. Wall safes require no scuba gear and will never leave incriminating dirt under your fingernails. Plus, it gives you an excuse to buy a super-classy oil painting behind which to hide the safe.
Wall safes carry two potential downsides. The awesomeness of having a wall safe full of cash and jewels leads to the desire to brag about it to your friends. Resist this urge, as your friends will rob you. Also, there is the prevalence of jewel thieves, the recommended remedy to which is installation of a complex series of lazer alarms, cameras and heat sensors. You know, nothing too fancy.