You may have noticed that I added ING Direct as a sponsor for this site.
I’ve had an account with them since 2004 (long before this blog) and they are awesome. Essentially they are a high interest savings account, and they offer far better rates than your bank.
In general their rates on a regular savings account (that means you can move money in or out any time you want) are about equal to a 12 month CD (where your money is LOCKED in) at a regular bank.
Right now their rates are only 3%, but they fluctuate with the economy and are often over 4%. Thats earning 4% for free….zero risk, move it whenever you want, insured by the federal government against loss.
The way they do this is that they have no local branches and therefore no overheard from that. That is fine with me because I move the money in and out electronically, and use a local bank for my checking account.
Since I don’t invest in stocks, my money is only ever in one of two places:
Invested in real estate
Parked in ING Direct waiting for the next deal to come around that I like
The only other two options I’ve heard about that come close to this are: (1) a competitor to ING that came out a while back called American something. They offered a slightly higher rate to try and compete with ING but they were a small time operation and people complained of non existant customer support etc so it didn’t seem very safe. And (2) high interest savings accounts in other countries where you get the benefit of currency exchange and things like that. I’d be interested in learning more about this because the rates are higher, but just keep in mind it isn’t quite as safe because those accounts aren’t insured by the U.S. federal government like ING is.
Anyway, getting an ING account (or something like it) is pretty essential for building wealth in my opinion. Because otherwise if you have some cash parked somewhere it is just losing value to inflation. Tons of successful people I know use ING.
Oh yeah, and there is no minimum deposit and no service fees so take a few minutes and open an account.
I’ve haven’t used their mortgage or checking accounts but the rates look equally good.