General Question

moon_under_water's avatar

What should I do with $10,000?

Asked by moon_under_water (37points) February 26th, 2010

My great-aunt died and left me money. It’s currently in a CD, as I’m a student and didn’t want it in my name for financial aid reasons…but I’m looking to invest it (?) – or something – advice? I’m 30 years old, and in the arts, if that helps, so for me this is a significant sum. To be more specific: what kind of investments? I have a small Roth IRA but I could use this to open another kind of account….

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20 Answers

marinelife's avatar

You should consider putting it in a retirement fund.

Vunessuh's avatar

I would personally invest it wisely so you can turn that $10,000 into so much more.
Sorry about your loss.

dpworkin's avatar

I would put it directly into your IRA, or if you don’t have one, establish one with it. I am 60 years old with nothing saved for old age, and it is a very frightening state of being. Take my advice.

syz's avatar

If you have any credit card debt, pay it off. You’ll never make more in investment than the credit card companies charge in interest. then take the rest and set up a retirement fund.

stump's avatar

Consider putting a big chunk in an IRA, and a few smaller chunks into rotating CDs. That way you have access to some of it without penalties (for emergencies). But you should definately talk to someone at your bank for specific advice.

OperativeQ's avatar

Buy a boat!

CyanoticWasp's avatar

I’m also sorry for your loss.

Aside from the fact that you definitely should have an IRA at your age, I don’t know that you can stash $10K into it in a lump sum. (It has been many years since I started a new contributory IRA, but the rules used to be no more than $2000 per year, and it had to be “earned” income.)

In any case, I would definitely start an IRA and contribute the maximum that you can to it, as soon as you can. (You’ll find that having cash around will generate “needs” to spend it. Needs that didn’t even exist just weeks ago.)

When you’ve put what you can into an IRA (you don’t need to actually commit to a specific investment at this point), then you should place the balance into a taxable stock account.

I say this for one primary reason: Despite the recent and ongoing problems in the stock market, it has historically been and should continue to be the primary means (outside of massive inheritance and self-employment) to wealth for a majority of investors. It takes time, discipline and study, but you can manage to become wealthy (at least “comfortable”) by having your money work harder for you than you can.

When you have the balance in an account with a reputable discount broker then you need to start educating yourself about how and where to invest, and apply those lessons to your IRA. The money in your “cash” account can be replenished (or withdrawn) from time to time as you see fit, but the money you invest in the IRA can’t easily be withdrawn or added to, so you’ll want that investment to be somewhat more conservative and long-term.

But the lessons are good anywhere, any time.

Jeruba's avatar

If I were you, I would take some small portion of it—$200 or less—and buy myself something tangible to remember my aunt by. Something that would remind me of her, maybe a small item of jewelry or something made of metal, wood, or stone that reflects both her taste or history and my own and serves as a nice keepsake. China or glass would be lovely but risky.

And then, as others suggest, I would put the rest into a secure investment. I would ask knowledgeable investors for advice and not any bank officer, who is going to push the high-commission items such as variable annuities—a mistake I do not need to repeat.

tinyfaery's avatar

Buy something fun and then look into a good investment. Maybe see a few brokers.

erichw1504's avatar

Give it to me.

lilikoi's avatar

Stock market is the only way to beat inflation.

Rarebear's avatar

1) Pay off your credit card bills if you have any
2) Pay off any other outstanding consumer loans if you have any
3) Max out your IRA
4) If you can afford to save the remainder, put it in a low cost index fund through a company like Vanguard. You can pick the risk profile to suit your needs.

Shuttle128's avatar

Take @dpworkin‘s advice. However, if you invest the money yourself it will show up as an investment according to tax purposes. I had an investment of 50,000 dollars going into college and I got very little from FAFSA because of it. Now I’ve used just about all of it and am in debt as well, so don’t expect that you can get away with trying to tuck it away, it will still effect student aid decisions.

I might have to agree with getting rid of debt first and foremost. It will hurt you more in the long run to leave your debt for later, but definitely consider an IRA with any extra money.

deni's avatar

If it were me, I would take a trip somewhere I really want to go, and put the rest in savings. I have a hard time not treating myself when I come into a lump of money. So it wouldn’t really be a hard decision for me…I would have to spend at least a little bit of it on something I enjoy.

sliceswiththings's avatar

I had this exact situation two years ago! I inherited exactly 10K and wanted to hide it from financial aid. What I did was fund my parents’ car. Their car died, and they needed one, and they would have had to take out a loan. Rather than paying interest on a loan, they took their loan from me. It worked perfectly because they got a car, and the money was hidden from my financial aid office.

My mom has slowly been paying it back to me so it’s not suspicious where it comes from, and whenever I’m home on break and need a car, they can’t really get away with not letting me take it since I paid for it:)

Cruiser's avatar

Put $5,000 in the ROTH for good…take $2,500 and buy a stock in a company you know and care about and is a good buy…keep $2,500 in a cash fund for whatever may come your way would be my suggestion.

slick44's avatar

Buy yourself alittle somthing and plan for retirment with the rest. you will be glad you did. especially with the wat the economy is going. I too am sorry for your loss.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Fact from fiction, truth from diction. Depending on how long you want the cash to gestate, If you are looking one year out and such look to lien sale properties. Most have better interest than CDs, T-bills etc, and certainly better than a bank savings account. Either you will make a huge profit of 12% to 26% depending one where you invest in a lien sale or you could end up with property you can sale at an ever larger profit.

YARNLADY's avatar

Only earned money can be put in an IRA. If your income is higher than the inheritance, you might be able to put it in an IRA, but if not, you can’t. I suggest a good money market account, or long term investment in stocks and bonds.

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