“Bet $100 to see if you can squeeze a drop out of a lemon that our weight-lifting bartender has squeezed dry!” said the sign in a local bar. One day, a geeky-looking fellow wanLemon(108624)Credit: Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.netdered in and dropped a $100 bill on the bar. “I’ll take that bet,” he said. The barman, a former commando, squished the life out of a lemon with his bare hands. He put the seemingly parched fruit on the counter and said, “OK, man. If you can get another drop out you win.” The contender grabbed the shriveled fruit and, to everyone’s amazement, drew not just a drop, but almost a spoonful of liquid. He took his winnings and turned to leave. “Who are you?” the barman queried.  Turning back with an evil grin, the new champion answered, “I work for the tax authority.”

Though the tax man can siphon off cash when none seems available, it’s more difficult for the average investor to find that extra money. Yet, with some creative thinking, you may be able to increase the yield on your money. Recently, I met with a retired couple who had kept all their money in checking accounts and money-market funds. The interest they earned was between 0.0% (yes, that’s zero) and 0.4%.  While the funds may have been relatively safe, the couple wasn’t protected against the risk of inflation.


Increase your income

After designing an in-depth financial plan, we determined that they could put some of their money in FDIC-insured bank deposits and in some corporate bonds issued by some of the biggest companies in the world. This move increased their current income from hundreds of dollars to thousands, without significantly increasing their exposure to risk.  While at times it may be tempting to go for the large returns, realize that the risk associated with hefty returns may not be appropriate for everyone.  Nevertheless, there may be ways to have your money work harder, so take the time to speak to an investment advisor to see what’s available.

 If you are looking for more tips on what to do with your money, read A Selection of Top Tips for Planning Your Financial Future.


 Disclaimer: This article is for educational purposes and is not a substitute for investment advice that takes into account each individual’s special position and needs. Past performance is no guarantee of future returns.