If you have a stash of cash earning practically nothing, take a gander at the 14 ideas we present in this slide show. We put our entire staff to work brainstorming and researching suggestions to unlock the power of your money. These ideas require only a small stack of bills, and all of them are either timely or practical or worthy of a splurge. Take a look.
Get Instant Diversification
For $1,000, you can own a little bit of everything with Vanguard Star Fund (symbol VGSTX), a collection of 11 actively managed, low-expense Vanguard funds. Star has roughly 60% of its assets in stocks and the rest in bonds. Within the eight stock funds, you’ll find large- and small-company U.S. stocks; fast-growing companies and slower growers that trade at bargain prices; and nearly 20% in foreign stocks. Star also holds funds that invest in short-term, medium-term and long-term bonds. Star beat similar funds in nine of the past 10 calendar years.
Buy Inflation Protection
To hedge against rising rates and prices, invest in Treasury inflation-protected securities. TIPS, which are issued by Uncle Sam, pay a fixed rate of interest on a principal that is adjusted for inflation. When your bond matures, you receive the inflation-adjusted principal. You can buy TIPS, which are sold in $100 increments in maturities of five, 10 and 30 years, directly at TreasuryDirect.gov.