Are IRAs safe?

Question: "Is our IRA account in UBS Financial Services Inc. safe during this wall street crisis?"..." If not, would you recommend taking the money out and putting it into treasury bonds or treasury money markets with an FDIC approved bank?" Thank you for your assistance Lynette, Chico, CA

Answer: There are two answers to this question. First, your IRA account is safe. Even if UBS got into trouble, another financial services firm would take over the account. Second, the value of the account depends on what assets you're invested in. To take an extreme example (just for the sake of illustration) lets say all the money had been invested in Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers. You'd be wiped out. In sharp contrast, if all the money were in T-bills, you'd be sitting (relatively) pretty.

About the author

Chris Farrell is the economics editor of Marketplace Money.

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