I know nothing about money. I (think?) I took some sort of Finance class in high school, where I might have learned about investing or CDs or 401(k)s or the “Stocks Market,” but I sure as shit did not retain any valuable information – other than the fact that I shouldn’t keep my money in a cookie tin on a shelf in my room.*
Fast forward ten years. I am a real, full-fledged “adult” with “accounts” at the “bank.” The cookie tin is long gone, having been replaced years ago by a flimsy fake-plastic-leather looking checkbook and a handful of change gathering lint in the far recesses of my purse. This method of money-collecting seems to be working well. I have no dependents, no mortgages, and I am only peripherally aware of the large chunk of graduate school debt that floats above me, so I see no need to alter my ways (though I am prepared to revert back to the cookie tin method at a moment’s notice. I’ve also been collecting shiny rocks to use in case the barter system makes it way back en vogue).
So imagine my panic when the nice Bank Teller Lady Person asked me the other day if I wanted to open a Money Market** or some such Esoteric Financial Nonsense. My loquacious response? “Uh, pardon?”
“Would you like a personal banker to contact you about setting up an account?”
“Um…no?” I answered with the confidence of a junior high boy asking a girl to a dance.
“Are you sure? We offer fixed term APY APR FDIC low-interest CD rate investments.” (This is a paraphrase, as my brain was melting by this point).
My tizzy was this: Should I be doing things like this with my money? I vaguely remember some lecture on “diversifying your portfolio” in the aforementioned Finance course, but at the time I took that to mean I should include more Lisa Frank folders in my Trapper Keeper. I knew Bank Teller Lady Person was probably trying to earn some kind of commission from me, but I couldn’t help but wonder if I shouldn’t take her up on her offer.
“Well, ok,” was my new response.
“Great!” B.T.L.P. seemed genuinely happy – giddy, almost! – and I realized I might have been the only person to actually take her up on her offer, thus filling me with instant regret.
Since our lovely exchange, I’ve not heard anything from any Personal Bankers, so I think I might be in the clear for now. I’ve done some uber-superficial research on CDs and other forms of investimenting my monies (yay, Wikipedia!), but have come to no solid conclusions other than this:
I need to start looking for a new cookie tin.
*Which is exactly what I had been doing.
**FWIW: a “money market” is not nearly as interesting or appealing as it sounds. I imagined a Christ-like figure walking around, upending tables of currency while screaming “MONEYCHANGERS!” but apparently it’s more of an abstract concept.