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Where to check up on appeals for charitable donations; Safety of investments

We have $25,000 left from sale of our home, and I would like to invest the funds to receive the highest possible interest with the greatest safety. What is the highest interests I can get from US securities and must I go through a broker? After Chrysler, what are the risks of large corporation mortgage bonds or preferred stock? Is high interest available on bonds from some cities and states indicative of the risk associated with those securities? D.M.

As noted in "Moneywise" on other occasions, high yields, whether interest or dividends, are not compatible with safety. High yield equals high risk. You and every other thinking investor must make you own trade- off choice by selecting a level of risk that won't keep you awake nights in order to gain a certain level of income from investments.

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Yields from inherently safe investments such as US government bills and notes , are now higher than formerly. Since not all US government securities carry the full faith and credit of the federal government, yields on them vary. You should consult a broker about the many different US government securities available and the yields and risks associated with each. You will need to go through a broker anyway except for the purchase of Treasury bills or notes at original issue. These may be purchased directly from Federal Reserve Banks and branches by following written mail procedures or in person.

First mortgage bonds and preferred stock of major corporations carry some risk, and your mention of Chrysler is a reminder of how giant corporations fare over time. (Bonds of the New York Central Railway were once considered risk free too.) Generally, high interest on municipal bonds is associated with risk; otherwise, a community's or corporation's financing could be achieved at lower cost. The market assesses risks fairly efficiently by yielding more for high risks.


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