Is all of the money deposited in a bank federally insured?

Bank sign on building

Q. Is the money in Premier Banking in Seattle FDIC-insured?

A. We suspect you're referring to Premier Banking & Investments, a division of Bank of America.

Premier targets well-to-do consumers who have at least $100,000 to invest. It provides everything from basic banking services to brokerage accounts and insurance, and wants to be customers' one-stop shop for financial services.

Here's where you have to be careful about what's protected by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and what's not.

Money you deposit through Premier Banking in a traditional Bank of America CD, savings, checking or money market account will be covered -- up to the FDIC insurance limits.

The basic insurance amount is now $250,000 per depositor per insured bank, at least until Dec. 31, 2009. Certain retirement accounts, such as Individual Retirement Accounts, also are insured up to $250,000 per depositor. Here's where you can find out more about the FDIC's rules.

All of that other stuff the bank tries to sell you is not covered by the FDIC.

Any money you give Premier Banking & Investments to invest in mutual funds, individual stocks and bonds or annuities is uninsured. The value of your savings will rise and fall with the markets.

That's not just true at Bank of America. It's true of all banks that offer brokerage services.

If your savings isn't in a traditional bank account, it's not insured by the FDIC.

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