Finding a safe haven in tough times

September 18, 2008 4:10:37 PM PDT
Right now, some investors would take a minimal or zero rate of return just to know their money is safe. Many mutual funds are down roughly 20 percent this year, but there are some options that may allow you to sleep better at night.The stock market's plunge this week has Shirley Lugowe and others investors jittery.

"I think it's rather scary right now., especially, since retirement is not a million miles away," Lugowe said.

But there are safe options.

Kevin Funchion of a Triton Capital Management says for the risk averse investors should move money to US treasury notes, AAA rated corporate bonds, or money market funds with large reputable companies like Fidelity or Vanguard.

Returns are minimal, but the investments are safe.

If you want to stay in the stock market, choose blue chip stocks.

"Johnson and Johnson, Comcast, Verizon, Phillip Morris, the tobacco companies, Coca cola," Funchion said.

Gold is another fairly safe option during turbulent times.

And then there are the vice stocks, tobacco, alcohol, and casinos; these stock tend to do well during tough economic times.

The big variable with these options is your age.

Older investors should make their portfolios more conservative.

Younger ones can weather the storm and ride out the cycle.

Plus, some advisers say we could be at the bottom of the market meaning it's time to go bargain hunting for stocks.