OK, so maybe it isn’t a secret anymore: Suze Orman’s Save Yourself account promotion at TD Ameritrade (Stock Quote: AMTD) has been around for about three years now and in a world mired by financial complexity, it stands out as a surprisingly crystal-clear offer.
Open a Save Yourself account at TD Ameritrade, make 12 consecutive monthly deposits of $100 or more, and you’ll get a one-time $100 bonus. The account is FDIC-insured, earns interest in addition to the bonus, and carries no hidden fees or gotchas. You don’t even have to be a woman to sign up.
But is this a program you need to join, like right now? Who better to answer that question for us than Suze Orman herself.
“There really are no strings attached to this,” she assured me. The $100 bonus is about establishing a “reward system for consistent behavior.”
“If people could just get in the habit of putting money away every single month, then they would get into the habit and see that they don’t miss that money,” Orman explained—until you start saving, you don’t realize how painless it can be to set aside a small portion of your income each month.
She reminded me that the bonus works out to a great ROI, so long as you keep the money in there and contribute $100 every month for a year. “You’re getting a better return than anywhere else in the United States today” in terms of FDIC-insured online savings accounts. Bold claim, Ms. Orman.
It’s hard to dispute, though. HSBC Direct’s (Stock Quote: HBC) popular online savings account pays 1.35% APY—a little more than $16 in interest accrued after a year, assuming you deposit $1,200 initially. Doesn’t come anywhere close to Suze Orman’s end-of-the-year guaranteed Benjamin.
Like many young Americans, I can be greedy: why settle for $100 when you could potentially make much more in a riskier investment elsewhere? She asked which I would prefer: an account that provides a 15.5% return “absolutely within a year,” or one elsewhere with “the possibility of you making 30% in a year… ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND?”