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Checking to see if your deposits are insured

Dear Dr. Don,
I faithfully read your articles and also the Bankrate Web site. I have some money to invest and am leery of where to put it and also with whom -- stock market, CDs, etc. I don't know much about investing and am new to the industry. I have searched the FDIC insured site, from Bankrate, and cannot find ING Direct bank as being FDIC-insured. It is advertised on TV as well as the Bankrate Web site, and I have invested a lot of money with ING Direct and now my concern is are they FDIC-insured? Why aren't they on the list? Should I be concerned? -- Worried first time investor, Cheryl Cede

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Dear Cheryl,
To put your mind at ease, qualified deposits held with ING Bank are FDIC-insured. You can use the Bank Find function on the FDIC's Web site to find out if a financial institution, like ING Bank, FSB is FDIC-insured. Clicking on the FDIC logo on the ING Web site also takes you to relevant FDIC information. In the bank's account disclosures statement, it says, "First things first -- whenever you see 'ING DIRECT', it means ING Bank, FSB." The FDIC site doesn't show anything for ING Direct because it knows the financial institution as ING Bank, FSB.

You can find information on the bank using Bankrate's Safe&Sound ratings feature. That feature will also allow you to review the bank's financial statements and a memorandum on the bank's financial condition.

One important caveat is to not confuse investment accounts offered by ING Direct Securities Inc. with FDIC-insured bank accounts. Mutual-fund investments are not deposits held by the bank, so they don't carry FDIC insurance. A money market account, or MMA, held with the bank is FDIC-insured. A money market mutual fund held in a securities account is not insured.

Don't confuse deposit accounts with investment accounts and you won't have a problem determining if an account is FDIC-insured. To learn more about investing, spend a little time at Bloomberg University or Morningstar's investor education site. Both sites are free.

Bankrate.com's corrections policy
-- Posted: Sept. 13 , 2005
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