How can people balance risks and returns when it comes to financial investments? We live in a time of low interest rates andtremendous volatility where not many have the courage to invest their life savings into something that might fail. Risk is the heart and soul of all types of investments. With increasing costs of living, investing becomes imperative. High returns are great, yet in order to get them you must be willing to sail close to the wind. Here are some investment options where you can get the maximum value for your money. Certificates of deposit Some may think that certificates of deposit are a boring investment. While that could be true, it’s also an extremely safe investment type. People can get a CD through their bank, credit union and even through their investment broker. In exchange, they receive a special interest rate that doesn’t change for a specific period of time. Withdrawals in advance are possible, but they come with various penalties. CDs are considered a low risk investment type. Your deposit is insured and you are 100% guaranteed that you’ll get the proposed interest rate no matter what. Basically, the government assures you that there’s no loss involved. As for the interest rate, some banks offer as much as 1.15% per year for a specific number of years. Treasury Inflation Protected Securities Better known as TIPS, this type of investment (also known as bonds) is offered by the US Treasury. Investors are offered two types of growth methods for these bonds – fixed interest rate that stays the same for a specific amount of time and built-in inflation protection, which is assured by the government. Whatever rate inflation increases throughout the time you have the TIPS (Treasury Inflation Protected Securities), the value of your investment increases with that particular rate. People can purchase TIPS individually or opt for a mutual fund investment. The latter option is better because managing your investment is easier. Money Market Funds Money Market Funds are mutual funds that have a well-established purpose – preserving your investment’s value. The fund also pays a bit of interest, thus making your investment profitable. The goal of a money market fund is to preserve a NAV (net asset value) of $1/share. Although this type of investment is not foolproof, it does feature a strong purpose – protecting your cash’s fundamental value. In spite of the low interest rate received, your money is secure. US Savings Bonds Similar to TIPS, US Savings Bonds are also supported by the government. The investment is secure and the likelihood for things to go wrong is really low. People have at their disposal 2 types of savings bonds: Series EE and Series I. Series I bonds are made of 2 components – adjustable inflation linked return and fixed interest rate return, thus making them similar to TIPS. The interest rate does not change, however, the there’s an adjustment in the inflation return rate every 6 months. Series EE bonds come with a fixed interest rate, added automatically to the bond at the end of the month. In spite of the current low rates, there’s an interesting aspect to series EE bonds – the Treasury doubles your bond in value, provided that you hold it to maturity (20 years). Wine investment Fine wine can be an incredibly investable asset, and in the last 20 years, the industry has outperformed other types of investments like annuities, bonds, and property. The key to succeeding in the wine business is to invest in wines with a solid background. First growth Bordeaux wines such as Latour, Chateaux Lafite and others, have proven to be extremely profitable. Future investors are advised to deal with reputable merchants only, just to be on the safe side. There are plenty of wines to invest in, although make sure that yours are “in bond”. Thus, you won’t have to pay VAT. Both provenance and condition are essential to fine wine, and above everything else, you must be patient as you will see considerable returns after a minimum period of 5 years. For serious returns, your investment should be at least $15,000. Consult with a wine merchant if you’re new to the fine wine market, and thus you’ll make the right decisions.