Hello, I'm new here, so forgive the probably basic questions.
I noticed in the comments to an old article that a lot of folks here recommend investing in a high yield online savings account. What are your preferences when it comes to this? I think I remember most people saying they went with ING or HSBC. Any others? I've looked into HSBC a bit, and I notice that their highest rate, 5.1%, is only available if you choose the 6-month option, and only for "new money." Presumably this means the real rate I would be looking at is 2.55%, right?
I am a college student without much time or money to spend, but I want to get my feet wet a little, as I've gotten a reasonably well-paid summer job and I finally have a thousand dollars or so to throw around. Let me know what you think.
Personally I like ING. I've been with them for years and, while they no longer have the best rate, the excellent customer service, great interface and ease of use help make up for it. My favorite part of their accounts is that you can have sub-savings accounts that you name so you can easily save for multiple goals in one place. It makes my lazy accounting very easy to manage.
I've not worked with HSBC but I've heard it's a nightmare and I know several people who have closed their account due to customer service issues. You should check out www.bankrate.com
to find out what some of the other high-yield accounts are.
As far as having a few thousand to throw around, unless you know that you're going to be needing that money, I'd seriously consider opening a Roth IRA with at least part of it. Opening a Roth now and continuing to add to it as you can will do amazing things for your retirement. You can open an account with Vanguard for as little as $1k in the Star funds. There are also options at Fidelity and T. Rowe Price that would be good to look at. JD did a recent post on this that you can check out on the blog.