"What are the Benefits of Passbook Savings Accounts"

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Passbook Savings Accounts have Two Advantages:

1. Liquidity

The money is available to you from the bank. Go in person or to an ATM machine with your ATM card.

2. Safety

Your money is very safe. Banks lend it to businesses and to make mortgage loans. (Remember Jimmie in IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE during a bank run in the Depression telling people, "Joe, your money's in John's house. And George's.")

On the whole, they're fairly careful and choosy to make only good loans. Of course, they can make mistakes -- such as lending on too many speculative real estate loans or to developing countries such as brought on the savings and loan crisis during the 1980s.

Banks Try to Avoid Making Loans That Will Default

And of course any individual loan can be defaulted on, but under normal circumstances the bank plans for this and it doesn't affect your savings account

Also, your account is insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or FDIC, a government agency that steps in and reimburses account holders when a bank or savings and loan fails -- up to $100,000. $250,000 for retirement accounts.

Next: What are the risks of passbook savings accounts

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