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Is there a limit to the number of savings accounts and/or brokerage accounts I can have?


The only limit is a practical one. What would be the point of having a gazillion accounts. All brokerages, at least the discounters, provide more or less the same service. Once you’ve found one that does it safely, easily and cost-effectively, why would you need another? As for banks, you may need a few accounts depending on what products and services you need. You may have a mortgage at one, checking and savings accounts at others and perhaps one for business dealings, but that should be enough. Just make sure that whoever you do business with offers the services you want, charges reasonable fees, is conveniently located and answers the phone when you need to speak to someone.

Having said that, there is one reason why multiple savings accounts are advisable: if you have more cash than the $250,000 for which each account at a Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.-member bank receives government protection. In that case, you may want to spread your money around, and there’s nothing to restrict you from doing it. But you may not need to even then. The FDIC limit applies to each of several types of account. You could have an ordinary certificate of deposit and, say, an individual retirement account, each worth $250,000, at the same bank and both will be insured.

-Conrad de Aenlle