Banks and credit unions offer various deposit products, such as CDs, that represent safe, convenient places to keep your emergency money. Most deposit products are liquid, meaning you can easily convert them into cash without significant loss of principal. Banks and credit unions are federally insured for deposits of up to $250,000. For details see the section on federal deposit insurance.
Many banks and credit unions have expanded their offerings to include brokerage and insurance services. As a result, you can now buy stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and annuities at many banks and credit unions. These investments are not federally insured.
Full-service brokers do a lot more than just transactions. Your broker can provide you with financial advice and generally provide one-stop shopping for all your financial needs. He or she may even offer to provide you with professional money management for a fee.