SIPC does not cover unregistered investment contracts, unregistered limited partnerships, fixed annuity contracts, currency, and interest in gold, silver or other commodity futures contracts or commodity options, according to SIPC.
Why were investors worried about Schwab?
Shares of Charles Schwab, the giant retail brokerage, plunged on fears that it, too, could be swept up in the crisis. The stock fell as much as 23 percent on Monday before closing down more than 11 percent. Investors may have been worried about its large banking business, which, like Silicon Valley Bank, holds a considerable amount of fixed-income investments that have dropped in value because of rising interest rates.
But Schwab has healthy reserves, and analysts aren’t worried about its financial position. And as the firm’s top executives recently pointed out, more than 80 percent of its clients’ cash is insured dollar for dollar by the F.D.I.C.
Should I have backup credit cards?
There is no indication that any major credit-card issuer is in trouble, but it’s always wise to have two cards — with different companies — if you can qualify for that much credit.
You might lose your primary card, for instance. Or the card company could shut the card down if it’s worried about fraud — say, when you’re traveling.
Could I lose access to A.T.M. withdrawals?
If a bank fails, there could be technical snafus if a new institution inherits insured accounts. That might render an A.T.M. card inoperable for a few days.
Another possibility is a widespread power outage that lasts for days and makes it hard to get cash (and use credit or debit cards in stores). During the run-up to severe weather, bank customers may empty A.T.M.s. And in the aftermath, it may be hard for the money trucks to get to the A.T.M.s to refill them.
Given these possibilities, it’s a good idea to tuck a few hundred dollars away if you can afford to set that money aside. Just remember where you put it. It’s easy to forget — and then, years later, give away the clothes or books with the money still hidden inside.