Protecting Your Money in a Volatile Market

This is a rush transcript from "America's Election HQ," September 30, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

DAVID ASMAN, CO-ANCHOR: Well, from car loans to 401Ks. There are a lot of nervous folks in the volatile market that we're in. But the Dow Jones industrial average is ending up huge today after setting a record for a one-day drop yesterday. So what should you do with your money to keep it safe?

With me now, financial analyst Charles Payne, CEO Wall Street Strategies, and a FOX News contributor. And despite the fact he is very large and very sweet, listen to him. The guy gives good advice and he does it with a smile on his face. Thank goodness. Yes.

So what do we do? I mean, first of all, with the cash that we have in savings, the stuff we don't even want to gamble with.

Video: Watch David Asman and Martha MacCallum's interview


ASMAN: Where do we put that so it's safe?

PAYNE: Well, CDs aren't paying a lot but they're safe. Bank accounts are safe, and I think they're going to be even safer in a little while. You know, right now, the FDIC covers up to $100,000 per account per bank. I think that limit is going to be lifted by the end of the week, if the new rescue packages prevail, so that would be $250,000.

So those areas are safe. I think what some people may want to consider though, David - the hardest thing, really, particularly when it comes to the stock market are these investments that aren't working now, and people just hold them.

You know, a lot of times, people say, "Well, when should I get in and what should I buy at the bottom?" One of the key things also to know is when to sell because you talked about having cash in the bank. A lot of people - what happens is, they just end up with the funds in their account that never perform very well. And they've never dug into them.

ASMAN: And the psychology is very interesting because it's usually, "Geez, if I only hold another month longer or another year longer." You got to cut bait, right?

PAYNE: You've got to cut bait. That means you've got to find out what you have. And a lot of times, you may have things that just may not really come back. And like over the last several years, it didn't make sense to hold General Motors stock or Ford stock. You know, those type of things were no-brainers.

MARTHA MACCALLUM, CO-ANCHOR: But Charles, what you are talking about makes sense in a regular market environment. What about right now, when you have the 777 point swing down and 480 up another day? I mean, is now a moment when you want, you know, average individual investors out there like you and me to sort of like - well, like me, I should say — to be messing around with stuff?

PAYNE: Absolutely. And you know, back to David's point, a lot of people think, "You know what? I'll wait for the dust to settle." Let's just take this hypothesis. Let's say you see a stock that you really like and it's $25 a share. You say, "I'll wait," and the next day it is $23. You say, "I'll wait. I'll wait a little bit more." Then it goes to $20, "I knew it, but I want to buy this." Then it goes up to $23, "Well, when it gets back to $20, I'll get it." Then it goes to $25, "Well, when it's at $23, I'll buy it."

You know what I mean? You end up missing your opportunity if you try to time it. Professionals can't time this stuff. So if you are out there and you're in the market for the longer term, you want to be nibbling. If I had $30,000 right and I was the average guy, I would put a little bit to work. I'd put $300 to $400 to work this week and I'd buy things like Microsoft. You know why? They announced a $40 billion buyback. I think they have cash. They don't need to the credit market. If things seize up, they can take care of themselves.

I'd buy Nike. Nike's earnings were phenomenal. Their growth in China is off the hook. They actually announced a buyback last week, too. I would even buy some financials. It's crazy —

MACCALLUM: What about these government-backed financials like JP Morgan and you know...

PAYNE: Oh, it's amazing! JP Morgan — first of all, you could never, ever get a Merrill Lynch being taken over. You know, the Merrill Lynch- Bank of America deal - that would have never have happened in any other environment. Too big. Too anti-competitive. We're going to network with about - maybe four gigantic banks.

ASMAN: All right. Quickly, 401K — if I have the ability to move some of it from the money market funds which is the most secure where I have most of my money —

PAYNE: Right.

ASMAN: Do I begin to put like 10 percent, 20 percent into the stock funds now that it is so low?

PAYNE: Absolutely. I would start off with 10 percent. And then, as I learn more, I think it's important people are not spending enough time. You've got to put the time in yourself. It's not a lot of time, but least a minimum, obviously, four times a year doing what they call the earnings season.

When these companies report earnings, it is not really that difficult to see which direction the businesses are going in. At least do that for your financial health. Because we do a lot more — we spend more time picking out suits and ties — well, David spends more time picking out the suits and ties. Well, David spends more time picking out suits.

ASMAN: I let somebody do it for me. Didn't I tell you he is one of the nicest guys around?

MACCALLUM: I know Charles.

ASMAN: Unbelievable. Good to see you, Charles. Thanks a lot.

PAYNE: You, too, guys. Thanks so much.

Content and Programming Copyright 2008 FOX News Network, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Transcription Copyright 2008 ASC LLC (, which takes sole responsibility for the accuracy of the transcription. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No license is granted to the user of this material except for the user's personal or internal use and, in such case, only one copy may be printed, nor shall user use any material for commercial purposes or in any fashion that may infringe upon FOX News Network, LLC'S and ASC LLC's copyrights or other proprietary rights or interests in the material. This is not a legal transcript for purposes of litigation