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Lipper
Muriel Siebert & Co.



As Safe As Safes Can Be



By Dian Vujovich

Most savvy women know that it’s smart to have a little stash of cash tucked away somewhere out of the reach—and knowledge—of their loved ones. Kids, husbands, siblings, friends and pooches all included among under that “loved ones” heading.

I remember the days when the freezer ruled as the perfect safe. That’s when bills were wrapped in tin foil to disguise them from I guess a piece of fish. Under a mattress was popular too and so was an envelope taped to the bottom of a drawer. My grandmother used to keep hers in a small coin purse hidden inside a large handbag tucked way under some clothes in the third drawer of the dresser in my grandfather’s bedroom. We all knew where her stash was but also knew better than to go for it without her permission.

When I was a little girl, I also used to hide the money I got from the tooth fairy, Santa, my birthday or whomever. The problem was: Even then I’d forget where I put it. That is until my mother informed me that my brother was finding my money and taking it. I think he still is.

With the market and economy wobbly, thieves and crooks of all sizes and shapes popping up on Wall Street, at banks, in businesses large and small, it should come as no surprise then that keeping money tucked away at home is as popular as ever in a “don’t tell” kind of way. And, that home safe sales have soared in the U.S. and in Europe.

From a Fox News story last month: “Anytime you get a big news event, sales go through the roof,” said Value Safes owner Zack Gilmore of Corpus Christi, Texas. “When the market busted 7000, we sold $14,000 worth of product.”

Gilmore reported his business up 60 percent from 2007 to 2008. This year it’s up about 40 percent. His company isn’t the only one experiencing growth. Bruce’s Safes Unlimited in Tucson, Ariz., reported sales up 30 percent. Safe sales in Germany have also vaulted 30 percent since October, according to that same source.

Deciding to move from a secret stash to a bona fide safe is one thing. Keeping that safe safe quite another.

If you’re ready to make that change, Denver-based Master Security Center has some tips: For openers, pick a safe that’s big enough for your needs; a fire rating is important because odds are there’s a better chance of a fire in your home than of being robbed; and make sure that your money safe is big enough to prevent a burglar from simply walking off with it.

Oh, don’t forget not to tell anyone where it, or your private money stash, is kept—provided you remember.


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