Where should your money be today? If you're wondering when the economic tide will finally turn, you're not alone. But one thing is certain. Eventually, things will turn around. In the meantime, the question remains where to put your money (and where not to put it) to keep it safe, until the economy improves. Right now, making wise investment decisions is more important than ever, yet wise choices are difficult to come by in our current challenging situation.

None of the usual options, real estate, stocks, auto industry, are safe bets at the moment. Far from it. Real Estate is certainly not the place for your investments. There are simply too many aspects that are not predictable. Depending on location and property, I expect that at least most segments of the real estate market are going to stay in the tank for another year or possibly even two. Here's why:

The housing market depends on people to have jobs to pay their mortgages. There also need to be homes they can actually afford and low interest rates so they can make their payments. Yet with the unemployment numbers being what they are, it may be a while until things are back to normal. The commercial and industrial real estate market is also feeling the pinch, and its recovery will probably take even longer.

But what about the stock market? The stock market has its good and its bad side, and they both have to do with its quick reaction to news and events. Unfortunately, while there's always the chance to make some money if you're lucky, you can lose it just as quickly if you're not. And the market is likely to remain quite volatile for the balance of 2009. There are a few possibilities however: some money can be made in strategically chosen sectors of the global market.

So it's a little too early to jump back into the stock market, especially at 100%. A much safer bet is to keep at least half your normal equity exposure in cash. This is true especially since it's still hard to predict which industry sectors have the potential for medium to long term growth.

Meanwhile, is there is any money to be made in spite of all the challenges? Yes, there is. But it won't happen on autopilot, and it won't happen without putting in some serious work, in order to arrive at the best investment decisions, especially for your specific situation. What it takes is a non-emotional plan based on carefully designed rules. And if you then work that plan, chances are that your money will be safe, and it will also show some growth even in a volatile market.

Author's Bio: 

Steven Floyd is a fee only financial consultant, helping people grow their money while keeping it safe too.