The federal government recently raised the amount of deposits per person per institution that it will guarantee to $250,000 from $100,000. But it had been discussing a limitless guarantee. So don't be confused. More important, this is a temporary bump in coverage that may last only through the end of 2009. So if you consolidate deposits in a single institution you may have to reverse the process in little more than a year. To keep things simple just play by the old rules keep no more than $100,000 in any one institution, at least until it becomes clear that the higher limit will be made permanent. There have been no changes to government guarantees regarding securities held in a brokerage account. The limit is $100,000 of coverage on cash deposits and up to $500,000 on other securities like stocks and bonds. Note: the government does not guarantee against investment losses; only that the securities you own will be returned to you at prevailing market prices should your broker fail.