Where can you stash your cash?

The quandary with CDs is what maturity to buy. No one wants to lock in today's rates for a long time, but rates could always go lower. The best solution is to ladder your CDs. If you have $30,000, for example, divide it equally among a six-month, a 2½-year and a five-year CD.

If rates rise, you can roll over your six-month CD at higher rates. If they fall, you'll have locked in current rates with your others.

You can also ladder Treasuries, which you can buy directly from the Treasury with no fee. See treasurydirect.gov for details. Interest from Treasuries is free from state, but not federal, income taxes.

At today's rates, you won't get rich from CDs and Treasuries. But at least you won't get much poorer.

John Waggoner is a personal finance columnist for USA TODAY. His Investing column appears Fridays. Click here for an index of Investing columns. His e-mail is jwaggoner@usatoday.com.

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