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Best Places to Stash Your Cash

NEW YORK (MainStreet) — You could hardly be blamed for squirreling money under a mattress these days – that sometimes seems to be as good a place as any for your emergency fund or cash reserves.

While the stock market has delivered solid returns over the past few years, at the same time the options have dwindled for parking some cash with the hopes of drawing a return that at least keeps pace with cost-of-living increases.

Most bank savings and checking accounts are paying a paltry interest rate, and money market funds aren't much better. As far as CDs, it's been years – 13 years to be precise – since you could grab a 5-year CD that returned as much as 7% if held to maturity.

So what's a saver to do? If you don't have the stomach to go all-in with stocks, or simply want to make the most of your cash reserves, there are some options worth considering that just might beat the mattress stash.

Online savings or money market accounts: If you need to keep your money liquid, you can usually do a bit better than your local bank or credit union by shopping online banks. The best nationally available online rates for savings and money markets accounts are close to 1.20% APY, significantly above the
general average of 0.13%.

High-yield checking accounts: It takes a bit of shopping, but currently there are some high-yield checking accounts that offer a decent return on at least a portion of your money – often the first $10,000 to $30,000.

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