Jumbo' CDs

As a retired, single, frugal female, I hear/read that the United States is on the verge of economic collapse. I have $100,000 to invest. It is now in CDs, as I live on my social-security benefits. What should I do with the CD when it matures? -- M. C.

My wife and I are both 72 and plan to retire. We have $100,000 to invest. Where can I invest it for the largest return with safety? -- W. F.

Both questions involve $100,000 of liquid funds. Since Regulation Q exempts funds of $100,000 and more from interest-rate limitations, there two readers could invest in "jumbo" certificates of deposit (CD) at the rate quoted by a bank or other lender. No standards apply, so a bit of shopping around may be in order to get the best rate. Periods may be as short as 14 days to as long as one year. However, rates tend to be lower for longer periods, as lenders do not wish to be committed to high rates for long terms. At this writing, the rate for six- month CDs based on T-bills for $100,000 minimum was 15.275 percent. The same bank quoted 17 3/4 percent for 30-49 days for $100,000 in a jumbo CD.

To answer the first reader -- if she believes we are headed for collapse (and I don't), she should sock her cash away in gold coins. But they e arn no income.

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