Yesterday my wife and I just sold a property in a cash deal and are looking for a safe investment with decent yields. After taxes and fees the amount will be 250k or so. The only debt we carry is a 15 year fixed rate mortgage on the house at a 5.35 rate, which I have been advised to leave in place for tax purposes.

We are interested in short term CD's or a money market, but interest rates have been falling a bit in the past few months.

I don't have a big problem with that as we are not what you would call risk takers, but I am a bit confused as to the recent problems in the bond markets. I keep reading articles talking about how municipalities, states, hospitals...etc... have to pay ever higher interest rates because bond buyers are becoming scarce. If high inflation indicates too much floating around, where are the buyers? I'm a can I get in on this action...???

Would it be a good idea to invest in short term bonds right now as the interest rates are ratcheting upward, and if so, where and how? And how short are short term bonds?

I spoke to a broker who sells annuities at a guaranteed 7% and have considered parking 25k or so there and forgetting about it. The problem I have with that idea is that inflation may very well pass that rate up, if it hasn't already done so, which means I would slowly lose money in the long term.

Metals and commodities markets are something I am not comfortable or familiar with.

We though about buying a rental property but I don't want to be a landlord unless i found a house at a fire sale price.

I've looked at the peer-to-peer loan idea, which has a good return, but wouldn't be comfortable with the risk.

I work for Sprint, track the stock closely and am thinking about buy a big chunk as it hit a 52 week low on Friday, but the way things are going it could go a lot lower! Most of the goodwill (25 billion or so) was written off the other day making the company easier to buy, and WIMAX launches in early April which leads me to think the stock can only go north from here.

With property prices falling we may very well jump back into another building in 2 or 3 years and have another go at it. We were forced to sell a small commercial building by eminent domain, which in itself is a very frustrating thing to have to endure, but to have that cash at this time is OK.

Any suggestions or advice is greatly appreciated..!!!