The fear, uncertainty and volatility in the stock markets has many investors sitting on the sidelines. If you're one of them, where's the best place to stash that cash?

For starters, the best place isn't under your mattress. If you hang on to your money, you stand to lose purchasing power over time because your savings won't keep pace with inflation.

Meanwhile, the crash in the financial sector means that even some of the "safer" options for cash -- such as money market accounts -- aren't looking so good. Locking all your cash away in a long-term, FDIC-insured certificate of deposit, or CD, isn't all that appealing either, since it means you may not have access to your money if the market starts to recover.

Instead, your best bet is to mix things up. Start by putting some of your cash into a high-yield savings account, with either an online or traditional brick-and-mortar bank. (Make sure it's with an FDIC-insured institution). The national average for interest rates offered on savings accounts is only 0.42%, according to BankingMyWay.com. But banks in states such as New York and North Carolina are offering rates as high as 2.5% or 3%.

Keeping about 15% to 20% of your available cash in an FDIC-insured account means that it is safe in the event of a financial meltdown. (Bear in mind that the FDIC insurance limit has been raised from $100,000 to $250,000 per account holder at different institutions as part of the federal bailout bill.)

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