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But if you're game, my father-in-law called today. He is 87, and just sold his house (he's living with a daughter). He has a fat check and doesn't know what to do with it. He is terribly unsophisticated in finance, and will likely do whatever the nice fellow at PNC suggests.

He is terrified of the market and has been for some time. A few years ago we took half of his available cash and bought him an annuity paying a little over 4%. It was the only thing that looked "guaranteed" to him except for FDIC money, which was then under 2%. It has worked out, and between that and Social Security he has sufficient income to live and help with the daughter's rent and food expenses, and occasionally go out to a restaurant.

A couple months ago he took his remaining stock holdings and converted to cash. (Oh why didn't he suggest it to me?) He won't consider bonds. He certainly won't consider stocks of any type.

What's left? He's not going to be a landlord, he's not going to own hard assets, he certainly won't be buying gold or commodities... He likely has between $200,000-$300,000 to put somewhere.

And now he calls me and says "What do you suggest?"

Well... uh... fresh out, Dad. Anybody here want to throw a nickel in barrel?
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