If you’re looking to invest in CDs or a similar fixed income investment, consider loaning out part of your money at Prosper.com. You can invest in small amounts, start to get a pretty big boost to your yield, pay low fees (well, the borrower pays the fees), and get it all done with minimal hassle (everything can be done from a web browser).

You can take a larger chunk of money and lend it out in small amounts to many different people — the diversification should help with the risk that a person walks out on their debt. I believe all the loans are in 3 year repayment periods, so you’ll probably want to diversify across people as well as begin to ladder the loan over time.

Some obvious advice: focus on those with high credit ratings and a reasonable way to pay back the loan; don’t treat this like a charity and give money to the person who “deserves” it. Factor in expected defaults when calculating the return you’re willing to lend at.