There's only one investment recommendation that can make advisor Marilyn Bergen illustrate it to clients "with my arms out in the air like a teeter-totter," as she puts it.

That's premium bonds, says Bergen, a partner at Confluence Wealth Management in Portland, Ore. "For accounts that are large enough for adequate diversification, we have been using individual bonds for about three years," she says. "We've been laddering over a one- to five-year term because we are so concerned about what will happen to bond mutual funds when we get to a rising rate environment."

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