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A certificate of deposit ladder may provide a good way to gain a step up on the personal-finance climb.

A CD ladder involves setting up CDs at different maturity periods, allowing an investor to take advantage of interest rates spread out over time.

Once the first CD matures after a year, it can be reinvested as a new ladder rung.

If you’re interested in how a CD ladder works, several websites offer good information on the topic. Discusses the basic approach to building a CD-ladder portfolio. Provides a brief CD-ladder overview and calculator.

Investopedia: Covers a variety of CD-ladder topics, including laddering basics, considerations and benefits.

MainStreet: Explains how CD laddering works, and how to set one up.

The Street: Focuses on developing a CD-ladder strategy.