Avoid house-rich, cash-poor pickle

Which is better investment for excess cash?

DEAR BENNY: I am 58 years old and married. I have 22 years left on my 30-year mortgage, which is at 5 percent. I have a Roth IRA. I have some extra money to invest. In this current economy, what might you suggest? Should I pay money towards the principal on my mortgage? Put it in the Roth? I lost money in the stock market (bank stocks), so please don’t suggest that I go back into stocks. Thanks in advance for any knowledge you might share. –Tommy

DEAR TOMMY: Your question is perhaps one of the most difficult ones I have received. I have two crystal balls on my desk and, unfortunately, both are cloudy.