Just for fun, I just compared the growth of $10,000 over the last six years if (a) 100% invested in VTSAX (Vanguard's low-cost total stock market fund) or (b) 100% invested in a CD ladder with an average effective yield of 4%, compounded. I used a Morningstar "growth of $10,000" chart for VTSAX and a rough guess of an "average" of 4% based on my own ladder since January, 2007.
VTSAX: $10,000 => $11,825 (with most of the increase in 2012)
CD Ladder: $10,000 => $12,653
When you hear the folks on CNBC crowing about "five year highs" in the stock market, flip it around. Were it not for dividends re-invested and 2012, stocks would have been dead money. Even so, that CD ladder still won the race.
It always helps to be diversified.