I like CDs when I am getting subpar interest because there are two safety nets; first the bank has to fail and, second, FDIC would have to fail (and if that happens, I have bigger problems than my lost investment.) However, because it is such a safe investment, a CD tends to have a low interest rate most of the time. My thesis is that if I invest a thousand dollars in equities and earn 20 percent on that investment in an "up" market and then move it to a CD at two percent, I can think of my interest as an average of 20% and 2% and I have a much better and safer deal. Pssst: be sure and hold that equity for at least a year to avoid a potential 35% capital gains tax. Speaking of tax, if you invest with discipline, you will start to earn money. And the various governments will want to tax you on that money. You will have to do your homework, but in many states they do not tax money earned on municipal bonds from that state. Not being taxed can make a 4% return sound a lot better.
6/18/12, this strategy has really been working out for me. Since I have started doing this, there have still been no decent returns anywhere outside the stock market.
10/3/12 The strategy is still working out for me. A couple of speed bumps I have run into. Since I am buying into the market using "averaging", I didn't buy all of any position at one time. So, now at profit taking I have a longer delay. There are a couple positions I would like to close, but while I opened the position much longer than a year ago, I have been adding to it and have to choose between not taking my profit now or paying some capital gains.
5/1/13 Wow! Talk about an up market! At this point I am slowing way down on putting new money into the stock market, though I still open positions with worthy companies and will look closely at a bit more profit taking and putting that money into a wimpy yielding Municipals that are short term focused.