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If he is truely afraid of stocks, he should at least invest his funds in things like CDs, Savings Bonds, or money markets for now. Once interest rates have stabilized he can begin buying bonds. Treasuries are safest, but investment quality corporate bonds are a better yielding, reasonably safe alternative.

At the same time, he should be encouraged to buy equities as much as he can tolerate. An S&P 500 Index fund or total market fund is the place to begin. 50% is a decent goal. Higher as he becomes more comfortable with investments. Initially that should be enough, but in time he should look for diversification in various other funds: international, REIT, growth, sector funds, etc.
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