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Greetings JLC,

The simplest thing to buy and forget, assuming you mean 5 years or greater, is a total market index fund.

This reminds me of a thread from the "Index Funds" board about someone who noticed that the Vanguard 500 Index, which while not quite a total market index fund is likely to be close, over the past 5 years returned had a total negative return which she found surprising:
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=23319272&sort=whole

Regards,
JB
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