Don't outguess the market

67. Accept help. If your 401(k) offers advice, take it. Research by Financial Engines and Aon Hewitt found that 401(k) investors who took advantage of their plan's advice offerings, including target-date funds, earned median investment returns that were 1.9 to 2.9 percentage points a year higher than those who did not. That adds up.

68. Make a real plan. Investors who did financial planning had a median wealth of $307,750, vs. $122,000 for nonplanners, according to Annamaria Lusardi of George Washington University and Olivia Mitchell of Wharton School of Business.

69. Follow these experts: To be savvier about the markets and economy, add these pros to your Twitter feed: University of Michigan economist Justin Wolfers (@justinwolfers), money manager Barry Ritholtz (@ritholtz), and investor Tadas Viskanta (@abnormalreturns).

70. Dig into fees. Some 60% of investors have no idea how much their advisers are paid or think the advice is free, Cerulli Associates found. Figuring out the tab can be tough, especially if you own annuities or face layers of fees (1% for the adviser, say, plus extras for the actual investments). Have your pro spell out every penny so you can judge if the help is worth the price.

71. Fight your instincts. It's futile to try to outguess the market -- but hard to resist. To strengthen your resolve to stay the course, take note of what moving in and out of stocks and bonds does to your return.

10-YEAR RETURN:
Average fund performance: 7.05%
What typical investors earned: 6.10%
Note: Annualized return through Dec. 31, 2012. Source: Morningstar


  @Money - Last updated April 17 2013 05:24 PM ET
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