Unearth undervalued investments
It might not be crazy to take a 3.5% mortgage to buy a retirement home -- for half what it would've cost in 2007.
I've long liked timber stocks, like Plum Creek Timber (, because trees keep growing even as the prices they fetch -- and the value of the land they sit on -- may rise also. )
Keep enough in cash so that when the next crisis hits, you don't have to panic -- and will have funds available to take advantage of new bargains.
-- Andrew Tobias, author, The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need
Learn how to spot a cheap stock
Two years ago everything was on sale, which is not so much the case anymore. But there's still opportunity, particularly with higher-quality stocks.
Look at the history of a company's price-to-sales ratio. Sales figures are harder to manipulate than earnings and give you a clear sense of whether a company is selling something that people want to buy.
-- Harin de Silva, president of Analytic Investors
Force yourself to buy low
The best piece of investing advice I got came from finance professor Eugene Fama [considered the father of modern finance] when I was in graduate school.
He persuaded me I wasn't going to be able to time the markets. So we spend a lot of time rebalancing -- selling stocks that no longer fit a fund's profile and buying those that do. When the markets are good, like this year, we rebalance. It takes nerve to do sensible things when everybody else is panicking.
-- David G. Booth, founder of Dimensional Fund Advisors
Demand to be paid immediately
With stocks, make sure you truly trust the underlying business and are getting something in return. Don't be willing to give your money away and just hope for a rise in price. I expect a cash stream, in the form of dividends, as a quid pro quo for my investment. In the long run, dividend payments represent the vast majority of stock returns.
-- Daniel Peris, manager of the Federated Strategic Value Dividend Fund and author of The Dividend Imperative
Best tool: Screen for dividend-paying stocks for free at Ycharts.com.
Top experts and Money readers share their smartest tips on everything from selling a home quickly and winning a bidding war to cutting your electricity bills and prospering as a landlord.