Avoid bad financial advice and see better returns

If you want to make money with your own money, be wary of those who want to take over the effort. After all, personal money managers and financial advisers receive their compensation based on how much you have invested with them -- not on the performance of those investments.

Which, if you think about it, is real-time crazy. Do normal working stiffs get promotions every year for doing below-average work? Of course not -- and neither should your financial adviser.

There are many areas to consider when investing that hard-earned money: how diversified your money is, how long you have until retirement (your "horizon"), how much money you actually have invested and your penchant for taking -- or not taking -- risks.