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One of the worst investments you can make is buying a mutual fund that was a top performer the prior year, says Liz Davidson, CEO of Financial Finesse and author of What Your Financial Advisor Isn't Telling You. Instead of chasing past winners, invest in funds that have low costs and low turnover, since those will serve you better in terms of greater returns over the years.

Another thing to keep in mind is that it's important to control the proportion of stocks to bonds in your portfolio, especially as you near retirement ages. Rebalance your portfolio to keep the investment mix appropriate for you.