Chris Dillow draws on his experience of analysing reader portfolios to draw up a list of the common pitfalls to avoid if you want to achieve your financial aims.
We review our share and fund tips from the past year and compare their performance against the market.
John Baron highlights the importance of monitoring discounts and premiums.
■ All you need to know about investing in the past seven days: what's rising, what's falling and what's making the headlines.
■ Christmas joy for Sainsbury - Decent third-quarter results have strengthened Sainsbury's position, with general merchandise and clothing sales growing at a faster rate than food.
■ The supermarket 'sandwich' effect - Supermarkets are being squeezed while general retailers can expect a difficult year as consumers tighten their belts
■ Afferro's takeover hope - Afferro is in takeover talks with multiple suitors and one company in particular could make a bid within weeks at a minimum 22 per cent premium to the current share price.
■ A ready-made portfolio of West End offices - An upcoming flotation offers access to a ready-made portfolio of West End offices at book value.
■ Ladbrokes bets on Betdaq - A deal for Betdaq could finally break Ladbrokes losing streak with acquisitions.
■ Corporate profits defy recession - Corporate profit rates have held up well - but this might not last.
■ The US rocked the confidence boat - The IC/Confidence Index fell to -29 for the end of 2012 as most of the stock markets around the world waited to hear a positive note from the US.
■ A good bear market - Gilt yields have risen because risk aversion has declined. This is a good thing. But it might not last.
■ Next week's economics - Inflation is constraining consumer spending, next week's numbers could show.
Our columnists offer in-depth analysis and investment ideas:
■ The Editor: State of independence - Don't assume that post-RDR advice will always be independent.
■ Simon Thompson: Dog shares barking back - Our companies editor's portfolio of US dog shares has soared over 15 per cent since October and he sees ample scope for further gains to come. Also, our companies editor has been navigating through the airline industry and has uncovered shares in a bargain basement small cap poised for take-off.
■ Chris Dillow: Too thrifty at 50? Many of us might be saving too much for our retirement. Also, the likelihood that the UK economy will do better than the euro area's in the next few months is no reason to favour small cap shares, despite their more domestic exposure
Financial planning, tax and investment wisdom:
■ Portfolio: The Isa portfolio that needs bond exposure.
■ Financial planning: A 10-point plan for choosing a care home.
■ SmartMoney: How independent is your adviser post-RDR?
SHARE TIPS OF THE WEEK:
■ It's proved its brilliance in the past, and it's still considered one of the best Reits in the industry. If you want a low-risk home for your capital and a decent income, park up here.
■ The break-up potential of this company makes these shares worth buying. There is also plenty of merit in the group as a longer-term holding.
■ Exposure to the improving US housing sector has been good for this manufacturer. And it has exited the worst-affected areas in the UK and Europe, leaving it well placed once better trading conditions emerge.
■ Bosses at this resources investor have switched their focus, but the market has valued the portfolio at a huge discount to book value. That harsh assessment has created a buying opportunity.
FUND TIP OF THE WEEK:
■ This top performing fund is a concentrated but unconstrained portfolio of best ideas. If you can take the volatility along with the strong returns, it makes a good long term holding.
SHARE TIP UPDATES:
■ Fund news: Smaller companies focused funds dominated the list of top-performing funds in 2012.
■ In the doghouse: Franklin UK Select Growth Fund's performance has suffered over the past five years, as its focus has shifted away from small- and mid-caps to larger companies.
■ Fund tips review: How we've done so far. At the start of 2012 we tipped nine funds for 2012, and most of them managed to beat the UK major indices.
■ The themes for 2012: We round up the themes we highlighted at the beginning of last year and assess the funds we chose to play them out.
■ ETFs German leverage paid off in 2012: German equity leveraged ETFs topped ETF performance in 2012, but these are a high-risk strategy only suitable for short-term traders.
The lowdown on the latest company results:
■ Sector focus: The rise and rise of London property. Unparalleled interest from overseas investors lies behind the strong performance of London focused property funds. Stephen Wilmot explains why and how small investors should follow their lead.
■ Stock screen: Six hot recovery plays. We've hunted down six undervalued recovery shares using our Piotroski screen,which delivered a 25 per cent gain last year.
■ Directors' dealings: Notable transactions at Digital Barriers, plus a table of all boardroom share trades.
■ Week ahead: A summary of key company announcements expected in the coming week.
■ Coppock: what our unique set of market indicators is saying now.
■ The Trader: New year, a new buy signal. Dow theory has added weight to the bullish case for US equities.