5. You have a LONG way to go

What an amazing 2013, right? Well, when you thank your lucky starts for those 25 percent gains you enjoyed this year, you may want to pray for a repeat performance in 2014. And 2015. And 2016…

Because even after these gains, the average American is woefully behind when it comes to retirement planning.

In early 2013, Fidelity was quick to announce that its average IRA balance this year hit a five-year high… but that was to just $81,000 . The same for Fidelity's average 401k balance of those over 55 — it was up nicely, but only to $255,000.

The old rule of thumb used to be that a retiree needed about 10 times their last year's salary to retire comfortable. But nowadays, with Americans living longer and health care expenses spiraling ever higher, even a million dollars in your retirement portfolio may only buy a modest retirement should you be lucky enough to live 20 to 30 more years after quitting the rat race.

Don't use 2013 as an excuse to take it easy on your retirement plan. You likely have a very long way to go still.

6. Personal preference is not an investing strategy

As I wrote a few months ago, Warren Buffett's folksy "buy what you know" advice is a portfolio killer for people who think personal preference is an investing strategy.

Your frustration with Facebook ads and privacy settings didn't stop the stock from doubling in 2013.

Your grim assessment of brick-and-mortar retail didn't stop Best Buy (BBY) from jumping 250 percent.

Your mockery of Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), its cheap laptops and overpriced printers hasn't stopped the stock from surging 80 percent this year.

Remember these lessons.

Also, remember the flip side of personal preference is also true. Case in point: Those Apple (AAPL) fanboys who were super bullish a year ago and had a big bucket of cold water thrown on them with this year's gross underperformance.

There are a host of amazing companies out there that may crash and burn in 2014 despite their consumer appeal. And plenty of much-maligned companies will rise.

That's Wall Street. So make sure that your investing thesis is based on market trends and earnings data… not just consumer hype and the not-so-informed opinion of your neighbors.

7.You can't win if you don't play

Look, calling the next bubble is fun if you're a financial media troll looking for page views or if you're just making conversation while huddled in your bunker this holiday season.

But bubble talk has been incredibly unproductive in every sense over the last few years.

And it will continue to be so in 2014.

Right now, unemployment is 7.0 percent, the lowest level since 2008. GDP for third quarter was revised up from 2.8 percent to 3.6 percent. The Investors Intelligence Survey conducted after Thanksgiving showed about 85 percent of investors were bullish — the highest reading since 1987.

Oh yeah, and the S&P is up 25 percent, its best year since 2003.

You think it's really all going to stop NOW, after what we've been through?

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To be clear, I'd never advocate dumping every penny into stocks because of the big risk involved with that. But 2013 should be proof positive of there is ALSO great risk (or in economic jargon, "opportunity cost") that comes with sitting out the stock market.

If you keep sitting on your hands, you will never do better than the measly returns offered by the bond market and so-called "high interest" CDs.

If that's your idea of a winning hand, so be it. But if not, consider upping the ante for a few hands in 2014 – even if the lion's share of your portfolio is focused on capital preservation.

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