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TheStreet Open House

10 Bad Investment Ideas You Need to Rethink

BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- The public is hungry for guidance when it comes to their retirement strategy. The challenge is avoiding bad advice.

Your parents, bartender and hairdresser may all share their ideas as to how to best plan for the future. Your financial adviser certainly will suggest short-term moves and long-term strategies. The Internet is chock full of suggestions and self-proclaimed financial gurus telling you what to do with your money. Time and time again, however, even well-meaning guidance can be damaging.

Your friends may want nothing but the best for you, but that doesn't mean they should dispense investing tips. If you can't fire them, don't use them.

Every investor's situation is unique, and there are very few universal truths for how to manage your money. What works best for some can be disastrous for others.

The following are 10 things singled out by some financial experts as among the worst advice they've heard clients take seriously:

1. Real estate is always a good investment.
For decades, owning a home was seen as the single best investment one could make. Even though the collapse in home values since the recession should put to rest the theory prices will always rise, many still cling to the belief having a mortgage is smarter than paying rent.

Yes, even post-bubble, there are benefits to homeownership. But buying a house is, and will always be, an investment. Like any asset, a home can rise and fall in value. Counting on your property as a nest egg carries more risk than the conventional wisdom of the past would suggest.

"You think they would have learned by now," says Sal Lyazidi, senior vice president of investments for JHS Capital Advisors in Tampa, Fla.

2. Pay down your debt before you start saving
"Some say you have to be debt free before you start saving," Lyazidi says. "There are many different things in our lives every day, and the only way we will be able to have many of them is if we take on debt -- your car, your home, your education. You are going to have to borrow some money." He says the key is to manage that debt, not be controlled by it. Otherwise, you will lose out on the valuable and compounding returns your retirement plan could be earning.

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