Most people in the U.S. know what place their local sports teams are in. We know what film won the last Academy Award. We know the latest about Jennifer Lopez, and we know that Michael Jackson lives in the aptly named "Neverland." We live in a society that pays a lot of attention to some pretty weird stuff, but one thing we don't seem to examine closely is how our investments are doing compared to the market's averages. Why is that?

Because nobody ever taught us how, and because no one who is selling investment advice has had it in their best interest to show us how to account for our investment performance. Professional investors just don't want you to pay much attention to how they're doing. It gives them a lot of room for error.

Fools propose that unless you're going to take the time to measure your results, you shouldn't put investment dollars into anything but an index fund. If you can afford to put money away for five years, but don't have the time to keep tabs on how you're doing, buy an index fund and leave it at that. (A brief trip to our Index Fund area should help you see the light.)

We suspect, though, that many of you have more than an hour a year to devote to this, are interested, and wouldn't mind aiming to be better than average if it were possible. With that in mind, we have a handful of Fools who are passionate about finding superior investment ideas. So, if it's stock ideas you want, yeah, we've got that.