Quick: How are your investments doing? If you're stumped, read on.

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 Kobe Bryant, 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 pay much attention to is how our investments are doing compared with 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.

If you're not going to take the time to measure your results (and, hey, we understand that not everyone gets a kick out of this stuff), consider investing in an index mutual fund. Here's a how-to guide that'll walk you through the process in just 60 seconds. Remember, indexing may seem "simple" in the world of investing, but it's still putting your money in the stock market. So commit only those dollars you're willing to keep invested for at least the next five years -- and hopefully longer.

We suspect, though, that many of you have more than an hour a year to devote to your finances 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.

Here's a brief rundown of our suite of investing newsletters. All are subscription-based, but each offers a pro-rated money-back guarantee. And most let you try out the first issue for free.

  • In Stock Advisor, Fool Founders David and Tom Gardner challenge each other's stock picks out in the open and put their best ideas out on the table.
  • If you're interested in foraging for companies that fly under the radar, Tom Gardner's passion is seeking these potential Hidden Gems.
  • Analyst Mathew Emmert likes cash. His Income Investor letter covers the world of REITs, ETFs, MLTs, and more.
  • Shannon Zimmerman spends his days identifying those mutual funds that will outperform their corresponding indexes. Champion Funds can show you how to replace the duds in your portfolio with a few real winners.

For more information, see this side-by-side comparison of each investor's strategy, compare investor risk, newsletter features, and price.