It's important to watch the Dow when thinking of your investments. But, I am more focused on the broader reading, which is the S&P 500.

This index covers a larger range of companies. If you want to really follow the markets and your money in the market, try to focus on the S&P.

With that said, now the question is whether you made the right amount of money last year based on what the market did.

The S&P gained exactly 13.4% from January 1 thru December 31 in 2012. This was after all the up and down action during the year.

So if you look at what you had for a balance at the very start of the year and compare it to your balance at the end, you need to see a 13.4% gain in addition to any money you added in during the year.

If your gains are less than that, you aren't keeping pace with the market. If you saw around 13% in gains, you did a good job. If you exceeded 13%, you did a great job as an investor.

Everybody's got a strategy that they are comfortable with. If it's working and you are sleeping good at night, stick with it. If it's not working well, you can always make changes.

Then there's the 'Could'a, Should'a Would'a' stuff when looking at the markets. Here's a list of stocks that you saw a handsome return on if you were invested in them.

Top Performing S&P Stocks of 2012:

1. Sprint Nextel
Growth: 138 percent

2. PulteGroup
Growth: 110 percent

3. Whirlpool Corporation
Growth: 106 percent

4. Bank of America
Growth: 99 percent

5. Expedia Inc.
Growth: 95 percent

6. Lennar Corporation
Growth: 91 percent

7. Marathon Petroleum
Growth: 85 percent

8. Tesoro Corporation
Growth: 77 percent

9. Seagate Technology
Growth: 85 percent

10. Gilead Sciences
Growth: 73 percent