What to do with spare resources, is a theme not many have the need to contemplate.
It's fairly clear, if you are paying 10% paying interest on a mortgage, then, unless you have significant reasons to believe you can beat the market by at least 12%, you would be far better paying surplus monies into these debts, than going chasing other opportunities.
However, property .. And in particular, which location of the property, is not clear for many people, as this world gets smaller, so .. I do own a few shares.
My chief holding is Google, as I believe it has, as was once described, "the biggest moat, of any company". In my view, it has no competitors, and have been holding the shares, for over 7 yrs, from $400 up. It's now $700. For me, it's a long term hold.
I am very anti Gold, and have made significant losses/profits, over the last few yrs, as it traded upwards. At $1700 an ounce, I am a seller, but, understand, everyone has a diverse view.
I like smart phone providers, and picked up both Nokia and Research in Motion (blackberry), at distressed levels, a few months ago. They have made good returns, and have v important product launches in the new year. If they go well, the stocks will flourish, if not, in all likelihood, all they have left, are the patents.
Markets fluctuate, but, have a positive outlook for next year.
I will update my portfolio here, from time to time, but, everyone should do their own research .. And invest accordingly - consulting their financial advisor etc.