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Common Mistakes That Could Derail Your Retirement —and How to Avoid Them

Investors have been challenged like never before in 2020 as the pandemic took the market from the record highs that marked the start of the year, to the brink of a depression by the end of March, and back to record highs.

And if daily headlines about Covid-19 and its economic impact weren’t enough, many investors are grappling with conflicting emotions: boredom and anxiety, hope and fear, gratitude and guilt. These emotions can be particularly debilitating to retirement savers, whose decisions today can have a lasting impact on their ability to amass enough for a decadeslong retirement.

It can be difficult to make sound, emotion-free investment decisions in even the most typical of times, but the environment today could be a case study in bad behavior. “We are just constantly stressed in a way that we’re not used to, and in an environment that is so uncertain and ambiguous,” says Maria Konnikova, an author with Ph.D. in psychology who specializes in decision making.

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