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The Short Answer

Big Investment Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Speculative stock and sector bets and too conservative portfolios top users' lists of investment mistakes.

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Have you ever cringed when friends or family members have confided in you about speculative stock bets that have gone awry? Or watched in dismay as they followed the advice of brokers who didn't have their best interests at heart?

It might be a small consolation, but this is a common occurrence among many users in the Morningstar.com community. I recently asked participants in the Investment Basics forum of Morningstar's Discuss boards to share the most common mistakes they've seen friends and family members making, and the comments rolled in at a rapid clip. Several users also shared their own investing miscues and what they learned from them. To read the complete thread or chime in with your own experiences, click here.

When Safe Can Be Sorry
Several posters noted that they've frequently observed their loved ones (or themselves) falling into the pitfall of being too conservative or panicking during market weakness only to be left with the nagging question of when to get back in.

Christine Benz does not own (actual or beneficial) shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.

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