New investors beware: The easy money you made in the stock market probably won’t continue

And it’s not just a few people, either.

But the really unusual part was the extremely short duration of the preceding bear market or downward spiral, which lasted just five weeks.

No wonder these first-year investors are more optimistic about near- and long-term results compared to more seasoned market participants, according to the Schwab survey.

It’s true that rising or bull markets always spring from the ashes of bear markets, but usually those preceding downdrafts are much more prolonged.

Stimulus checks don’t arrive every year, though there is one form of free money that you can tap into on an ongoing basis.

Even the federal government offers limited retired matching funds to lower-income workers, through the widely underappreciated Retirement Savers tax credit .

There’s a lot of psychology to investing, and one tendency is that people seek out confirming views from friends, family members and colleagues.

For example, a survey by MagnifyMoney, a subsidiary of Lending Tree, found that nearly six in 10 investors age 40 or younger are members of online forums such as Reddit.

In part, this is because other people often have different goals, tolerance for risk or other motivations compared to you.

Dana Sandoval, a certified financial planner at TCI Wealth Advisors in Denver who educates young adults in the nonprofit 3rd Decade program, suggests that everyone set up an emergency fund and take other fundamental steps.

And rather than concentrate your money in a handful of stocks, Sandoval recommends spreading it out through low-cost, diversified mutual funds or exchange-traded funds.

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