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Published: Feb 10, 2021 7 min read

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Two hands washing gold bitcoin in a pan
Kiersten Essenpreis for Money

Bitcoin hit another all-time high this week and everyday investors have been quickly winning (and losing) fortunes on stocks like GameStop and the meme-turned-cryptocurrency Dogecoin. These buys are risky, especially if you don’t know when to fold and walk away from the table.

The fear of missing out (FOMO) may have you wanting in on these investments, but it also keeps traders from getting out when they should. Say you hit the jackpot on $100 worth of Bitcoin you bought in 2011 and you’re sitting on more than $1 million. That’s likely more money than you’ve ever had, but what if you could have … $2 million. Sometimes taking a huge gamble works out; Mark Zuckerberg could have sold Facebook to Yahoo for $1 billion, but he didn’t and now he’s one of the richest people in the world. But we’re not all Mark Zuckerbergs and just as fast as those returns can double, they can also disappear. GameStop, which was trading at $483 per share at its highest in late January, is now trading around $50.

So how do you balance the fear of selling now and potentially missing bigger returns, with making sound investing decisions?

The psychology