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The recent bear market has made a lot of people nervous about investing in stocks to fund an early retirement. It may not be as easy to retire quickly as it was during the halcyon days before the high-tech bubble burst, but it was also a lot riskier. The easiest way to reduce the risk of investing in equities and improve the gain is to increase the time you hang on to your portfolio. Even taking the current climate into account, holding on to your stocks for the long haul is a good investment.