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With U.S. markets sliding on Friday for fear of a new variant of Covid, you might be tempted to take some money off the table.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 1,000 points, or 2.8% for the day. The S&P 500 is now down 2.3%.

While selling today can reduce your stress in the moment, it will likely cost you in the long run, experts say.

“Pain is a sign that you are investing well,” said certified financial planner Allan Roth, founder of financial advisory firm Wealth Logic in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

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If you can’t stand the bad days, he says, you lose the good ones too.

Over the past 20 years, the S&P 500 has achieved an average annual return of around 6%.

If you missed the best 20 days in the market during that period because you were convinced you should sell and reinvested later, your return would shrink to just 0.1%, according to an analysis by Charles Schwab.

“For longer-term investors, we recommend staying on course whenever possible,” said Rob Williams, CFP and vice president of financial planning at Charles Schwab.

Over the years the market gives more than it needs.

Between 1900 and 2017, the average annual stock return, according to calculations by Steve Hanke, Professor of Applied Economics at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, was around 11%.

Adjusted for inflation, this average annual return was still 8%. Along the way, the S&P 500 suffered at least 16 bear markets. (A bear market is typically defined as a decline of more than 20%.)

As a result, financial advisors caution against making large changes to your investment strategy based on a period of declines.

We are still waiting to find out more about what this new coronavirus variant will mean. But despite all the worrying Covid headlines throughout the year, the S&P 500 index was still up over 24% at the beginning of the month, according to Morningstar Direct.

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