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Greetings, Addie, and welcome. You wrote:

<<This is exactly the way I am feeling; SCARED TO DEATH!!!
I am just getting comfortable with investing small amounts but to have a large amount to invest is overwhelming. I know our future retirement is going to be determined by my decisions. I understand why people usually let the someone else do it. The freedom to make your own decisions carries a lot of responsibility.>>

Yes, that freedom does carry responsibility. And because of that, we all felt somewhat terrified when we began to control our own investment futures by making the decisions ourselves. You're doing the right thing by getting comfortable with investing small amounts. The big stuff can come later. There's no super rush because the market won't go away. As you gain confidence (and you will) and as your decisions prove themselves (and most of the time they will, too, assuming you do your homework), then you won't have a big problem maintaining the courage of your convictions. Keep on learning and reading, and it will all get easier and easier. Fear not, you'll get there.

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