Americans are losing faith in their ability to invest, according to a new study from Hearts & Wallets, a retirement and savings research firm. The study found that more than four in 10 investors (41%) view themselves as "very inexperienced" with investing, up from 27% last year.

Why the sudden lack of confidence? Laura Varas, principal of Hearts & Wallets, says it has to do with an increasingly complex marketplace. An adverse market environment, economic uncertainty and even the rise of automated trading have conspired to make investors of all ages and lifestyles "feel less adequate," she said in a telephone interview.

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