How often do you check up on your investments?

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mikemikemike
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How often do you check up on your investments?

Post by mikemikemike » Tue Apr 16, 2019 9:52 am

I have most of my net worth invested in a mix of bonds, stocks (about 70% US & 30% Int'l), and REITS.

This is spread over taxable and tax-advantaged accounts. I'm not planning to sell any of these investments for at least 5 years, and more likely, 10-60 years. (I'm about 30 years away from retiring).

I'm comfortable with my asset allocation, so I know the "right" thing to do is ignore altogether the daily (or even weekly) changes in asset values, and just stick to my monthly contributions, and annual rebalancing. In other words, I "know" that I don't need to know the asset valuations any more often than once/month (when I assign a new deposit to a particular asset class).

Yet I find it hard to ignore, and end up checking the state of the S&P index, FTSE index, etc., at least once a day, if not more.

This leads me to two questions for the forum:

1) How often do you all look up the values of the indices that your investments track?
2) (For those that successfully ignore this noise) Any pointers on how to ignore all this noise?

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David Jay
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Re: How often do you check up on your investments?

Post by David Jay » Tue Apr 16, 2019 10:07 am

Some of us are “data” people, I check almost daily. But I don’t take any action, I just want to know.

The thing that helped me most was a written IPS (investment policy statement). When I am tempted to take action, I go back and re-read what I have written.

[edit] it also helps that I made my first 401K contribution in 1987, so I know my tendencies.
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Ed_Sandwich
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Re: How often do you check up on your investments?

Post by Ed_Sandwich » Tue Apr 16, 2019 10:13 am

I track the S&P daily, and log into Mint. I re-balance annually. I have a glidepath that will get me from 98/2 to 60/40 by age 50. I try to stay committed to the plan and so far I haven't deviated yet.

jebmke
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Re: How often do you check up on your investments?

Post by jebmke » Tue Apr 16, 2019 10:15 am

Never

I only look for suspicious transactions and unrealized losses in my taxable account that need to be harvested. If I think I am close to a re-balance point, I'll double check but I have a pretty good feel for where that is relative to market moves.
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3-20Characters
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Re: How often do you check up on your investments?

Post by 3-20Characters » Tue Apr 16, 2019 10:35 am

I look every day but I rarely touch. That is, I have my funds (etf tickets of said funds) on my yahoo finance page bookmark. I’ve gotten good at looking at the ending prices and estimating how much my portfolio went up or down that day. If I open my spreadsheet after 6 pm, the portfolio total changes according to the new numbers after a few seconds. Nothing like seeing your portfolio make a big move one way or other in a few seconds. Humbling.

I also log into my financial accounts various times throughout the month to pay bills, check something or other, and just see if anything looks amiss. I’m not very worried because I take all known precautions but you never know.

My spreadsheet updates prices and AA charts automatically but I sometimes get what if moments and create new tables to look at some scenario or another. I do this because I find it enjoyable and comforting to know that I’m on top of things (as much as I can be). Most of this is not necessary I admit, and in the wrong hands could prove counterproductive.

livesoft
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Re: How often do you check up on your investments?

Post by livesoft » Tue Apr 16, 2019 10:37 am

I am trying to beat a benchmark return every year, so I look and compare often. I have learned quite a lot from doing that. I do realize that most people do not think like I do, so I would not recommend this to others.
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tea_pirate
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Re: How often do you check up on your investments?

Post by tea_pirate » Tue Apr 16, 2019 10:45 am

I type "VT" into my favorite search engine every single day at lunch to see how Vanguard Total World Stock is doing which is almost an exact proxy for my portfolio.

I also open Personal Capital almost every night and take a quick peek. I have caught credit card fraud very quickly a couple times by doing this.

MotoTrojan
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Re: How often do you check up on your investments?

Post by MotoTrojan » Tue Apr 16, 2019 10:47 am

I check my portfolio via Google Sheets almost daily but likely log into my actual accounts twice a month, after my 401K contribution hits.

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BigFoot48
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Re: How often do you check up on your investments?

Post by BigFoot48 » Tue Apr 16, 2019 10:53 am

I look at and record in Microsoft Money all changes in the portfolio from the monthly Schwab statements, but otherwise ignore it. However..... I have my three-fund portfolio set up in Morningstar to allow a quick look at approximate balances and have been looking more often recently because after 20 years of retirement our portfolio has been at record highs.

A fellow retiree friend is reporting the same thing and we have concluded we're just not spending enough money!
Retired | Two-time in top-10 in Bogleheads S&P500 contest; 13-time loser

CnC
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Re: How often do you check up on your investments?

Post by CnC » Tue Apr 16, 2019 3:29 pm

Daily, but I rarely do anything. I mainly plan where my next buy will be and dream of being FI by 45.

I once a week to twice a month randomly plug my numbers into best case worse case and realistic scenarios to see how I am doing against what I originally planned.

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Stinky
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Re: How often do you check up on your investments?

Post by Stinky » Tue Apr 16, 2019 3:39 pm

I check my portfolio daily, using the Morningstar portfolio tool. I like to see how my mix did against the S&P 500.

I follow my IPS, and never trade. I kept to my IPS through the 2008-09 tumult, and I trust that I will continue to follow it through whatever volatility lies ahead.
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BigMoneyNoWhammies
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Re: How often do you check up on your investments?

Post by BigMoneyNoWhammies » Tue Apr 16, 2019 3:52 pm

mikemikemike wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 9:52 am
I have most of my net worth invested in a mix of bonds, stocks (about 70% US & 30% Int'l), and REITS.

This is spread over taxable and tax-advantaged accounts. I'm not planning to sell any of these investments for at least 5 years, and more likely, 10-60 years. (I'm about 30 years away from retiring).

I'm comfortable with my asset allocation, so I know the "right" thing to do is ignore altogether the daily (or even weekly) changes in asset values, and just stick to my monthly contributions, and annual rebalancing. In other words, I "know" that I don't need to know the asset valuations any more often than once/month (when I assign a new deposit to a particular asset class).

Yet I find it hard to ignore, and end up checking the state of the S&P index, FTSE index, etc., at least once a day, if not more.

This leads me to two questions for the forum:

1) How often do you all look up the values of the indices that your investments track?
2) (For those that successfully ignore this noise) Any pointers on how to ignore all this noise?
I generally check the day after every pay period (when auto checking/savings account deposits, auto bill pay, and retirement account deposits are processed) and after each individual deposit I make into an account (typically IRA) to make sure nothing is amiss. I'm in the same boat as you and am 30ish years away from retirement with no plans to sell anything for decades, if ever. Given those circumstances, it's good to remember that the day to day shift in markets will be of little consequence to your portfolio for when you retire decades from now. It's a marathon, not a sprint.

carmonkie
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Re: How often do you check up on your investments?

Post by carmonkie » Tue Apr 16, 2019 3:57 pm

I track all my accounts in Vanguard, including the ones that I hold outside like my 401(k) and HSA. I update this one manually every month and it gives me the big picture. I look at this every week.

When I am ready to add new money, I update and export my M* portfolio to my excel file to get the most current balances and AA. I have some mock-up lines with the funds class that I own, US Total, Tot Int, etc, then plug in the $$ in the class that needs new money and see what it does. Repeat next time.

I look at my checking every day just in-case. I set text notifications for all my CC at $1.00 min.

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One Ping
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Re: How often do you check up on your investments?

Post by One Ping » Tue Apr 16, 2019 5:44 pm

mikemikemike,
mikemikemike wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 9:52 am
1) How often do you all look up the values of the indices that your investments track?
Not the specific indices I’m invested in, but I do check and keep track of each account balance (7 in total) and the sum once a week on Saturday. I only look up specific index fund values when getting ready to sell something or it's time to check the rebalancing bands.
mikemikemike wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 9:52 am
2) (For those that successfully ignore this noise) Any pointers on how to ignore all this noise?
I started doing this about 16 years ago (early 2003, about a decade before I retired) after a major overhaul of our account structure, holdings and allocations to better align with my investment philosophy (basically a Boglehead approach). I was still working at the time, my job was well paid and my position solid. I planned on working for many more years, and wanted to see what “natural” market volatility looked like. My IPS (Investment Policy Statement) really prevented me from doing anything rash and once a week was frequent enough to see what the “noise” looked like. I didn’t really fear job loss and that did make it easier to look at the variations as more of an academic exercise. After several years (including the "dot-com" bust and the Great Recession), I basically became immune to these fluctuations. This came in handy because when I did retire in 2014, I wasn’t really bothered by the ups and downs any longer. I’d become pretty immune to them.

My pointers to you would be to:
1) have a well thought out IPS, including contingencies, you are comfortable enough you can live with through thick and thin (you can search the forum for examples),
2) monitor the portfolio “noise” regularly, (especially during times when you have relatively stable employment), and
3) start doing this early enough (now!) so you can watch for years (decades?) to understand at a gut level what is the noise level and become comfortable with it.

You may find you need to adjust your IPS to feel comfortable, but don’t do it hastily.

One thing I’ve noticed, now that I’m retired, is that sometimes the weekly drop in total portfolio value can be much more than my expected annual withdrawal amount. This might have bothered me if I had not done this and came to understand that sometimes it also goes UP by more than that amount too!

Good Luck,
One Ping

ETA: One more thing to remember, if you are young, your annual additions to your accounts will help "smooth the ride" early on. This may help "getting used to it" process.
"Re-verify our range to target ... one ping only."

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jhfenton
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Re: How often do you check up on your investments?

Post by jhfenton » Tue Apr 16, 2019 7:45 pm

I check Vanguard daily, and I track all of our investments on my spreadsheet. Each morning I double-check and record the daily balance.

After doing that for a few years, I have an interesting record of our personal portfolio movements. It makes for fun charts.

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Wiggums
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Re: How often do you check up on your investments?

Post by Wiggums » Tue Apr 16, 2019 7:47 pm

I check my balance on the first day of each month to save the balance. I do not take any action. It takes about ten minutes.

ThankYouJack
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Re: How often do you check up on your investments?

Post by ThankYouJack » Tue Apr 16, 2019 7:59 pm

mikemikemike wrote: 1) How often do you all look up the values of the indices that your investments track?
2) (For those that successfully ignore this noise) Any pointers on how to ignore all this noise?
I used to check far more often. Now I just run my NW numbers maybe 2 or 3 times a year.

I just realized that it was pointless for me to always check and therefor a waste of my time. I’m also less anxious now about having “enough” money so that helps a lot.

Maybe you can ask yourself what do you gain from always looking? And does it benefit you positively or negatively from a mental health standpoint? If the answers are nothing and negatively then it’s a matter of breaking the habit. Maybe you can fill the void with something else.

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GerryL
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Re: How often do you check up on your investments?

Post by GerryL » Tue Apr 16, 2019 8:42 pm

I have gotten into the habit of checking my former employer’s stock most days. This is just out of curiosity as I have no plans to sell or donate any shares this year. It would mess up my tax planning. The only thing that really matters is if they raise the dividend.
I reconcile all my accounts in Quicken at the beginning of each month, so “at least once a month” would be an accurate answer to the question.

bck63
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Re: How often do you check up on your investments?

Post by bck63 » Tue Apr 16, 2019 9:03 pm

I look at Fidelity Full View every day.

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Re: How often do you check up on your investments?

Post by z3r0c00l » Tue Apr 16, 2019 9:09 pm

I check daily when stocks are up, about weekly when down. I enjoy watching the changes, it can be fun. Certainly not needed.

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happysteward
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Re: How often do you check up on your investments?

Post by happysteward » Wed Apr 17, 2019 6:33 am

I was checking too much and tinkering, because of BH I have disciplined myself to only look and perhaps rebalance quarterly, been good for me personally and for my portfolio.
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TSWNY
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Re: How often do you check up on your investments?

Post by TSWNY » Wed Apr 17, 2019 6:43 am

I log onto Mint pretty much every day, but that is mainly to check my checking/credit card for any fraudulent activity. I tend to check less often during down turns in the market because I only re-balance one a year.

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sleepysurf
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Re: How often do you check up on your investments?

Post by sleepysurf » Wed Apr 17, 2019 7:21 am

I have the Ministocks "widget" app on my android smartphone, and watch the gyrations of various stock/bond asset classes (using ETF's as proxies for my index funds) a few times during the day. It's comforting to see our ~50/50 balanced portfolio (usually) doing as expected when things get turbulent. However, it seems we've had more days lately when Stocks, Bonds, and REITS are all simultaneously either up or down, and/or rapidly fluctuating prices the final 15 mins before the markets close. It's great entertainment!

I check my actual portfolio (via Personal Capital) once a day, after 6 PM, primarily to review any credit card transactions, but also glance at the total portfolio value just for kicks.
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Nowizard
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Re: How often do you check up on your investments?

Post by Nowizard » Wed Apr 17, 2019 7:21 am

I tend to check regularly. Our portfolio is on-line, and I change the "Purchase Price" for each fund/stock on January 1 of each year so that it appears that all items were purchased on December 31 of the preceding year. By looking, I can tell at a glance what has happened in a given day with each fund and what the percentage change for individual holdings and the portfolio has been YTD. I also check Vanguard's site at the end of each month and add in any distributions/withdrawals for that month. This gives up-to-date performance at any time during a particular year. We own one stock, and it is the item I most check.

Tim

scrabbler1
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Re: How often do you check up on your investments?

Post by scrabbler1 » Wed Apr 17, 2019 7:47 am

I'll check them at the end of each month when I get monthly dividend distributions. Some months, I get mid-month dividend of cap gain distributions, so I'll check for them. I also check another day mid-month to post balances into my spreadsheet. If I looking at doing a rebalancing move, which is at most a few times a year, I'll check them again. Any separate purchases or redemptions, I'll check them.
Last edited by scrabbler1 on Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

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mikemikemike
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Re: How often do you check up on your investments?

Post by mikemikemike » Wed Apr 17, 2019 7:51 am

Thanks for all the replies! Seems I'm not that unusual in being curious about how my investments are doing.

I like the suggestions to write out an IPS: I have some scribbles with AA, and breakdown of what types of things to put in what accounts (taxable vs ROTH, etc.), but a clear statement of purpose behind that plan seems a good idea.

My aim is to not check up on my investments any more often than is necessary (e.g., if I have money to allocate, or reach rebalance day, then I need to think about investments). That should free up some mental energy, and reduce the odds of making behavioral errors (like changing my mind about something).

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Psyayeayeduck
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Re: How often do you check up on your investments?

Post by Psyayeayeduck » Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:16 am

Daily. It falls under the category of "this is how the sausage is made" in my world of personal finance. Up days. Down days. It doesn't matter. I'm just fascinated on how things can rapidly grow if you follow the Bogleheads advice of lazy portfolios.

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Re: How often do you check up on your investments?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:23 am

I check my TDAmeritrade and Schwab accounts multiple times during the day when the market is open and update my investments spread sheet. These are all ETFs so their price changes by the second. I'll check Fidelity the next day, since they're all mutual funds and don't report until about 7:30pm after the trading day. My spread sheet updates my asset allocation so if I happen to hit a band, I can plan for rebalancing. Otherwise, I just like seeing my investment total as it creeps towards the magic number. I also have 2% and 4% numbers calculated so I can see how much I could get a year with either withdrawal amount.
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chisey
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Re: How often do you check up on your investments?

Post by chisey » Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:23 am

I check every day, sometimes multiple times. I made a major portfolio overhaul over the past year and a half, so partly I'm looking to see how the components behave relative to one another. The more comfortable I am with those movements, the less likely I am to do any further tinkering.

itsgot8
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Re: How often do you check up on your investments?

Post by itsgot8 » Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:43 am

I check bi-annually and re-balance as necessary, according to my asset allocation.

DecumulatorDoc
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Re: How often do you check up on your investments?

Post by DecumulatorDoc » Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:54 am

Thank goodness...I was afraid to answer first, because I figured I just might be the only Boglehead to check every day. Glad to see I'm not alone. Like the others its just a routine, like reading the sports page daily, etc. I stick to the IPS and only act when warranted, no more than once a quarter.

AlwaysaQ
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Re: How often do you check up on your investments?

Post by AlwaysaQ » Wed Apr 17, 2019 10:47 am

I update my accounts spreadsheet on Saturday morning before I backup documents and pictures to external storage. I also check the accounts after making a buy or sell to see if it went through.

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John151
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Re: How often do you check up on your investments?

Post by John151 » Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:33 pm

I check my investments on days that are especially volatile. Other than that, I check my investments once a week, usually on Saturdays, and record the results on the first of each month.

nesdog
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Re: How often do you check up on your investments?

Post by nesdog » Wed Apr 17, 2019 1:23 pm

I may see the SP number for the day but I rarely check the amounts on the various investment accounts. I do a deep dive a couple of times a year.
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miket29
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Re: How often do you check up on your investments?

Post by miket29 » Wed Apr 17, 2019 3:30 pm

I set up a desired allocation in an Excel spreadsheet, the next column has actual holdings, the third column has desired holdings. It isn't quite an IPS but its how I do it. I set a calendar item every Jan 2nd to update my holdings by creating a new tab in the spreadsheet, enter current numbers, and rebalance.

Works for me, and let me stay the course during the 2008 meltdown and recovery.

peagreenboat
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Re: How often do you check up on your investments?

Post by peagreenboat » Wed Apr 17, 2019 6:13 pm

I look at the S&P500 chart every day or two, just to have a sense what the market is up to, but I try not to look at my own personal investment accounts often - maybe once a month. Looking at the S&P500 satisfies my curiosity, while not looking at my own balances helps me to be less emotionally affected by the gyrations of the market.

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