How to Stop Watching the Market (I know it's just that simple. But is it?)

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whereskyle
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How to Stop Watching the Market (I know it's just that simple. But is it?)

Post by whereskyle » Wed Feb 12, 2020 12:15 pm

Hello all! I could use some advice.

My New Year's Resolution was to get my finances in order. To that end, I've spent the last two months vigorously researching the stock market, reading Bogle's books, and perusing this forum. I think I'm close to finished with building a portfolio that I feel confident I can hold for the long term (at least twenty years, at which point I plan to move out of a 90% equity position). All of that research has been wonderfully enlightening, but I'm starting to realize that this resolution is now verging on an obsession. I am feeling the highs (I've read it's effectively the same chemical reaction as that triggered by cocaine) of seeing the market go up and of my diversified portfolio responding in different ways to the market, which for me indicates that I am sufficiently diversified. I'm starting to think that with my long time horizon, my broadly diversified portfolio is suitable and I don't need to add anything to it (except regular contributions). With all that said, how do I transition out of this period of intense focus on the market? I can't be fiddling with things forever attempting to ensure that my portfolio is the best. I know that if this becomes a hobby I am much more likely to tamper with my investments and lose money over the long haul. I also obviously have yet to endure a bear market. While the maxim to stop watching can obviously be followed by my simply stopping, I wonder if anyone has any sage advice (I love a good parable) on how to actually be passive and keep one's finger off the trigger. What strategies (if you can call doing nothing a strategy) do you follow to stay passive and let a diversified portfolio work its magic?

Thanks, all!
"I am better off than he is – for he knows nothing, and thinks that he knows. I neither know nor think that I know." - Socrates. "Nobody knows nothing." - Jack Bogle

Elysium
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Re: How to Stop Watching the Market (I know it's just that simple. But is it?)

Post by Elysium » Wed Feb 12, 2020 12:26 pm

Get a real hobby, go work out, run, swim, outdoor, lean a new skill, music instrument, change focus, or watch as much as you want just don't take any action. I watch every day almost and even look at balances frequently, no action other than the end of the year.

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Wiggums
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Re: How to Stop Watching the Market (I know it's just that simple. But is it?)

Post by Wiggums » Wed Feb 12, 2020 12:29 pm

I only have mutual funds, so no ETFs or individual stocks to trade or have fun with. I also only check the balance once a month on the 2nd day of the month. You are right. Time in the market and your contribution amount will provide the best opportunity To reach your investment goals. Moving money in and out Of the market will do the opposite. It’s that simple. So once you’re fully invested and have your contributions on auto pilot, it’s time to go
Do something fun instead of staring at your portfolio.

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CyclingDuo
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Re: How to Stop Watching the Market (I know it's just that simple. But is it?)

Post by CyclingDuo » Wed Feb 12, 2020 12:30 pm

whereskyle wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 12:15 pm
Hello all! I could use some advice.

My New Year's Resolution was to get my finances in order. To that end, I've spent the last two months vigorously researching the stock market, reading Bogle's books, and perusing this forum. I think I'm close to finished with building a portfolio that I feel confident I can hold for the long term (at least twenty years, at which point I plan to move out of a 90% equity position). All of that research has been wonderfully enlightening, but I'm starting to realize that this resolution is now verging on an obsession. I am feeling the highs (I've read it's effectively the same chemical reaction as that triggered by cocaine) of seeing the market go up and of my diversified portfolio responding in different ways to the market, which for me indicates that I am sufficiently diversified. I'm starting to think that with my long time horizon, my broadly diversified portfolio is suitable and I don't need to add anything to it (except regular contributions). With all that said, how do I transition out of this period of intense focus on the market? I can't be fiddling with things forever attempting to ensure that my portfolio is the best. I know that if this becomes a hobby I am much more likely to tamper with my investments and lose money over the long haul. I also obviously have yet to endure a bear market. While the maxim to stop watching can obviously be followed by my simply stopping, I wonder if anyone has any sage advice (I love a good parable) on how to actually be passive and keep one's finger off the trigger. What strategies (if you can call doing nothing a strategy) do you follow to stay passive and let a diversified portfolio work its magic?

Thanks, all!
No worries. When the market starts going down you will stop watching it. 8-) At least that's what most of us did in the 2000-2003 time frame and the 2007-09 time frame.

Just keep on contributing to your accounts every week/month/year, and open your statement in 20 years. :beer
"Everywhere is within walking distance if you have the time." ~ Steven Wright

lostdog
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Re: How to Stop Watching the Market (I know it's just that simple. But is it?)

Post by lostdog » Wed Feb 12, 2020 12:33 pm

You can look just don't act on it.
Global Market Cap Equity | 6 Months Cash | Staying The Course

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LilyFleur
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Re: How to Stop Watching the Market (I know it's just that simple. But is it?)

Post by LilyFleur » Wed Feb 12, 2020 12:49 pm

1. Don't watch TV. Shallow and sensationalist. They have to think of something new to talk about. All day long.

2. Read a reputable financial news publication, like the Wall Street Journal or The Economist.

3. Read this forum. I learn something new many days, and I have learned extremely useful strategies as well (I am older, and I did my very first Roth conversion last year).

4. You sound pretty rational about investing. You will need to see how often you want to look at your portfolio. If you start to get the jitters, you may need to change your asset allocation to something you can live with. Or, come on here for a pep talk and stay the course with your present allocation. Mine was more aggressive than yours, and now I am here, at 55/45, happily retired. (although sometimes I long for a bit more risk.) It was a huge rush when, one day in 2017, my portfolio earned more in a week than I earned all year in my day job. If I want to, some day I may invest some play money using Hedgefundie's recommendations. Otherwise, at my end of the spectrum, it's kind of fun to look at my portfolio, and think to myself, wow, I have earned $28,000 this year without lifting a finger. Like you said, it is a hobby. If you can look at it like a game without anxiety and make level-headed decisions, it will pay off for you. I wish you the best.

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Re: How to Stop Watching the Market (I know it's just that simple. But is it?)

Post by Nowizard » Wed Feb 12, 2020 1:03 pm

Pretty common to want to see the results of something that took time and effort. Check back in a month or so if the same level of intensity exists. There are significant differences among those who look regularly and those who don't. You could say there is an obsessive tendency to look for some, to not look for others.

Tim

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btq96r
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Re: How to Stop Watching the Market (I know it's just that simple. But is it?)

Post by btq96r » Wed Feb 12, 2020 1:07 pm

lostdog wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 12:33 pm
You can look just don't act on it.
^^^This^^^

I read the highlights of the market, and check my accounts every day. I update a spreadsheet to track monthly balances. I'm OCD like that, and I neither can nor want to fight it because it's who I am. I just don't lose my discipline and make rash decisions because of the daily reviews. I have a long term strategy in mind, and I stick to it.
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Re: How to Stop Watching the Market (I know it's just that simple. But is it?)

Post by Lalamimi » Wed Feb 12, 2020 1:20 pm

I too, just recently have taken the time to move our accounts, balance and watch the accounts way too much. I just turned 66, so a bit more important to ensure I have done it "correctly". I have been good, actually selling (most of) those MFs I wanted to get rid of, and buying the suggested 3 funds and a few stocks for fun.
My plan, if I weaken, is to have my husband change the passwords to our Fidelity accounts. These rainy cold days are not helpful. I alternate between reading this thread and checking my account.

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Re: How to Stop Watching the Market (I know it's just that simple. But is it?)

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Wed Feb 12, 2020 1:24 pm

If you watch the market and do nothing but update your investments spread sheet, that's a big "who cares?" and is a hobby. I do this. I update 10 times a day when the market is going up. If it's going down, I wait for tomorrow and close the spread sheet.

Yah, but if you watch the market and do something, then that's a problem. I do have an answer, though. Here's what you do. Go into your brokerage account and hit "reset password". Write a new, strong password on a small piece of paper in very small letters and make sure it's long and random enough that you would never remember it. Do the reset. Now log out, clear the memory so it's not stored and eat the piece of paper.
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Re: How to Stop Watching the Market (I know it's just that simple. But is it?)

Post by retired@50 » Wed Feb 12, 2020 1:28 pm

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 1:24 pm
I do have an answer, though. Here's what you do. Go into your brokerage account and hit "reset password". Write a new, strong password on a small piece of paper in very small letters and make sure it's long and random enough that you would never remember it. Do the reset. Now log out, clear the memory so it's not stored and eat the piece of paper.
LOL. Funny, and probably very effective.

My advice is to go get a library card at your local library and adopt a reading habit, instead of following the market on TV or the Internet.

Regards,
Boggle - a game from Parker Brothers. Bogle - investor, founder of Vanguard.

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Re: How to Stop Watching the Market (I know it's just that simple. But is it?)

Post by Presintense » Wed Feb 12, 2020 1:31 pm

whereskyle wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 12:15 pm
With all that said, how do I transition out of this period of intense focus on the market?
Thanks, all!
Up to date information on the market has become seemingly omnipresent. Even on bogleheads it’s difficult to not notice whether “stocks continue to soar” or “stocks are in free-fall”. No such thing as a spoiler alert. It’s even impossible to stick your head in the sand without the sand itself blurting out market conditions. Ad nauseam market news is like ad nauseam breaking news. Totally meaningless waste of resources unless you dignify it with some sort of action.
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ResearchMed
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Re: How to Stop Watching the Market (I know it's just that simple. But is it?)

Post by ResearchMed » Wed Feb 12, 2020 1:50 pm

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 1:24 pm
If you watch the market and do nothing but update your investments spread sheet, that's a big "who cares?" and is a hobby. I do this. I update 10 times a day when the market is going up. If it's going down, I wait for tomorrow and close the spread sheet.

Yah, but if you watch the market and do something, then that's a problem. I do have an answer, though. Here's what you do. Go into your brokerage account and hit "reset password". Write a new, strong password on a small piece of paper in very small letters and make sure it's long and random enough that you would never remember it. Do the reset. Now log out, clear the memory so it's not stored and eat the piece of paper.
We do a version of this... at the end of the day or next morning, I usually track every new "high".
(But we don't reset passwords to keep ourselves "out". We do want to "watch".)
And I'll announce to DH, "a new high again today", and we both smile. Occasionally, we'll say we should go out to dinner to celebrate. We don't act on that, either! :D
(And we do not then eat little pieces of paper instead, but I suppose that would provide a bit of extra fiber!)

Otherwise, I say nothing, which means either I didn't check (sort of unusual unless we are otherwise busy) or there's "not a new high". If the market has moved dramatically, it will be on the news one way or another, so DH would know, of course.

It's just very nice to see "another new high number". The other days, we just move along...
And the past several years have, for the most part, been very nice indeed. :happy

RM
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Re: How to Stop Watching the Market (I know it's just that simple. But is it?)

Post by Wiggums » Wed Feb 12, 2020 1:52 pm

CyclingDuo wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 12:30 pm
No worries. When the market starts going down you will stop watching it. At least that's what most of us did in the 2000-2003 time frame and the 2007-09 time frame.

Just keep on contributing to your accounts every week/month/year, and open your statement in 20 years. :beer
This is very true!

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Re: How to Stop Watching the Market (I know it's just that simple. But is it?)

Post by ronno2018 » Wed Feb 12, 2020 2:02 pm

Wiggums wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 1:52 pm
CyclingDuo wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 12:30 pm
No worries. When the market starts going down you will stop watching it. At least that's what most of us did in the 2000-2003 time frame and the 2007-09 time frame.

Just keep on contributing to your accounts every week/month/year, and open your statement in 20 years. :beer
This is very true!
Yes it is a good strategy, very easy if you are in the accumulation phase for sure!

I have really moved a lot of assets around this past year and I can back off from doing any changes, hopefully that will make me look less at the daily market gyrations. I do enjoy learning about finance through this board, books and podcasts. I know the market will soon(?) decline for a year or two and I hope I will not freak out as I am nearing retirement age...

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Re: How to Stop Watching the Market (I know it's just that simple. But is it?)

Post by RadAudit » Wed Feb 12, 2020 2:04 pm

Except for rebalancing, there's no reason to look at the portfolio. And, if you've figured out a way to avoid rebalancing (LifeStrategy funds, etc.) and accept there's nothing you can do to change portfolio / market performance - why look?
FI is the best revenge. LBYM. Invest the rest. Stay the course. - PS: The cavalry isn't coming, kids. You are on your own.

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Re: How to Stop Watching the Market (I know it's just that simple. But is it?)

Post by tchoupitoulas » Wed Feb 12, 2020 2:04 pm

I think this is a great question that doesn't get enough attention. I've struggled with this in the past. One overarching thing that has helped me is to structure my investments so that I don't need to check them ever and so that there's really nothing I could do even if I did check them. For me that means using a robo advisor and just sitting back. A target date fund would do the trick as well. Having to do things like rebalance or TLH in my opinion just opens the door to obsessively checking performance.

Other ideas:

1) Use a broker that doesn't display daily moves as a default. M1 is like this. Makes the experience of logging in much less of a "rush" since it doesn't change all that much on a day to day basis.

2) Remove apps from your phone. I deleted the stocks app from my iPhone and that helped. The phone is a major problem because it's so easy to pull it out in any idle moment.

3) Try to identify the signal or trigger that causes you to go and check performance and see if you can replace that action with something else. If you read The Power of Habit you'll understand what I'm talking about. This is IMHO why suggestions like get a library card aren't that helpful, because you don't consciously sit down and think to yourself that you're going to spend a quiet evening obsessing over stock returns instead of reading a good book, you check reflexively, habitually, in little moments of downtime (at least that's what I do). So find something else entertaining to do in little moments of distraction/procrastination. I like Reddit for this purpose. Or (clearly) logging in to Bogleheads and reading about how much money people spend on horses. :happy

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Re: How to Stop Watching the Market (I know it's just that simple. But is it?)

Post by medic » Wed Feb 12, 2020 2:14 pm

What did you do with your time before you started looking so heavily in investments? Go back to that and you'll naturally split your energy. I found the way to spend less time on A is to spend more time on B.

You could try to go cold turkey, but normally if there's a habit to break identify the trigger that causes you to do something, and avoid the trigger or replace the action. For example, if the trigger is "I see CNBC and want to login to my account", remove CNBC form your TV programming.

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Re: How to Stop Watching the Market (I know it's just that simple. But is it?)

Post by Cycle » Wed Feb 12, 2020 2:14 pm

I hold Target date funds in the 401k and vtwax (total world) in everything else.

There's never any rebalancing task for me to do, so watching the market is pointless.

I buy whenever I have money in my checking above a threshold. I don't check the price, there's really no point in trying to wait for a good price for long term investors as a buzzillion studies have shown
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1789
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Re: How to Stop Watching the Market (I know it's just that simple. But is it?)

Post by 1789 » Wed Feb 12, 2020 4:44 pm

tchoupitoulas wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 2:04 pm
I think this is a great question that doesn't get enough attention. I've struggled with this in the past. One overarching thing that has helped me is to structure my investments so that I don't need to check them ever and so that there's really nothing I could do even if I did check them. For me that means using a robo advisor and just sitting back. A target date fund would do the trick as well. Having to do things like rebalance or TLH in my opinion just opens the door to obsessively checking performance.

Other ideas:

1) Use a broker that doesn't display daily moves as a default. M1 is like this. Makes the experience of logging in much less of a "rush" since it doesn't change all that much on a day to day basis.

2) Remove apps from your phone. I deleted the stocks app from my iPhone and that helped. The phone is a major problem because it's so easy to pull it out in any idle moment.

3) Try to identify the signal or trigger that causes you to go and check performance and see if you can replace that action with something else. If you read The Power of Habit you'll understand what I'm talking about. This is IMHO why suggestions like get a library card aren't that helpful, because you don't consciously sit down and think to yourself that you're going to spend a quiet evening obsessing over stock returns instead of reading a good book, you check reflexively, habitually, in little moments of downtime (at least that's what I do). So find something else entertaining to do in little moments of distraction/procrastination. I like Reddit for this purpose. Or (clearly) logging in to Bogleheads and reading about how much money people spend on horses. :happy
I completely agree. I think you summarized it very well.
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Re: How to Stop Watching the Market (I know it's just that simple. But is it?)

Post by Pegasus_RPG » Wed Feb 12, 2020 4:56 pm

ResearchMed wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 1:50 pm
And I'll announce to DH, "a new high again today", and we both smile.
<snip>
Otherwise, I say nothing, which means either I didn't check (sort of unusual unless we are otherwise busy) or there's "not a new high". If the market has moved dramatically, it will be on the news one way or another, so DH would know, of course.
This is exactly what I do with my risk-averse wife. She never asks, so doesn't think about it if I don't announce "You made $X,000 in your 401(k) today!" which works well.

We just started investing in January 2008 (yeah, including lump-summing into a load and junk bond-heavy MF...that took over a decade to recover) and feel that I would be able to look the inevitable next downturn dead in the face without reacting, other than to skimp on expenses to buy more stocks of course. :mrgreen: (I have alerts set to E-mail me when VTSAX hits its next 52-week low, hehe.)

But to the OP's point, above suggestions are great (I love Target-date and LifeStrategy funds!) with the most important being to start working on something you enjoy instead of obsessing over this stuff. Remember that the whole point of gaining money is to fund the stuff you enjoy doing, so do some of that now!

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Re: How to Stop Watching the Market (I know it's just that simple. But is it?)

Post by ge1 » Wed Feb 12, 2020 5:10 pm

btq96r wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 1:07 pm
lostdog wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 12:33 pm
You can look just don't act on it.
^^^This^^^

I read the highlights of the market, and check my accounts every day. I update a spreadsheet to track monthly balances. I'm OCD like that, and I neither can nor want to fight it because it's who I am. I just don't lose my discipline and make rash decisions because of the daily reviews. I have a long term strategy in mind, and I stick to it.
This is almost exactly what I’m doing. I update my spreadsheet almost daily for market moves, at the same time I stick to my over strategy. It’s fun to see my investments go up every day in a market like this - but I know it could change every day and be much less fun - and that’s fine too. Just don’t make emotional decisions with your investments, that’s the key.

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Re: How to Stop Watching the Market (I know it's just that simple. But is it?)

Post by btq96r » Wed Feb 12, 2020 6:04 pm

ge1 wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 5:10 pm
This is almost exactly what I’m doing. I update my spreadsheet almost daily for market moves, at the same time I stick to my over strategy. It’s fun to see my investments go up every day in a market like this - but I know it could change every day and be much less fun - and that’s fine too. Just don’t make emotional decisions with your investments, that’s the key.
Yup. When it's taking a dive you have to moan and laugh like it's a sports team. Back in early 2018 when those corrective junk punches hit, I was in a thread discussing it on another site. We were making jokes, reassuring each other it would bounce back, knocking down conspiracy theories. Gotta be able to handle the good with the bad, or as we said at the time, "at least we aren't in Bitcoin".
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Re: How to Stop Watching the Market (I know it's just that simple. But is it?)

Post by chevca » Wed Feb 12, 2020 6:20 pm

When I first got my finances in order and finally started saving and investing for retirement (late 30s), I read EVERYTHING even Yahoo Finance articles, always looked at the S&P 500 numbers, and tracked my balances DAILY. That went on for a good while, maybe a year or two. Then, I stopped reading everything finance I could find, just reviewed a couple good books on finance here and there, still watched the S&P 500, but daily not many times each day, and checked balances weekly. That all dwindled too. Where I'm at now is I basically only know what the S&P 500 is doing by checking BHs and maybe checking balances once a month.

It's not that I don't care anymore. But, I have a good plan I'm comfortable with, and as long as my paycheck shows up every two weeks I'm good. The market will do what it will do. I have many better things to do than watch the market.

Don't be surprised if it takes you a while to stop watching. It may be a progression for you like it was for me.

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Re: How to Stop Watching the Market (I know it's just that simple. But is it?)

Post by Sandtrap » Wed Feb 12, 2020 6:27 pm

whereskyle wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 12:15 pm
Hello all! I could use some advice.
. . . . . . .
I wonder if anyone has any sage advice (I love a good parable) on how to actually be passive and keep one's finger off the trigger. What strategies (if you can call doing nothing a strategy) do you follow to stay passive and let a diversified portfolio work its magic?

Thanks, all!
Find something else that is more immersive, more captivating, more irresistible, than vicariously rolling around on a pile of 100 dollar bills the size of a king size bed like a cat in a field of catnip. (movie breaking bad?).

That will work.

j :D
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Re: How to Stop Watching the Market (I know it's just that simple. But is it?)

Post by bondsr4me » Wed Feb 12, 2020 7:08 pm

It’s perfectly OK to watch the market...every day if you want.

Just don’t try to trade it.

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Re: How to Stop Watching the Market (I know it's just that simple. But is it?)

Post by mhalley » Wed Feb 12, 2020 7:30 pm

I am always interested in what the stock market is doing, but have trained myself to not get emotional about it. I watch CNBC every morning when I get up to see what is going on. New all time high? great. Corona virus causing stocks to plummet? Interesting. No OMG, I have to sell to lock in profits. OMG, I have to sell to limit losses. Since I am retired there is no OMG a buying opportunity! My AA allows me to sleep well. I know there will be another 10, 30, 40% selloff, but just don't care and will watch with interest as it happens.

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Re: How to Stop Watching the Market (I know it's just that simple. But is it?)

Post by $musicman$ » Wed Feb 12, 2020 7:37 pm

I love watching the market on FBN. While I’m home, I have it on.

But whoever said..”you’ll stop when it starts to go down”..is pretty much right.

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Re: How to Stop Watching the Market (I know it's just that simple. But is it?)

Post by $musicman$ » Wed Feb 12, 2020 7:39 pm

It’s true that the pros will tell you not to watch, but what I’ve noticed is..

..they never take their eyes off it.

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Re: How to Stop Watching the Market (I know it's just that simple. But is it?)

Post by Wanderingwheelz » Wed Feb 12, 2020 7:48 pm

I feel like it would be unnatural NOT to watch the market on a daily basis when it’s hitting new highs regularly. That is, assuming your seeing large gains from day to day. We are all in this for one reason and one reason only and that’s to grow our investments, so I wouldn’t beat yourself up for paying an unusual amount of attention when the growth is unusually strong.

My wife and I have an acronym- NATH, which I’m sure everyone here can decode. That’s all I say to her, NATH, then we go about whatever it is we were doing since we both know the market on it’s way up takes the steps, but on the way down it uses the elevator.

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Re: How to Stop Watching the Market (I know it's just that simple. But is it?)

Post by guwop » Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:17 am

There's only a handful of reasons why some people are compelled to check/watch the market or their portfolios on a daily basis:

1. They are day traders that must intake as much information about their positions as possible so that they can decide on their course of action for the next trading day. This is because most of them are trading on margin, which comes with a mandatory feeling of nonstop anxiety, which also leads them to make more mistakes while trading)
2. Trying to catch "the next big thing" before everyone else does.
3. Combination of #1 and #2 above.

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JoMoney
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Re: How to Stop Watching the Market (I know it's just that simple. But is it?)

Post by JoMoney » Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:27 am

If you had been reading and researching Boglehead investment advice, you should realize that watching the market doesn't provide you with any actionable information.
If you can't watch it without reacting to it, good on you for realizing this and taking steps to cut it out. To do that, I think that (A) you really have to want to, (B) you need some other hobby/topic to replace the time you spent on, and (C) you need to hold yourself accountable when you slip up. Mark on a piece of paper each day you succeed in not doing your bad habit, or add a bean to jar and when you slip up you empty it out... but if you fill it up you treat yourself to something and consider the habit broken.
"To achieve satisfactory investment results is easier than most people realize; to achieve superior results is harder than it looks." - Benjamin Graham

dcabler
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Re: How to Stop Watching the Market (I know it's just that simple. But is it?)

Post by dcabler » Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:35 am

whereskyle wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 12:15 pm
Hello all! I could use some advice.

My New Year's Resolution was to get my finances in order. To that end, I've spent the last two months vigorously researching the stock market, reading Bogle's books, and perusing this forum. I think I'm close to finished with building a portfolio that I feel confident I can hold for the long term (at least twenty years, at which point I plan to move out of a 90% equity position). All of that research has been wonderfully enlightening, but I'm starting to realize that this resolution is now verging on an obsession. I am feeling the highs (I've read it's effectively the same chemical reaction as that triggered by cocaine) of seeing the market go up and of my diversified portfolio responding in different ways to the market, which for me indicates that I am sufficiently diversified. I'm starting to think that with my long time horizon, my broadly diversified portfolio is suitable and I don't need to add anything to it (except regular contributions). With all that said, how do I transition out of this period of intense focus on the market? I can't be fiddling with things forever attempting to ensure that my portfolio is the best. I know that if this becomes a hobby I am much more likely to tamper with my investments and lose money over the long haul. I also obviously have yet to endure a bear market. While the maxim to stop watching can obviously be followed by my simply stopping, I wonder if anyone has any sage advice (I love a good parable) on how to actually be passive and keep one's finger off the trigger. What strategies (if you can call doing nothing a strategy) do you follow to stay passive and let a diversified portfolio work its magic?

Thanks, all!
Looking at the market constantly and actually doing something are two totally different things. Like you, I also see what's going on pretty often. But I don't do anything about it. Of course everybody's different, but a big part of my not doing anything comes from the experience back in 2008 where I did something at the wrong time. A month later, I undid that and was no worse for wear (luckily), but the lesson was learned...

That's not to say that over time I haven't made changes to what I do. But it's always been after learning more and sitting on it for a number of months - never because of what the market may or may not have done recently. YMMV of course...

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El Greco
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Re: How to Stop Watching the Market (I know it's just that simple. But is it?)

Post by El Greco » Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:41 am

Watch every day and eventually you'll get bored. I've been watching every day for over 40 years of investing. I also check my balances every day to catch any discrepancies or fraudulent activity–which is the principal reason the "not looking" philosophy really bugs me. My rationale has always been that if I force myself to look, even on very bad days, it will harden me to the swings in the market. So far, this strategy has worked and I haven't made any rash moves. Not right for everyone, but it works for me.

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