John Bogle: “Invest, and don’t peek”

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Stryker
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John Bogle: “Invest, and don’t peek”

Post by Stryker » Sun Jan 27, 2013 12:39 pm

Canadian newspaper interview with John Bogle.

John Bogle: “Invest, and don’t peek”

The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Jan. 24 2013

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stemikger
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Re: John Bogle: “Invest, and don’t peek”

Post by stemikger » Sun Jan 27, 2013 1:09 pm

Thanks for posting this. I will use this everytime I feel like protecting my portfolio from myself. I agree with everything this man says.
Choose Simplicity ~ Stay the Course!! ~ Press on Regardless!!!

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pennstater2005
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Re: John Bogle: “Invest, and don’t peek”

Post by pennstater2005 » Sun Jan 27, 2013 1:11 pm

That was a nice article. I have to admit though I peek. I have a smartphone with the Wikinvest app on it linked to my Vanguard account. I know, I know :oops:
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peppers
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Re: John Bogle: “Invest, and don’t peek”

Post by peppers » Sun Jan 27, 2013 1:17 pm

Have you seen some of these threads? I would be willing to say there are quite a few "peekers" in the forums.
"..the cavalry ain't comin' kid, you're on your own..."

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Re: John Bogle: “Invest, and don’t peek”

Post by Dandy » Sun Jan 27, 2013 2:04 pm

I take some issue with the legend about not opening your quarterly statements. I guess most people shouldn't look at their portfolio too often if it makes them scared or prompts them to panic moves. But if you can't look at your quarterly statements maybe you shouldn't be investing. The statement that you should not look at retirement investment statement for 40 or 50 years is horrible advice - even if it was tongue in cheek.

If Suzie Orman said that we would be all over her. Mr. Bogle shouldn't get a free pass on that statement either.

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Re: John Bogle: “Invest, and don’t peek”

Post by mickeyd » Sun Jan 27, 2013 2:35 pm

Seems like I've seen this "no peeking" article before or maybe it was just the comment. I seldom check my VG pages as I don't plan on making any w/d soon. I generally scope it out in December and, if I am off 5%, I rebalance and let my AA do it's magic.

I'm also amazed at so many Bogleheads who "peek" so often. Why?
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stemikger
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Re: John Bogle: “Invest, and don’t peek”

Post by stemikger » Sun Jan 27, 2013 2:45 pm

Dandy wrote:I take some issue with the legend about not opening your quarterly statements. I guess most people shouldn't look at their portfolio too often if it makes them scared or prompts them to panic moves. But if you can't look at your quarterly statements maybe you shouldn't be investing. The statement that you should not look at retirement investment statement for 40 or 50 years is horrible advice - even if it was tongue in cheek.

If Suzie Orman said that we would be all over her. Mr. Bogle shouldn't get a free pass on that statement either.
It is sacrilege to use those two names in the same sentence. Are you Catholic? If so say ten Hail Mary's, One Our Father and an Act of Contrition. If not, I’m not sure I can help you.
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foxfirev5
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Re: John Bogle: “Invest, and don’t peek”

Post by foxfirev5 » Sun Jan 27, 2013 3:05 pm

Yeah, at least if everyone followed that advice no body would have been misled by his advice in early 2009. "when you can't stand to lose another dollar...."
Fortunately for me I only follow anyone's advice from a critical perspective. While he's done great things for all of us investors he is not a god.

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Re: John Bogle: “Invest, and don’t peek”

Post by Dopey » Sun Jan 27, 2013 3:21 pm

If you're invested in index funds, it's about impossible to NOT know how you're doing anyway, with or without peeking. If there's a big crash, everyone will be discussing it.

I peek a couple times a week, but I don't consider it peeking because I feel no guilt what-so-ever. I have my AA, I have my plan, and I enjoy watching the progress.

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Re: John Bogle: “Invest, and don’t peek”

Post by tpm871 » Sun Jan 27, 2013 3:22 pm

I do peek, but in a very controlled way. I look at my investments twice per month, to see in any of my rebalancing bands have been triggered. I only make adjustments according to those triggers.

Also, I don't always look at the total. When things are down, looking at the total can be depressing. Instead, I only look at the total once per year, or when the Dow is higher than the last time that I saw the total. It gives positive reenforcement when things are going well, without the negative reenforcement when things are going poorly.

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Re: John Bogle: “Invest, and don’t peek”

Post by EternalOptimist » Sun Jan 27, 2013 5:28 pm

I peek regularly when the market is in an upswing and rarely in a downturn. That's called positive reinforcement. :D
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Re: John Bogle: “Invest, and don’t peek”

Post by Fallible » Sun Jan 27, 2013 5:59 pm

When I read the following, I thought how Jack Bogle has been saying this what seems like forever - and I also thought how thankful I am that he never tires of saying it because it can't be said enough. It's his response to being asked what advice he'd give investors today (italics mine):

"Ignore the volatility of the stock market. Stocks have been fluctuating since the beginning of stocks, and they will continue to do so, maybe even more violently in the years ahead, given the mess that we have in our financial system. The value of stocks is not the prices in the stock market, but the amount of earnings and dividends of corporations around the world, particularly in America. The secret of making money is to own corporations that grow."

Thanks for the article. I'm guilty of peeking now and then but also of staying the course.
John Bogle on his often bumpy road to low-cost indexing: "When a door closes, if you look long enough and hard enough, if you're strong enough, you'll find a window that opens."

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Re: John Bogle: “Invest, and don’t peek”

Post by ourbrooks » Sun Jan 27, 2013 7:19 pm

I'm happy to announce the opening sometime soon of the Ourbrooks Investor Protection Service (OIPS, pronouced oi ps)

Here's how it works: You sign a five year agreement with us and give us power of attorney limited to changing the address and login password of your Vanguard account. We'll have all of the statements send to us for the five years. Once a year, on a fixed date, we'll give you 3 days access to your online account for rebalancing purposes. The fee for this wonderful service is only $5.95 a month. You can cancel the agreement at any time for only 3% of your portfolio and we'll give you your online password.

Investors using our service can reasonably expect to outperform the average individual investor.

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Re: John Bogle: “Invest, and don’t peek”

Post by Rodc » Sun Jan 27, 2013 8:39 pm

EternalOptimist wrote:I peek regularly when the market is in an upswing and rarely in a downturn. That's called positive reinforcement. :D
Me too. :)
We live a world with knowledge of the future markets has less than one significant figure. And people will still and always demand answers to three significant digits.

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matjen
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Re: John Bogle: “Invest, and don’t peek”

Post by matjen » Sun Jan 27, 2013 10:01 pm

Rodc wrote:
EternalOptimist wrote:I peek regularly when the market is in an upswing and rarely in a downturn. That's called positive reinforcement. :D
Me too. :)
Same here! It's the perfect system. When things go up you can enjoy the additional $ in your accounts. When things go down you can rely on your Boglehead education and know that you are DCAing and getting more bang for the buck if you are in the accumulation phase. When I am in the retirement phase I may have to rethink this strategy. Those are the folks who are really tested by many of this forum's principles it seems to me.
Last edited by matjen on Mon Jan 28, 2013 7:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: John Bogle: “Invest, and don’t peek”

Post by lindisfarne » Sun Jan 27, 2013 10:46 pm

It's good to read Bogle's words, even if you've heard it before. It's like having a personal coach.
His words "don't peek" are very apt for people who are going to chicken out when the market is down. The rest of us have recent memories of a deep downturn in the market from which the market recovered. "Don't peek" just serves as a reminder to me that if I do peek, to not react in a way that will hurt me long-term.
Of course, Bogle has not been in a position to "not peek" since at least his college days - his job has been to know what the market is doing. And, of course, I'm not sure the advice "don't peek" applies to the same degree when you're forced (by 401k/403b options) to choose actively managed funds.

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stemikger
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Re: John Bogle: “Invest, and don’t peek”

Post by stemikger » Mon Jan 28, 2013 7:49 am

foxfirev5 wrote:Yeah, at least if everyone followed that advice no body would have been misled by his advice in early 2009. "when you can't stand to lose another dollar...."
Fortunately for me I only follow anyone's advice from a critical perspective. While he's done great things for all of us investors he is not a god.

Duh! We know he is not God, because he's a Saint. Saint Jack.
Choose Simplicity ~ Stay the Course!! ~ Press on Regardless!!!

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Re: John Bogle: “Invest, and don’t peek”

Post by frugalhen » Mon Jan 28, 2013 7:56 am

I know sometimes this board borders on Jack worship, but I have to say it, Jack is the man!


just when I start to feel whoosy from the market, I catch a pearl of his wisdom and it carries me through for some time. Thanks Mr Bogle!!!! :beer
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Re: John Bogle: “Invest, and don’t peek”

Post by Levett » Mon Jan 28, 2013 12:32 pm

Well, I sure hope Mr. B. doesn't want to be taken literally 'cause if he does he's gonna put some investors in quite a fix (to take 3 examples):

1. If you don't "peek," on what basis do you rebalance?

2. If you don't " peek," how will you know if you've maintained your age in bonds?

3. If you don't "peek," how will you know whether you've won the game and have no further need of taking on any risk?

Suggestions welcome.

Lev

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Re: John Bogle: “Invest, and don’t peek”

Post by rj49 » Mon Jan 28, 2013 12:52 pm

Levett wrote:Well, I sure hope Mr. B. doesn't want to be taken literally 'cause if he does he's gonna put some investors in quite a fix (to take 3 examples):

1. If you don't "peek," on what basis do you rebalance?

2. If you don't " peek," how will you know if you've maintained your age in bonds?

3. If you don't "peek," how will you know whether you've won the game and have no further need of taking on any risk?

Suggestions welcome.

Lev
Well, a Target Retirement fund would solve all those problems. You could also not peek until retirement and then peek once a year, to withdraw from whatever has gone up the most.

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Re: John Bogle: “Invest, and don’t peek”

Post by Fallible » Mon Jan 28, 2013 1:31 pm

Levett wrote:Well, I sure hope Mr. B. doesn't want to be taken literally 'cause if he does he's gonna put some investors in quite a fix (to take 3 examples):

1. If you don't "peek," on what basis do you rebalance?

2. If you don't " peek," how will you know if you've maintained your age in bonds?

3. If you don't "peek," how will you know whether you've won the game and have no further need of taking on any risk?

Suggestions welcome.

Lev
I think you're replying to only the second part of Jack's "peek" comment. He first says don't open statements every quarter, but then refers to opening a statement for the first time 40 or 50 years later. It's a bit contradictory, but taken together, the overall message is clear: to save regularly, then stay the course (which, btw, to me, includes rebalancing).
John Bogle on his often bumpy road to low-cost indexing: "When a door closes, if you look long enough and hard enough, if you're strong enough, you'll find a window that opens."

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Re: John Bogle: “Invest, and don’t peek”

Post by Levett » Mon Jan 28, 2013 4:00 pm

Ok. I guess I've fallen prey to Emerson's observation that "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds."

Guilty as charged.

But here's a video interview with Mr. B. about target date funds (one proposed solution to "rebalancing).

http://www.morningstar.com/cover/videoc ... ?id=301426

"Nervous with each passing day."

I guess I must confess: there are far more dangerous threats to an investment plan than "peeking."

Is there some monumental study that I have overlooked demonstrating that "peekers" (self-reported I guess) underperform non-peekers (self-reported I guess)?

Just askin'. :wink:

Lev

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Re: John Bogle: “Invest, and don’t peek”

Post by peppers » Mon Jan 28, 2013 4:22 pm

Hello, I am an indexer, and I peek.

Ahhhh....confession is good for the soul.
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Re: John Bogle: “Invest, and don’t peek”

Post by abuss368 » Mon Jan 28, 2013 5:42 pm

Great article. Thanks!
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Re: John Bogle: “Invest, and don’t peek”

Post by SpringMan » Mon Jan 28, 2013 6:06 pm

Besides rebalancing peeking is required to do tax loss harvesting. There is an old adage that bad news does not get better with age. Of course, the market can get better in time but I still rather keep on top of our accounts regularly. How would one know if any fraudulent activity occurred if one is not monitoring it. Other folks can do as they wish, I am going to peek.
Best Wishes, SpringMan

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