Blasphemy... DO PEEK!

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WiscoTrout
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Re: Blasphemy... DO PEEK!

Post by WiscoTrout » Mon Feb 26, 2018 10:02 am

I didn't "peek" on my accounts for almost two years after the recession. I just tossed the unopened statements in a drawer somewhere. Just lived the adage "Don't do something, just stand there".

However around 2010, I decided to get serious about my finances and then started "peeking" on a more frequent basis. I've now become used to the up and down flows and I'm able to look at the numbers without panic or irrational exuberance. Although truth be told, if I know the market has had a significant downward spike, I may go a week or so without checking on the damage. :wink:

MnD
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Re: Blasphemy... DO PEEK!

Post by MnD » Mon Feb 26, 2018 10:06 am

I look most days using an account aggregator and log balances and asset allocation weekly in a spreadsheet.
I do a significant financial summary and performance update annually.
Like weighting every day when at home, its a deeply ingrained habit.
Its interesting and i enjoy it and I don't seem to have much if any in the way of asymmetric loss aversion.
On average every couple of years or so I exceed rebalancing bands for equity/fixed income and rebalance using the weekly information.
I give an annual "state of finances and investments" to my wife and oldest daughter who are bored by it but appreciate my efforts and organization.

The investment ignorance and poor financial decisions among my peers (mostly middle-aged white collar professionals) which include a number of no-peekers is just staggering.

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Re: Blasphemy... DO PEEK!

Post by midareff » Mon Feb 26, 2018 10:12 am

I "peek" daily weekdays for markets and banks. Credit cards probably three times a week. 70 and 6 years retired and with a password manager it just takes seconds to make sure rodents have not gotten into the cookie jar. Daily, weekly and monthly market ups and downs mean nothing to me after nearly 50 years of being "in".

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Re: Blasphemy... DO PEEK!

Post by Oak&Elm » Mon Feb 26, 2018 10:18 am

I update my AA spreadsheet every Saturday morning over a cup of coffee, very enjoyable after a good week in the market, not as fun on a bad week. I use this info to adjust my AA if it has exceeded my tolerance range as per my IPS. I don't know how else to stay on track without peeking. I assume most folks re-balance at either a predetermined date, exceeding their AA or either. So yes, I peek.

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Re: Blasphemy... DO PEEK!

Post by UpperNwGuy » Mon Feb 26, 2018 11:28 am

Kenkat wrote:
Sun Feb 25, 2018 6:07 pm
I look at my portfolio value at the end of every day the market is open. I do nothing with the information beyond noting how much you can gain or lose in a day and saying “well now that’s interesting”.
Me too.

LiterallyIronic
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Re: Blasphemy... DO PEEK!

Post by LiterallyIronic » Mon Feb 26, 2018 11:38 am

Oak&Elm wrote:
Mon Feb 26, 2018 10:18 am
I don't know how else to stay on track without peeking. I assume most folks re-balance at either a predetermined date, exceeding their AA or either. So yes, I peek.
I just assume that my Vanguard Target Retirement account will balance itself to stay around my 90/10 AA. I do look at the balance on the first of every month, but I don't do anything aside from writing the numbers down in my spreadsheet I use to track my net worth.

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Re: Blasphemy... DO PEEK!

Post by Hukedonfonix4me » Mon Feb 26, 2018 12:02 pm

I peek more often since aggregating all accounts to ensure no fraud, etc. like many others have posted. Also to verify we are on track to meet our goals.
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Re: Blasphemy... DO PEEK!

Post by pkcrafter » Mon Feb 26, 2018 12:15 pm

For those who check their portfolio frequently, WHY??

What are you going to do about what you observed?

Paul
When times are good, investors tend to forget about risk and focus on opportunity. When times are bad, investors tend to forget about opportunity and focus on risk.

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Oak&Elm
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Re: Blasphemy... DO PEEK!

Post by Oak&Elm » Mon Feb 26, 2018 12:24 pm

pkcrafter wrote:
Mon Feb 26, 2018 12:15 pm
For those who check their portfolio frequently, WHY??

What are you going to do about what you observed?

Paul
I keep track so I know when it's time to rebalance, isn't that the point of determining your AA and sticking to it. When you have stocks/bonds/cash spread throughout multiple accounts and brokerages it doesn't rebalance on it's own.

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Re: Blasphemy... DO PEEK!

Post by MnD » Mon Feb 26, 2018 12:36 pm

pkcrafter wrote:
Mon Feb 26, 2018 12:15 pm
For those who check their portfolio frequently, WHY??

What are you going to do about what you observed?

Paul
Rebalance if and only if asset allocation bands are exceeded. It's in my IPS.
For example several weeks ago I came within 0.1% of exceeding a re-balancing band for fixed income of 27.0%-33.0%.
I receive a number of cash dividends in various accounts and recently invested those funds for a better return than the default.
Tax-loss harvesting opportunities have been scare lately, but in the past there were many opportunities and sometimes with short windows.

Its great that some people apparently are able to have their entire portfolio in one account in Target 2050 or similar. I agree that wouldn't be very actionable or interesting to check up on. But because of a number of factors related to history, taxes, items outside our control and preference we have built a fairly complex system of accounts and funds to approximate 70/30 AA, global market cap weighting on equity and I prefer keeping an eye on it. If nothing else I find it interesting. Sometimes when seeing all the parts working together I come up with ideas to simplify things, reduce expenses or slightly improve gains.
Last edited by MnD on Mon Feb 26, 2018 12:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

diy60
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Re: Blasphemy... DO PEEK!

Post by diy60 » Mon Feb 26, 2018 12:38 pm

pkcrafter wrote:
Mon Feb 26, 2018 12:15 pm
For those who check their portfolio frequently, WHY??

What are you going to do about what you observed?

Paul
Depends what you consider frequently. I'm retired, so for me, monthly at a minimum, but usually weekly, mainly to be aware of any potential fraud.

I'm no expert, but there may be some legal reasons to check your account frequently. e.g. Vanguard states this along with other customer responsibilities to be reimbursed for stolen assets: "Check your account frequently. Promptly and completely review all information we send you. Report any errors or discrepancies in your account and any suspected unauthorized transactions or account changes to Vanguard immediately."

Admittedly they do not define "frequently" and I have no idea what would be considered frequent, but I'm comfortable with every 30 days.

cantos
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Re: Blasphemy... DO PEEK!

Post by cantos » Mon Feb 26, 2018 12:52 pm

100%. I check it every day. Get to make funny comments to wife like "today, we made the equivalent of a Hyundai", or "did you know we lost an average person's salary today" when the market goes down. And so on. It definitely immunizes/blunts the up/down of markets for me.

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Re: Blasphemy... DO PEEK!

Post by dcabler » Mon Feb 26, 2018 12:58 pm

Oak&Elm wrote:
Mon Feb 26, 2018 10:18 am
I update my AA spreadsheet every Saturday morning over a cup of coffee, very enjoyable after a good week in the market, not as fun on a bad week. I use this info to adjust my AA if it has exceeded my tolerance range as per my IPS. I don't know how else to stay on track without peeking. I assume most folks re-balance at either a predetermined date, exceeding their AA or either. So yes, I peek.
I peek every day to every few days. My Saturday morning coffee routine is exactly the same as yours! Also, at the end of each month, I update my overall tracker for the month's performance, so my pretty monthly graphs are updated. :D But no AA adjustment until thresholds are reached.

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Re: Blasphemy... DO PEEK!

Post by itstoomuch » Mon Feb 26, 2018 12:58 pm

pkcrafter wrote:
Mon Feb 26, 2018 12:15 pm
For those who check their portfolio frequently, WHY??

What are you going to do about what you observed?

Paul
Because, I can. I want to see if the the 5% move is in my favor. Sometimes a -5% move is in my favor if I am accumulating. Sometimes a +5% is in my favor if I am liquidating. Discretionary Acct. :greedy
YMMV
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icetrap
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Re: Blasphemy... DO PEEK!

Post by icetrap » Mon Feb 26, 2018 1:05 pm

I'm in the camp of Smoothing out over 5 years. Therefore any daily adjustment would not affect in any way significant the Fund value I'm considering. Asset allocation should not be changed daily.

However, why not peek at the current fund value. It's fun if you are curious. For my retirement plan, its pretty useless.

Great article by the way, well written!

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Re: Blasphemy... DO PEEK!

Post by MJW » Mon Feb 26, 2018 1:28 pm

pkcrafter wrote:
Mon Feb 26, 2018 12:15 pm
For those who check their portfolio frequently, WHY??

What are you going to do about what you observed?

Paul
Not sure about your definition of frequently, but I check on mine periodically to make sure that the money going in was allocated correctly and that nothing strange (i.e. fraud, unexplained balances) has occurred, as mentioned by a few other posters above. I'm also curious on occasion, as well. But it isn't a big deal to me, either. I have somehow managed to control myself.

EnjoyIt
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Re: Blasphemy... DO PEEK!

Post by EnjoyIt » Mon Feb 26, 2018 1:36 pm

WiscoTrout wrote:
Mon Feb 26, 2018 10:02 am
I didn't "peek" on my accounts for almost two years after the recession. I just tossed the unopened statements in a drawer somewhere. Just lived the adage "Don't do something, just stand there".

However around 2010, I decided to get serious about my finances and then started "peeking" on a more frequent basis. I've now become used to the up and down flows and I'm able to look at the numbers without panic or irrational exuberance. Although truth be told, if I know the market has had a significant downward spike, I may go a week or so without checking on the damage. :wink:
Very similar to me. I look every morning to see what the trend is today. I look every evening to see where we are at at the end of the day. I do nothing with that information. I find though when the markets are down I look less. I guess subconsciously I juts don't want to know. I have been through 2 recessions so far at 100% equities and have had no issues staying the course. This next recession will be different as our wealth has increased substantially and I wonder how I will react. We are now at 70/30 and I'm sure that will help.

Teague
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Re: Blasphemy... DO PEEK!

Post by Teague » Mon Feb 26, 2018 1:51 pm

Maybe it's right, maybe it's wrong. But who's to judge? I don't usually talk about it because many would ridicule me. Some might refuse to associate with me any longer. So I keep it hidden, mostly. Many would say my behavior is aberrant, but I suspect it is far more common than many suspect. I've tried to restrain myself, but the urge is simply overwhelming. And really, as long as all involved have consented, what's the harm?

I admit it - I like to watch. :shock:
Semper Augustus

CoAndy
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Re: Blasphemy... DO PEEK!

Post by CoAndy » Mon Feb 26, 2018 2:14 pm

I only look every other Friday after payroll contributions are deposited. Though when the market is on a particularly nice run I do peek sometimes. I never do when the market is dropping.

TN_Boy
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Re: Blasphemy... DO PEEK!

Post by TN_Boy » Mon Feb 26, 2018 2:25 pm

pkcrafter wrote:
Mon Feb 26, 2018 12:15 pm
For those who check their portfolio frequently, WHY??

What are you going to do about what you observed?

Paul
Why?

1) Occasionally re-balance.
2) To satisfy my curiosity about what the portfolio is doing.
3) (Actionable) fraud check, if there is a "surprise" in my transactions or portfolio balances, I want to know about it ASAP*
4) (Actionable) tax-loss harvesting in the taxable account. Though it's been a while since I've had any losses to harvest.

If one is not prone to panic, I think frequent checks are a good idea.

* I use Quicken, so one download pulls my credit card and bank transactions down along with the investment account transactions and balances. All those get a quick scan almost daily. I notice but usually don't do anything with the portfolio changes, though 4) above can come into play.

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Phineas J. Whoopee
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Re: Blasphemy... DO PEEK!

Post by Phineas J. Whoopee » Mon Feb 26, 2018 3:51 pm

pkcrafter wrote:
Mon Feb 26, 2018 12:15 pm
For those who check their portfolio frequently, WHY??

What are you going to do about what you observed?

Paul
Remember URLs and my login credentials. Read messages sent to me. Take prompt action against fraud. Evaluate whether I'm outside my tolerance band. Satisfy my curiosity.

PJW

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Re: Blasphemy... DO PEEK!

Post by Fallible » Mon Feb 26, 2018 4:20 pm

siamond wrote:
Sun Feb 25, 2018 5:33 pm
I was browsing through this excellent blog article from a self-described "couple of engineers with a passion for investing":
The Basics of Behavioral Finance: Tips and Tricks to Combat Your Cave Man Brain

And one point made me strongly react. FINALLY somebody who articulated what I've been practicing and preaching for a while. I can't agree more. DO PEEK!
Unique Advice – Check Your Accounts at Least Weekly, Ideally Daily
This is financial blasphemy to many. The current thinking in the world is that since you have these behavioral weaknesses you should compensate for them by avoiding your finances. The thinking is that you will do something stupid if you look at them. I don’t disagree…..assuming that you look at them infrequently and if you only look at them when the financial world seems to be falling apart. This is exactly what happens. People are going through their lives: family, work, friends, vacations etc. They don’t really pay much attention to Wall Street or their investments. Then all of a sudden there is a major market correction or crash and everyone is talking about “the market”. So what do they do, they decide to see how their 401(k) is doing and they are SHOCKED at how much it has lost, they panic, they sell.

I propose a different approach. If you are armed with knowledge and logic, daily swings in the market will not phase you. More importantly, I believe that growing accustomed to the daily swings in the market will harden you for more robust corrections in the future.
I think there's never been any question that becoming better informed about the market is the way to go, but the problem, often seen on this forum, is that some investors who "peek" often can't resist the temptation to tinker and this may be true no matter how well informed they have become. That is, the discipline to not peek or to peek only at, say, quarterly statements (which I do and I know John Bogle forgives me, not that he has to...) is just not there, or is harder for some to achieve. It's an individual thing and has much to do with discipline and emotional control, which is why some of the most intelligent investors don't always make the best investors.
Last edited by Fallible on Mon Feb 26, 2018 4:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Blasphemy... DO PEEK!

Post by Fallible » Mon Feb 26, 2018 4:39 pm

siamond wrote:
Sun Feb 25, 2018 6:59 pm
digarei wrote:
Sun Feb 25, 2018 6:19 pm
I’m sure it’s not meant to be taken literally.
I agree with you that Jack tends to express positions which are much more flexible than what is often asserted on this forum, or that his quotes are often taken out of context. In this particular case, having listened to him explain the matter, I am not so sure though. I did get the impression he meant it literally. Maybe I'm mistaken...

What is for sure is that quite a few people DO take it literally. And then I totally agree with the likely dire consequences that the blogger explained. Risk tolerance is acquired, it is NOT innate.
Actually, risk tolerance probably is both nature and nurture and much has been written about it. Here's sort of a case for both from Jason Zweig, author and WSJ columnist, in a 2009 article he wrote after undergoing DNA analyses and brain scans to find out if he was a "prisoner" of his genetic code. Here's part of his findings, and the link:
I hold investments for years, even decades; I don’t panic in bear markets, and bull markets make me uncomfortable.
Those habits, I now understand for the first time, don’t come naturally to me. I have been fighting my genes for years, and the reflective parts of my brain have been struggling to rein in my emotions for a lifetime.
http://jasonzweig.com/is-your-investing ... -your-dna/
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jdb
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Re: Blasphemy... DO PEEK!

Post by jdb » Mon Feb 26, 2018 5:27 pm

I think we have a problem of terminology. Instead of “peek” I would suggest “scan” which I think is fine on whatever schedule one wants vs “drill down” where someone like myself could easily get in trouble and become an unwitting day trader. I read once that the Classical Greeks at height of their domination believed that finest trait was self discipline. My best way to self discipline oversight on investment assets is to scan the overall portfolio on regular basis but avoid drilling down on individual fund performance to avoid temptations to tinker with the allocations, at least not more often than quarterly, better yet once a year in December. Just my thoughts, it works for me, but those with greater self discipline can drill down daily if they so want. Good luck.
Last edited by jdb on Wed Feb 28, 2018 7:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

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siamond
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Re: Blasphemy... DO PEEK!

Post by siamond » Mon Feb 26, 2018 6:11 pm

Fallible wrote:
Mon Feb 26, 2018 4:39 pm
siamond wrote:
Sun Feb 25, 2018 6:59 pm
Risk tolerance is acquired, it is NOT innate.
Actually, risk tolerance probably is both nature and nurture and much has been written about it.
Yes, fair enough. I didn't word it right. What drives me crazy is to see people assuming that risk tolerance is a constant, over the entire lifetime of an individual. This is just utter non-sense.

Even there is some 'nature' in the process to begin with (which I can accept), we are strongly shaped by our life and experience, and also willingness to learn and adapt. And this is a continuous nurturing process, which never ends. And this process can be somewhat controlled by keeping one's eyes open and seeking learning experiences. I just don't accept to give up on people getting better informed ('better leave them in the dark, for their own sake, you know').

selters
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Re: Blasphemy... DO PEEK!

Post by selters » Mon Feb 26, 2018 6:17 pm

Always carry chocolate bars, candy and potato chips around when you're on diet. That way you will be mentally prepared when you get very hungry.

harvestbook
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Re: Blasphemy... DO PEEK!

Post by harvestbook » Mon Feb 26, 2018 6:24 pm

I only look on Up days so I never know my loss and I'm never scared into selling.
I'm not smart enough to know, and I can't afford to guess.

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Re: Blasphemy... DO PEEK!

Post by Fallible » Mon Feb 26, 2018 6:33 pm

siamond wrote:
Mon Feb 26, 2018 6:11 pm
Fallible wrote:
Mon Feb 26, 2018 4:39 pm
siamond wrote:
Sun Feb 25, 2018 6:59 pm
Risk tolerance is acquired, it is NOT innate.
Actually, risk tolerance probably is both nature and nurture and much has been written about it.
Yes, fair enough. I didn't word it right. What drives me crazy is to see people assuming that risk tolerance is a constant, over the entire lifetime of an individual. This is just utter non-sense.

Even there is some 'nature' in the process to begin with (which I can accept), we are strongly shaped by our life and experience, and also willingness to learn and adapt. And this is a continuous nurturing process, which never ends. And this process can be somewhat controlled by keeping one's eyes open and seeking learning experiences. I just don't accept to give up on people getting better informed ('better leave them in the dark, for their own sake, you know').
Agree all the way. Besides Zweig, authors Rick Ferri, Larry Swedroe and others also have written about how risk tolerance changes often and investors need to be aware of that so they can adapt.
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staythecourse
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Re: Blasphemy... DO PEEK!

Post by staythecourse » Mon Feb 26, 2018 7:08 pm

I didn't bother to read all the replies.

My advice, if you are the type of person who wants to make adjustments every time they see something in their portfolio then DON'T peek. If you like to see how things move around and don't have an urge then go ahead and PEEK. The only warning is those who previously loved to peek and never made changes in the right situation can be at risk of making changes as well. So if Pasteur law exists here it is better not to peek as no behavioral mistakes can occur vs. peeking which even in someone who is not apt to do it may still convince themselves to make a change in the "perfect storm" of downmarkets, getting fired, and everyone pulling out money around them (for example).

Good luck.
"The stock market [fluctuation], therefore, is noise. A giant distraction from the business of investing.” | -Jack Bogle

ResearchMed
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Re: Blasphemy... DO PEEK!

Post by ResearchMed » Mon Feb 26, 2018 8:00 pm

cantos wrote:
Mon Feb 26, 2018 12:52 pm
100%. I check it every day. Get to make funny comments to wife like "today, we made the equivalent of a Hyundai", or "did you know we lost an average person's salary today" when the market goes down. And so on. It definitely immunizes/blunts the up/down of markets for me.
Very much like this, although we might word it in terms of "that vacation"

But mostly, it has made a huge difference in "how we react" to market ups and downs.

It's now, "Oh, it's like that again?"
It worked out over time in the past, so it's just "continue to notice".

AND double check that nothing seems amiss with the balances/holdings/activity.

I enjoy watching the blips, actually.
And for DH, I'll occasionally ask, "Ready for a 'New Number'?" ... which he knows is likely to mean "a new high", which is all we bother to remember. :happy

RM
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Re: Blasphemy... DO PEEK!

Post by RRAAYY3 » Mon Feb 26, 2018 8:05 pm

I check daily - for amusement / “buying opportunity”

Portfolio is getting to a point where even minor Day to day swings now involve a comma usually - good times

Tamalak
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Re: Blasphemy... DO PEEK!

Post by Tamalak » Tue Feb 27, 2018 5:02 pm

I peek every single day. I love the daily risk of it, and was excited in a masochistic way even during that Feb. plunge. I definitely feel like it's getting me accustomed to losses (and gains!)

It doesn't inform my investment actions in any way, but why not accept the free source of excitement that comes with investing? :D

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Re: Blasphemy... DO PEEK!

Post by WanderingDoc » Tue Feb 27, 2018 5:14 pm

When you peek has little to do with hardening or softening. If you do peek every day, thats probably a sign that you need to get out more. Or get some hobbies. If you were immersed in projects, falling in love, traveling, learning a language, playing an instrument, etc. you probably wouldn't even think to peek once a week, let alone once a day.
I'm not looking to get rich quick (stocks), I'm not looking to get rich slow (indexing), I'm looking to get rich, for sure (real estate) | Don't wait to buy real estate. Buy real estate.. and wait.

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Re: Blasphemy... DO PEEK!

Post by StormShadow » Tue Feb 27, 2018 5:21 pm

I propose a different approach. If you are armed with knowledge and logic, daily swings in the market will not phase you. More importantly, I believe that growing accustomed to the daily swings in the market will harden you for more robust corrections in the future.
I suspect that most people would likely not arm themselves with "knowledge and logic", thus end up panic selling with the next stock market crash.

I think ignoring the noise works best for most people.

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Re: Blasphemy... DO PEEK!

Post by Fallible » Tue Feb 27, 2018 6:28 pm

StormShadow wrote:
Tue Feb 27, 2018 5:21 pm
I propose a different approach. If you are armed with knowledge and logic, daily swings in the market will not phase you. More importantly, I believe that growing accustomed to the daily swings in the market will harden you for more robust corrections in the future.
I suspect that most people would likely not arm themselves with "knowledge and logic", thus end up panic selling with the next stock market crash.

I think ignoring the noise works best for most people.
Yes, and yet it may be the hardest thing for some to do, probably the same people who also can't resist the urge to tinker. For them, it's a matter of finding the discipline to ignore the noise and that's mainly about controlling emotions.
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goingup
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Re: Blasphemy... DO PEEK!

Post by goingup » Tue Feb 27, 2018 7:22 pm

It seems clear that all BH Peekers are stalwart investors, not subject to the behavioral foibles of many investors.

Larry Swedroe wrote about the problems with frequently checking your portfolio in this article:http://www.etf.com/sections/index-inves ... nopaging=1

"Implications
The implication for you is that, if you are a masochist, you should be checking the value of your portfolio as frequently as humanly possible. For the rest of us, the implications are striking.

First, the more frequently you check your portfolio, the less happy you are likely to be and thus less able to enjoy your life.
Second, all else equal, the less frequently you check the value of your portfolio, the more equity risk you should be able to take.
Third, the more frequently you check your portfolio, the more tempted you will be to abandon your investment plan in order to avoid the pain of seeing losses.
"

I know in my gut that what Larry is pointing out is true, and yet I can't help myself! :annoyed

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ray.james
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Re: Blasphemy... DO PEEK!

Post by ray.james » Mon Mar 26, 2018 6:59 pm

I just want to bump this thread and the excellent suggestion made by siamond. For some peeking and becoming comfortable with changing asset values and the range of changes. We are at an 10 year bull term and many including me have some /considerable amount of money saved and seeing swings in the tune of 5k/10k /25K is something new to digest. A bit peeking last week made me adjust for the future losses and emotions better in my view.(I do have an AA and IPS; this is just emotional side.)

For eg: if one has 500K invested in stocks, a 3% drop is equal to 15K. It takes more than a quarter to save that for many
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Re: Blasphemy... DO PEEK!

Post by aristotelian » Mon Mar 26, 2018 7:58 pm

I peeked and was able to harvest about $1K of losses last week and then another $2k this morning. If I hadn't peeked, those losses would have been gone in the blink of an eye.

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Re: Blasphemy... DO PEEK!

Post by mhadden1 » Mon Mar 26, 2018 8:01 pm

cantos wrote:
Mon Feb 26, 2018 12:52 pm
Get to make funny comments to wife like "today, we made the equivalent of a Hyundai", or "did you know we lost an average person's salary today" when the market goes down.
Yes. So necessary. :beer
Oh I can't, can I? That's what they said to Thomas Edison, mighty inventor, Thomas Lindberg, mighty flyer,and Thomas Shefsky, mighty like a rose.

PFInterest
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Re: Blasphemy... DO PEEK!

Post by PFInterest » Mon Mar 26, 2018 8:02 pm

I look every day. I do something maybe once a month (and it's buying more).

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triceratop
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Re: Blasphemy... DO PEEK!

Post by triceratop » Mon Mar 26, 2018 8:03 pm

selters wrote:
Mon Feb 26, 2018 6:17 pm
Always carry chocolate bars, candy and potato chips around when you're on diet. That way you will be mentally prepared when you get very hungry.
Alternatively, carry those same things before you start dieting, then when you're skipping only one meal a day, then two, then a full fast...and you'll be trained to not reach for the goodies at your first impulse.

Works for me, and I hope the analogy is clear enough.
"To play the stock market is to play musical chairs under the chord progression of a bid-ask spread."

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Re: Blasphemy... DO PEEK!

Post by miles monroe » Mon Mar 26, 2018 8:31 pm

Call_Me_Op wrote:
Mon Feb 26, 2018 9:42 am
The reason you should peek, and peek frequently, is to be alerted to any fraud in your account(s).
exactly!

i hate to say it -- but there is a whole lot less wiggle room in schwabs fraud guarantee than there is in vanguards -- enough that i'm considering moving everything to schwab...

harvestbook
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Re: Blasphemy... DO PEEK!

Post by harvestbook » Mon Mar 26, 2018 8:36 pm

I only look on up days so I can feel smart.
I'm not smart enough to know, and I can't afford to guess.

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fortyofforty
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Re: Blasphemy... DO PEEK!

Post by fortyofforty » Tue Mar 27, 2018 5:35 am

Merci, siamond! Très intéressant.
"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." - George Orwell | There are many roads to doublin'. | Original Vanguard Diehard

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Re: Blasphemy... DO PEEK!

Post by 2015 » Tue Mar 27, 2018 2:45 pm

triceratop wrote:
Mon Mar 26, 2018 8:03 pm
selters wrote:
Mon Feb 26, 2018 6:17 pm
Always carry chocolate bars, candy and potato chips around when you're on diet. That way you will be mentally prepared when you get very hungry.
Alternatively, carry those same things before you start dieting, then when you're skipping only one meal a day, then two, then a full fast...and you'll be trained to not reach for the goodies at your first impulse.

Works for me, and I hope the analogy is clear enough.
.
Better yet. Don't change yourself at the level of behavior. Change yourself at the highest (and most lasting) level of change, which is identity. Get (and keep) the idea in your head that "I am the kind of person who doesn't poison myself with things like chocolate bars, candy and potato chips" (read The Dorito Effect for assistance in grossing yourself out!). These things aren't "goodies", they're cancer and heart disease in a bag, and at the level of who you are you decide you don't kill yourself, even when it's only slowly and over time.

Same could be said for peeking. It's a slipperly slope from peeking to peeping...and you know where that gets you. Analogy intended.

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Re: Blasphemy... DO PEEK!

Post by Dandy » Tue Mar 27, 2018 4:11 pm

I get the idea that looking leads to the temptation to do something --like panic or fuss with your assets. I think Mr. Bogle's "don't peek" idea is very dangerous if taken literally. I've head him suggest that people should wait until retirement to look. I really feel he toys between actually meaning it and just saying that people should just trust their investments and look to occupy themselves with other pursuits.

You need to make sure your investments have not been stolen, your contributions have been applied properly, whether you need to re balance, etc. If you are likely subject to panic moves - have someone else peek on your behalf. A designated peeker - what a concept!! :happy

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Re: Blasphemy... DO PEEK!

Post by Nowizard » Tue Mar 27, 2018 4:34 pm

Agreed. If the market is moving upward, then it is enjoyable to look. If it is moving downward, and you have a more conservative portfolio where you have focused on the overall percentile of your portfolio being below the 50th percentile, you can take some solace in "losing less than the market" during downswings.

Tim

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Re: Blasphemy... DO PEEK!

Post by bayview » Tue Mar 27, 2018 4:51 pm

pkcrafter wrote:
Mon Feb 26, 2018 12:15 pm
For those who check their portfolio frequently, WHY??

What are you going to do about what you observed?

Paul
--To learn more about the often oddball ways that markets work. Many of us don't have other ways (employment, etc.) to build up a lot of knowledge about how what seems abnormal is actually normal.

--Nothing. I don't have to do anything. It truly does harden me to the variation.

Developing the reaction of "huh, look at that" is useful in preparing oneself for occasional roller coaster events.
The continuous execution of a sound strategy gives you the benefit of the strategy. That's what it's all about. --Rick Ferri

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Re: Blasphemy... DO PEEK!

Post by pkcrafter » Tue Mar 27, 2018 5:38 pm

bayview wrote:
Tue Mar 27, 2018 4:51 pm
pkcrafter wrote:
Mon Feb 26, 2018 12:15 pm
For those who check their portfolio frequently, WHY??

What are you going to do about what you observed?

Paul
--To learn more about the often oddball ways that markets work. Many of us don't have other ways (employment, etc.) to build up a lot of knowledge about how what seems abnormal is actually normal.

--Nothing. I don't have to do anything. It truly does harden me to the variation.

Developing the reaction of "huh, look at that" is useful in preparing oneself for occasional roller coaster events.
:thumbsup


Paul
When times are good, investors tend to forget about risk and focus on opportunity. When times are bad, investors tend to forget about opportunity and focus on risk.

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Re: Blasphemy... DO PEEK!

Post by BogleBoogie » Tue Mar 27, 2018 5:54 pm

Oak&Elm wrote:
Mon Feb 26, 2018 12:24 pm
pkcrafter wrote:
Mon Feb 26, 2018 12:15 pm
For those who check their portfolio frequently, WHY??

What are you going to do about what you observed?

Paul
I keep track so I know when it's time to rebalance, isn't that the point of determining your AA and sticking to it. When you have stocks/bonds/cash spread throughout multiple accounts and brokerages it doesn't rebalance on it's own.
This is a good question. For me it is a few things.

1. Our family makes pretty significant sacrifices to max out retirements accounts. I think watching the portfolio grow is the only way to get a short term dose of "immediate gratification" when delaying gratification for decades. Of course, this does not hold true when the market tanks. Generally speaking, even when there are dips I can still look at the account and feel good about what we have accomplished.

2. I *think* it makes me more numb to the noise by getting accustomed to the ups and downs. Easy to say for 2017 when it felt like it only went up! I read a comment on here that perhaps this causes one to become more risk averse. I can honestly say that I am concerned this may be true. If I weren't constantly aware of the account balance I would probably be more indifferent to the swings and likely be a bit more aggressive with my AA. The more I've read up on Bogleheads, the more conservative I have become. I'm about 40 and went from nearly 100% equities over the last 5-7 years to 60/40. If I weren't as "involved" I would probably keep it more aggressive. I am a bit envious of those who can approach this with a bit of "ignorance is bliss"!

3. I do want to keep my AA balanced. I have accounts in three different places so this requires a little math to check on it.

4. Sometimes I've got nothing else to do when I'm sipping my coffee in the morning! I like to check in on every account that may have fraud issues like credit cards, so that said I do check other accounts daily and not take any action on them.

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