How can I check my portfolio as little as possible?

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Topic Author
hungrywave
Posts: 119
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 7:48 pm

How can I check my portfolio as little as possible?

Post by hungrywave » Tue May 28, 2019 2:42 pm

Dear Boggle-Obsessive-Market-Watchers,

How can I engineer my investing system such that I have to look at my portfolio as little as possible?

I have recently been panned on the forum for having a 100% stock, tilted portfolio: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=281962&p=4565802#p4565802

I agree that my portfolio is very risky in the short run. However, I have a 15-year time horizon, which means that the risk of my portfolio is substantially lower than it may seem to be over a matter of a few years. I just have to figure out how to avoid shooting myself in the foot...

In particular, I am interested in avoiding myopic risk aversion (https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Behavioral_pitfalls) and, perhaps more importantly, the anxiety of seeing my portfolio diminish. I am susceptible to anxiety, as many of us are these days, and I would HATE to lose sleep over irrational market worry. (You say that means I should have more bonds? I don't actually think I am more susceptible to market anxiety than the average investor and I am not impressed by the risk reduction that 25% bonds adds - I think seeing my portfolio drop 40% rather than 60% would actually be similarly anxiety-inducing and I see no empiric evidence otherwise. But I do want to limit unnecessary anxiety as much as possible given my portfolio.)

Ideas I have had include:
- Never rebalancing (feasible in my case as my portfolio is 100% stock)
- Deleting my Fidelity, Vanguard, and Stock iOS apps
- Staying off of this forum and others like it
- Avoiding reading market news (though this will be difficult as the meat of these news bits is in the headlines, often)
- Automating investing as much as possible
- Specifically writing down in my investing policy the acceptable reasons to check (eg for tax loss harvesting)

Tax loss harvesting is the thing that gets me. Without that, it seems like I could theoretically never check until I am ready to consider converting stocks to bonds. It seems like tax loss harvesting is a recipe for anxiety because you are specifically watching for market drops. Or does TLH help with anxiety because it provides you something proactive to do during declines?

Thank you so much for your ideas to help me stick with my inadvisably-risky portfolio for 15 years! :sharebeer
The world is largely random so don't sweat the small stuff.

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FelixTheCat
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Re: How can I check my portfolio as little as possible?

Post by FelixTheCat » Tue May 28, 2019 2:53 pm

I think you're not comfortable with your asset allocation based on your anxiety. Do you need a more conservative portfolio to allow you to sleep better and forget the market noise?
Felix is a wonderful, wonderful cat.

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Crushtheturtle
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Re: How can I check my portfolio as little as possible?

Post by Crushtheturtle » Tue May 28, 2019 2:54 pm

No need to delete apps and websites.
Once a month or quarter should be enough to check up on things and rebalance as necessary. I agree with otherwise ignoring news- financial and otherwise- in the meantime.

Best wishes, you are not alone in this struggle.
Beware the advice of successful people; they do not seek company. - Scott Adams

jebmke
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Re: How can I check my portfolio as little as possible?

Post by jebmke » Tue May 28, 2019 2:56 pm

I don't trust mobile devices to access financial accounts so I'd be comfortable deleting those apps.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

MichCPA
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Re: How can I check my portfolio as little as possible?

Post by MichCPA » Tue May 28, 2019 3:01 pm

I would always recommend checking your portfolio at least once a month. This will allow you to check if there are any errors. Yes they do happen, they have happened to me.

You need a policy that only allows you to make changes at most once a quarter (barring a significant life event). If you can't manage that, make yourself a 'gambling/investing' fund that isn't material to your net worth and mess around in that sandbox to your heart's content.
Last edited by MichCPA on Tue May 28, 2019 3:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Conch55
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Re: How can I check my portfolio as little as possible?

Post by Conch55 » Tue May 28, 2019 3:04 pm

What has worked for me over the years has been to not use any financial apps, pay attention to the news as a casual observer and only update my balances on a schedule. For me that's once a week but I do it to maintain a historical perspective on things rather than react to market swings. I don't put much stock into daily/nightly news reports on volatility. Determine an AA you can live with and carry on.

MichCPA
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Re: How can I check my portfolio as little as possible?

Post by MichCPA » Tue May 28, 2019 3:06 pm

jebmke wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 2:56 pm
I don't trust mobile devices to access financial accounts so I'd be comfortable deleting those apps.
What is the basis for this? I would trust an app more than a web browser because the chances of phishing would be substantially reduced. You don't have to enter a password and can use bio metric information. The app stores are vetted by Apple and Google.

KlangFool
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Re: How can I check my portfolio as little as possible?

Post by KlangFool » Tue May 28, 2019 3:08 pm

hungrywave wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 2:42 pm

I agree that my portfolio is very risky in the short run. However, I have a 15-year time horizon,
hungrywave,

1) Unless you can predict the future, how would you know that you have precisely 15 years time horizon?

2) In term of risk-adjusted return, it is a lousy idea to be 100% stock. 70/30 is probably the best that you should do.

3) If your AA is safe and good enough, you would not need to check your portfolio.

4) A) 40% of my portfolio is in the Wellington fund. It had survived a long time since the 1930s.

B) Because of (A), my portfolio will not trigger the 5/25 band rebalancing unless the stock market drops 30% or more. It rebalanced itself automatically.

If there is no reason to check your portfolio, you will stop checking eventually. It is too boring to check.

KlangFool

Seasonal
Posts: 324
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Re: How can I check my portfolio as little as possible?

Post by Seasonal » Tue May 28, 2019 3:09 pm

hungrywave wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 2:42 pm
I agree that my portfolio is very risky in the short run. However, I have a 15-year time horizon, which means that the risk of my portfolio is substantially lower than it may seem to be over a matter of a few years.
Commonly known as the fallacy of time diversification. Random thread on the subject: viewtopic.php?t=13864

bloom2708
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Re: How can I check my portfolio as little as possible?

Post by bloom2708 » Tue May 28, 2019 3:13 pm

I think you are trying too hard. It isn't that hard.

Your heavy tilt means you will lag or out perform the market for short and long stretches. You are hoping that magically 15 years from now your tilts will pay off and you will beat "the market". There is no guarantee of that. You have a 33% chance of beating the market. The other two outcomes are the same/similar performance and soundly losing to a market portfolio.

In order to see if your tilt works, you have to wait a long time and then look back. If you don't get the bump in expected return, does that mean you won't meet your financial goals?

Not wanting to look is a symptom of a portfolio you can't/don't trust.

Adopt a low cost, tax efficient, total market portfolio with no gimmicks. Save at a high rate. Check for errors every few weeks. How would you buy and not check?

Every day a bunch of stuff happens. That is the market. Repeat. Own that. Own a reasonable amount of bonds based on your age and risk tolerance.

Start over with the Videos and Wiki and Boglehead 10 principles. Good luck!
"We are not here to agree with you; we are here to provoke thoughtfulness." Unknown Boglehead

jebmke
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Re: How can I check my portfolio as little as possible?

Post by jebmke » Tue May 28, 2019 3:26 pm

MichCPA wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 3:06 pm
jebmke wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 2:56 pm
I don't trust mobile devices to access financial accounts so I'd be comfortable deleting those apps.
What is the basis for this? I would trust an app more than a web browser because the chances of phishing would be substantially reduced. You don't have to enter a password and can use bio metric information. The app stores are vetted by Apple and Google.
I use a browser in a virtual machine. Nothing else goes on in that machine, without exception. The VM isn't even persistent.

I have no idea what happens among apps on a mobile device.

Finally, I have no need to check my accounts when I am away from home.
Last edited by jebmke on Tue May 28, 2019 3:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

DaufuskieNate
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Re: How can I check my portfolio as little as possible?

Post by DaufuskieNate » Tue May 28, 2019 3:28 pm

Fama-French analyzed the probabilities that factor returns could be negative over different time frames. Their analysis showed that at 15 years, there is about a 19% probability of the small cap premium being negative and a 10% probability that the value factor would be negative. What about the no-gimmick total market portfolio? They showed that there is a 13% probability of stocks earning less than T-bills over a 15-year period.

printer86
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Re: How can I check my portfolio as little as possible?

Post by printer86 » Tue May 28, 2019 3:54 pm

Please read Rick's post. Both of your threads appear fall prey to his points.

viewtopic.php?f=10&t=281990

Stormbringer
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Re: How can I check my portfolio as little as possible?

Post by Stormbringer » Tue May 28, 2019 3:55 pm

hungrywave wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 2:42 pm
In particular, I am interested in avoiding myopic risk aversion (https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Behavioral_pitfalls) and, perhaps more importantly, the anxiety of seeing my portfolio diminish. I am susceptible to anxiety, as many of us are these days, and I would HATE to lose sleep over irrational market worry.
What you need to understand is that, if you are in the accumulation phase with a 15-year horizon, you should get on your knees and pray for an absolutely awful, decade-long, truly dreadful bear market. You should cheer every time you turn on CNBC and see triple-digit red arrows.

Why? Because:
  • Every stock buyback will result in you owning more of each company than you would if prices were high.
  • Every reinvested dividend will result in you owning more shares than you would if prices were high.
  • Every dollar of new money invested will buy more shares that you could if prices were high.
In bear markets, stocks return to their rightful owners.
"Compound interest is the most powerful force in the universe." - Albert Einstein

123
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Re: How can I check my portfolio as little as possible?

Post by 123 » Tue May 28, 2019 4:03 pm

Once you accept the fact that the equity portion of your portfolio can experience a 50% (generally accepted) decline in value at anytime you should be able to sleep well at night. So with a 100% equity allocation you generally need twice as much to FIRE as if you have a "normal" portfolio since the decline could happen on the day you need the assets.

The choice is really up to you. The decision is yours alone.
The closest helping hand is at the end of your own arm.

TomCat96
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Re: How can I check my portfolio as little as possible?

Post by TomCat96 » Tue May 28, 2019 4:41 pm

hungrywave wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 2:42 pm
Dear Boggle-Obsessive-Market-Watchers,

How can I engineer my investing system such that I have to look at my portfolio as little as possible?

I have recently been panned on the forum for having a 100% stock, tilted portfolio: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=281962&p=4565802#p4565802

I agree that my portfolio is very risky in the short run. However, I have a 15-year time horizon, which means that the risk of my portfolio is substantially lower than it may seem to be over a matter of a few years. I just have to figure out how to avoid shooting myself in the foot...

In particular, I am interested in avoiding myopic risk aversion (https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Behavioral_pitfalls) and, perhaps more importantly, the anxiety of seeing my portfolio diminish. I am susceptible to anxiety, as many of us are these days, and I would HATE to lose sleep over irrational market worry. (You say that means I should have more bonds? I don't actually think I am more susceptible to market anxiety than the average investor and I am not impressed by the risk reduction that 25% bonds adds - I think seeing my portfolio drop 40% rather than 60% would actually be similarly anxiety-inducing and I see no empiric evidence otherwise. But I do want to limit unnecessary anxiety as much as possible given my portfolio.)

Ideas I have had include:
- Never rebalancing (feasible in my case as my portfolio is 100% stock)
- Deleting my Fidelity, Vanguard, and Stock iOS apps
- Staying off of this forum and others like it
- Avoiding reading market news (though this will be difficult as the meat of these news bits is in the headlines, often)
- Automating investing as much as possible
- Specifically writing down in my investing policy the acceptable reasons to check (eg for tax loss harvesting)

Tax loss harvesting is the thing that gets me. Without that, it seems like I could theoretically never check until I am ready to consider converting stocks to bonds. It seems like tax loss harvesting is a recipe for anxiety because you are specifically watching for market drops. Or does TLH help with anxiety because it provides you something proactive to do during declines?

Thank you so much for your ideas to help me stick with my inadvisably-risky portfolio for 15 years! :sharebeer


I am 100% stock. Based on what you wrote, that is probably not for you.
There is really nothing I can say. If you are susceptible to anxiety that portfolio is not for you.

One person on this forum recommended bonds to me for the purpose of getting used to bonds.
I recommend just the opposite. If you are young go 100% stock and get used to seeing your portfolio tumble up and down.
That's right. Get used to it. You'll be seeing a lot of that before you crack open that nest egg. Most likely you'll ride a few crashes. Learn how to surf. Metaphorically and literally.

For day to day purposes all you need is a sufficient emergency fund to ride the waves.

In the meantime, go live your life. National parks are nice. Go exercise. Eat salad. Tip your waitress.
Overthinking about your portfolio is a waste unless you want to make a career out of it.

edit: 15 years? I'll let you decide what that means.
if its 15 before you must crack. go more conservative, esp if you are anxiety prone

quantAndHold
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Re: How can I check my portfolio as little as possible?

Post by quantAndHold » Tue May 28, 2019 4:49 pm

MichCPA wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 3:06 pm
jebmke wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 2:56 pm
I don't trust mobile devices to access financial accounts so I'd be comfortable deleting those apps.
What is the basis for this? I would trust an app more than a web browser because the chances of phishing would be substantially reduced. You don't have to enter a password and can use bio metric information. The app stores are vetted by Apple and Google.
This exactly. I find it amusing when people avoid their phones for security reasons. Computers have a much larger attack surface. If you want to reduce risk, unplug the computer from the wall, and use the phone exclusively.

quantAndHold
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Re: How can I check my portfolio as little as possible?

Post by quantAndHold » Tue May 28, 2019 4:54 pm

The biggest thing is to really understand, in your bones, is that while you're in the accumulation phase, a bear market is a good thing. The lower the market goes the better. The longer the better. All you need to do during down markets is to keep contributing and ride it out.

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Sandtrap
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Re: How can I check my portfolio as little as possible?

Post by Sandtrap » Tue May 28, 2019 5:38 pm

1. Simplify your portfolio so there's nothing to do.
2. Adjust your allocation so you can sleep without caring what happens to the financial world.
3. Make your investment strategy so boring that you lose interest.

j :happy
Wiki Bogleheads Wiki: Everything You Need to Know

Topic Author
hungrywave
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Re: How can I check my portfolio as little as possible?

Post by hungrywave » Tue May 28, 2019 5:43 pm

MichCPA wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 3:01 pm
I would always recommend checking your portfolio at least once a month. This will allow you to check if there are any errors. Yes they do happen, they have happened to me.
Thank you, MichCPA!

Interesting! May I ask what kinds of errors you have encountered? What should I look out for?
The world is largely random so don't sweat the small stuff.

Topic Author
hungrywave
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Re: How can I check my portfolio as little as possible?

Post by hungrywave » Tue May 28, 2019 5:48 pm

KlangFool wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 3:08 pm
hungrywave wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 2:42 pm

I agree that my portfolio is very risky in the short run. However, I have a 15-year time horizon,
hungrywave,

1) Unless you can predict the future, how would you know that you have precisely 15 years time horizon?

2) In term of risk-adjusted return, it is a lousy idea to be 100% stock. 70/30 is probably the best that you should do.

3) If your AA is safe and good enough, you would not need to check your portfolio.

4) A) 40% of my portfolio is in the Wellington fund. It had survived a long time since the 1930s.

B) Because of (A), my portfolio will not trigger the 5/25 band rebalancing unless the stock market drops 30% or more. It rebalanced itself automatically.

If there is no reason to check your portfolio, you will stop checking eventually. It is too boring to check.

KlangFool
Thank you, KlangFool!

1) Fair point. I plan on working more as needed if my portfolio is down when I would otherwise be FI. 15 years is an estimate. I might be dead by then for all I know...

2) Fair point. But I guess I've concluded that risk-adjustment is fundamentally subjective. In the very long term, stocks are less risky than bonds as they tend to produce higher returns more reliably.

3) Good point! That's what I hope to achieve. I guess people with bonds have to rebalance. And tax loss harvesting seems like an annoyingly persistent need to check.

4) I like the idea of balances portfolios and may incorporate them in the future. For now, though, I'm looking to tax loss harvest and so hope to break out the components of my portfolio.

I am definitely going to try to get bored with my portfolio. Hopefully a few years of accumulation will help - especially after the tax lost harvesting fades away.
The world is largely random so don't sweat the small stuff.

Topic Author
hungrywave
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Re: How can I check my portfolio as little as possible?

Post by hungrywave » Tue May 28, 2019 5:51 pm

bloom2708 wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 3:13 pm
Adopt a low cost, tax efficient, total market portfolio with no gimmicks. Save at a high rate. Check for errors every few weeks. How would you buy and not check?
Thank you, bloom2708!

Check, check, almost-check, almost-check, and check!

What kinds of errors have you detected? I'm worried now that I have not detected any...
The world is largely random so don't sweat the small stuff.

Topic Author
hungrywave
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Re: How can I check my portfolio as little as possible?

Post by hungrywave » Tue May 28, 2019 5:55 pm

DaufuskieNate wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 3:28 pm
Fama-French analyzed the probabilities that factor returns could be negative over different time frames. Their analysis showed that at 15 years, there is about a 19% probability of the small cap premium being negative and a 10% probability that the value factor would be negative. What about the no-gimmick total market portfolio? They showed that there is a 13% probability of stocks earning less than T-bills over a 15-year period.
Thank you for the interesting stats, DaufuskieNate!

The return on bonds can be somewhat predicted by current yields. Current yields are low at ~2.5%. I believe this is a reason to embrace my stage of investing life cycle and bet heavily on stocks. I'm okay taking this risky bet. After all, I'm not investing in a 2% ER tech fund and gold or something...
The world is largely random so don't sweat the small stuff.

Topic Author
hungrywave
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Re: How can I check my portfolio as little as possible?

Post by hungrywave » Tue May 28, 2019 6:01 pm

printer86 wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 3:54 pm
Please read Rick's post. Both of your threads appear fall prey to his points.

viewtopic.php?f=10&t=281990
Thank you for keeping things in perspective for me, printer86.

Yes, I am complicating things in an attempt at future-telling-like optimization. However, I believe in slight return premiums for small and emerging stocks. Thus, I have constructed a (what I think is slight) tilt. My portfolio is still going to track the global market very closely (correlation 0.96 with the US market since 1995). If I don't track the total market, I'll be fine. If I'm down 1-2% in annualized returns after 15 years, I'll be sad (maybe) but I'll survive no problem and stick with the plan (with addition of bonds as needed).
The world is largely random so don't sweat the small stuff.

Topic Author
hungrywave
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Re: How can I check my portfolio as little as possible?

Post by hungrywave » Tue May 28, 2019 6:02 pm

Stormbringer wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 3:55 pm
What you need to understand is that, if you are in the accumulation phase with a 15-year horizon, you should get on your knees and pray for an absolutely awful, decade-long, truly dreadful bear market.
Stormbringer, I'm praying, I'm praying!!! I just hope it happens at the beginning than the end... :)
The world is largely random so don't sweat the small stuff.

Topic Author
hungrywave
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Re: How can I check my portfolio as little as possible?

Post by hungrywave » Tue May 28, 2019 6:04 pm

123 wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 4:03 pm
Once you accept the fact that the equity portion of your portfolio can experience a 50% (generally accepted) decline in value at anytime you should be able to sleep well at night. So with a 100% equity allocation you generally need twice as much to FIRE as if you have a "normal" portfolio since the decline could happen on the day you need the assets.

The choice is really up to you. The decision is yours alone.
Thank you, 123!

Yes, I rationally know a 50%+ drop can come at any time. I've just heard it is harder to stomach in reality than in theory (lolz). Hence, my headliner question. I figure good portfolio-avoidance strategies are as good as some bonds in the portfolio (at least!).

When I want to transition to a state of FI, I plan to shift to bonds. But not for at least 15 years.
The world is largely random so don't sweat the small stuff.

Topic Author
hungrywave
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Re: How can I check my portfolio as little as possible?

Post by hungrywave » Tue May 28, 2019 6:07 pm

TomCat96 wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 4:41 pm
I am 100% stock. Based on what you wrote, that is probably not for you.
There is really nothing I can say. If you are susceptible to anxiety that portfolio is not for you.

One person on this forum recommended bonds to me for the purpose of getting used to bonds.
I recommend just the opposite. If you are young go 100% stock and get used to seeing your portfolio tumble up and down.
That's right. Get used to it. You'll be seeing a lot of that before you crack open that nest egg. Most likely you'll ride a few crashes. Learn how to surf. Metaphorically and literally.

For day to day purposes all you need is a sufficient emergency fund to ride the waves.

In the meantime, go live your life. National parks are nice. Go exercise. Eat salad. Tip your waitress.
Overthinking about your portfolio is a waste unless you want to make a career out of it.

edit: 15 years? I'll let you decide what that means.
if its 15 before you must crack. go more conservative, esp if you are anxiety prone
Thank you, TomCat96!

I may have made myself out to be kind of a wimp but I am only doing that to try to keep it real. I am actually pretty risk-loving in my non-investment life. I just want to make sure I am prepared the swings of a 100% stock portfolio.

And I do know how to surf! That's kind of risky, right? :)

I love the exercise and National Parks recommendation. I'll keep that in mind if I ever do have trouble sleeping.

Have you every had market-related anxiety?
The world is largely random so don't sweat the small stuff.

Topic Author
hungrywave
Posts: 119
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 7:48 pm

Re: How can I check my portfolio as little as possible?

Post by hungrywave » Tue May 28, 2019 6:08 pm

Sandtrap wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 5:38 pm
1. Simplify your portfolio so there's nothing to do.
2. Adjust your allocation so you can sleep without caring what happens to the financial world.
3. Make your investment strategy so boring that you lose interest.

j :happy
That's part of my question and strategy, Sandtrap! :)

Is it reasonable for me to never rebalance (since I'm 100% stock) and just plough the money in, month-after-month, avoiding looking at my portfolio at all except to tax loss harvest?
The world is largely random so don't sweat the small stuff.

KlangFool
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Re: How can I check my portfolio as little as possible?

Post by KlangFool » Tue May 28, 2019 6:22 pm

hungrywave wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 5:48 pm

2) Fair point. But I guess I've concluded that risk-adjustment is fundamentally subjective. In the very long term, stocks are less risky than bonds as they tend to produce higher returns more reliably.
hungrywave,

https://personal.vanguard.com/us/insigh ... ns?lang=en

<< But I guess I've concluded that risk-adjustment is fundamentally subjective. >>

It is not. Historically, the average return of the 100/0 is only 1% per year higher than 70/30.

<<In the very long term, stocks are less risky than bonds as they tend to produce higher returns more reliably.>>

You only have 15 years. 5 years from now, you only have 10 years. 10 years from now, you only have 5 years. So, please tell me how can you invest in the very long term? You do not have 50 years. If you do, then you can claim that you are investing for 30 years over the next 20 years.

KlangFool

Elena
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Re: How can I check my portfolio as little as possible?

Post by Elena » Tue May 28, 2019 6:29 pm

For me, nothing does it like a market drop/correction. I did not look once during the last recession, and it was a quiet time for a couple of years. I just kept investing as much as I could and did not look at the balance until I heard it was coming back. I do not watch tv, but my news feed has two clear indications:
- For big drops, they always show a picture of a bald, older stock market worker freaking out. It is always the same person. When they use that picture (he is very dramatic), I know not to look.
- For recovery, they show pictures of green arrows pointing up, or the bull sculpture, together with the word "rally".

KlangFool
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Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: How can I check my portfolio as little as possible?

Post by KlangFool » Tue May 28, 2019 6:31 pm

hungrywave wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 6:08 pm
Sandtrap wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 5:38 pm
1. Simplify your portfolio so there's nothing to do.
2. Adjust your allocation so you can sleep without caring what happens to the financial world.
3. Make your investment strategy so boring that you lose interest.

j :happy
That's part of my question and strategy, Sandtrap! :)

Is it reasonable for me to never rebalance (since I'm 100% stock) and just plough the money in, month-after-month, avoiding looking at my portfolio at all except to tax loss harvest?
hungrywave,

No. Because eventually, your portfolio is too big and you do not have time to recover from a 50% loss.

My portfolio is at 20 times my annual expense and 20 times my annual saving now.

A) I am a few years from FI. I do not have the time to wait.

B) If I lose 50%, it will take 10 years of saving to recover. I am old enough that I may not be fully-employed over the next 10 years.

So, if you cannot be 100/0 over the next 15 years, why are you 100/0 now? You may be unlucky enough that before you change to 70/30, the market drops 50%.

KlangFool

illumination
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Re: How can I check my portfolio as little as possible?

Post by illumination » Tue May 28, 2019 6:35 pm

"Avoiding reading market news" is a great one, probably every mistake I've ever made in investing has been from that. I really am in the camp of "nobody knows nothing" and the financial press has a lot of ulterior and self-serving motives. In my opinion, it has gotten much worse, especially with the hysteria. I mean right now we have the best economic numbers in generations and you would swear we were in the midst of some economic meltdown.

As far as not looking, most brokerages are set up so they email you if say a transaction happens on your account, maybe only check it if you get such an email or only once a quarter? I think not checking your accounts for years at a time can be dangerous from a fraud standpoint.


I'm really not sure if a changing to a more conservative portfolio would really change your anxiety. I'm at 80/20 and have around 25 years until retirement and I still have anxiety. I just keep telling myself to follow the plan. I didn't really get rattled at all the last time it dropped almost 20%.

I do think though at 15 years out, you might want to start moving away from 100/0.

adam1712
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Re: How can I check my portfolio as little as possible?

Post by adam1712 » Tue May 28, 2019 6:41 pm

I honestly think it is better to check on a regular schedule. It's going to be difficult to never check when the markets are down significantly and it's all over the news.

Setting yourself up to check on a fixed schedule gets you more used to the market fluctuations and better prepared to see a downturn. I got used to seeing things go up and down and it became part of my routine. Then when a big drop hit in 2008, it was just another fluctuation.

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hungrywave
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Re: How can I check my portfolio as little as possible?

Post by hungrywave » Tue May 28, 2019 6:54 pm

KlangFool wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 6:22 pm
hungrywave wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 5:48 pm

2) Fair point. But I guess I've concluded that risk-adjustment is fundamentally subjective. In the very long term, stocks are less risky than bonds as they tend to produce higher returns more reliably.
hungrywave,

https://personal.vanguard.com/us/insigh ... ns?lang=en

<< But I guess I've concluded that risk-adjustment is fundamentally subjective. >>

It is not. Historically, the average return of the 100/0 is only 1% per year higher than 70/30.

<<In the very long term, stocks are less risky than bonds as they tend to produce higher returns more reliably.>>

You only have 15 years. 5 years from now, you only have 10 years. 10 years from now, you only have 5 years. So, please tell me how can you invest in the very long term? You do not have 50 years. If you do, then you can claim that you are investing for 30 years over the next 20 years.

KlangFool
Strong challenge, KlangFool! Thank you!

Thank you for the Vanguard link. While I agree that 30% bonds have not hurt return that much, I'm not sure that they would decrease my risk of adverse behavior or anxiety that much either. Per that link, 1931 was -43% for 100% stocks and -31% for 70% stocks. I'm not convinced that that 12% difference would really make a difference in my behavior or emotional state. I may be naive but at least I know not to sell low, right?

Good point also about the need to decrease risk as dependence on investment approaches. I agree. However, in my case, I have the flexibility to work for years more as needed.

It appears that the 2007 stock tumble was the worst since 1955. https://seekingalpha.com/article/423219 ... vs-history

The market lost about 60% and took about 3 years to recover. I could wait 3 years - or 6 years - for the market to recover. So holding 100% stock right up until potential FI is a risk I'm willing to take.
The world is largely random so don't sweat the small stuff.

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hungrywave
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Re: How can I check my portfolio as little as possible?

Post by hungrywave » Tue May 28, 2019 6:55 pm

Elena wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 6:29 pm
For me, nothing does it like a market drop/correction. I did not look once during the last recession, and it was a quiet time for a couple of years. I just kept investing as much as I could and did not look at the balance until I heard it was coming back. I do not watch tv, but my news feed has two clear indications:
- For big drops, they always show a picture of a bald, older stock market worker freaking out. It is always the same person. When they use that picture (he is very dramatic), I know not to look.
- For recovery, they show pictures of green arrows pointing up, or the bull sculpture, together with the word "rally".
Hahahaha! Elena, you are a god! I can only hope to have the same equanimity during the next bear market.

Also, thank you for being the first person in the thread to attempt to answer my question (rather than convince me my portfolio is bad). :)
The world is largely random so don't sweat the small stuff.

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hungrywave
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Re: How can I check my portfolio as little as possible?

Post by hungrywave » Tue May 28, 2019 6:58 pm

KlangFool wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 6:31 pm
B) If I lose 50%, it will take 10 years of saving to recover. I am old enough that I may not be fully-employed over the next 10 years.
Thank you for your perspective and context, KlangFool.

I guess I would suggest that even a 50% decline in the stock market would be followed by a recovery at some point - probably in the next few years and not much longer than that. I think I could wait it out... And, the "bucket strategy" of keeping some number of years in bonds is a way to prepare for a prolonged bear market. If FI day arrived and the market were down, I would just keep working and investing for a bigger egg later. If the market were OK, I would consider moving to the bucket method.
The world is largely random so don't sweat the small stuff.

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hungrywave
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Re: How can I check my portfolio as little as possible?

Post by hungrywave » Tue May 28, 2019 7:02 pm

illumination wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 6:35 pm
"Avoiding reading market news" is a great one, probably every mistake I've ever made in investing has been from that. I really am in the camp of "nobody knows nothing" and the financial press has a lot of ulterior and self-serving motives. In my opinion, it has gotten much worse, especially with the hysteria. I mean right now we have the best economic numbers in generations and you would swear we were in the midst of some economic meltdown.

As far as not looking, most brokerages are set up so they email you if say a transaction happens on your account, maybe only check it if you get such an email or only once a quarter? I think not checking your accounts for years at a time can be dangerous from a fraud standpoint.


I'm really not sure if a changing to a more conservative portfolio would really change your anxiety. I'm at 80/20 and have around 25 years until retirement and I still have anxiety. I just keep telling myself to follow the plan. I didn't really get rattled at all the last time it dropped almost 20%.

I do think though at 15 years out, you might want to start moving away from 100/0.
Thank you, Illumination!

I have to admit, you are telling me what I want to hear. "I'm really not sure if a changing to a more conservative portfolio would really change your anxiety." I am really interested in that question and there doesn't seem to be empiric evidence one way or the other.

Good tip on checking intermittently to ensure there is no fraud - though I'm not sure how that would happen...

May I ask how your anxiety manifests itself and how you deal with it concretely (other than self soothing self talk)?
The world is largely random so don't sweat the small stuff.

printer86
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Re: How can I check my portfolio as little as possible?

Post by printer86 » Tue May 28, 2019 7:04 pm

hungrywave wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 6:55 pm
Elena wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 6:29 pm
For me, nothing does it like a market drop/correction. I did not look once during the last recession, and it was a quiet time for a couple of years. I just kept investing as much as I could and did not look at the balance until I heard it was coming back. I do not watch tv, but my news feed has two clear indications:
- For big drops, they always show a picture of a bald, older stock market worker freaking out. It is always the same person. When they use that picture (he is very dramatic), I know not to look.
- For recovery, they show pictures of green arrows pointing up, or the bull sculpture, together with the word "rally".
Hahahaha! Elena, you are a god! I can only hope to have the same equanimity during the next bear market.

Also, thank you for being the first person in the thread to attempt to answer my question (rather than convince me my portfolio is bad). :)
Your question is only good if your portfolio is bad.

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hungrywave
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Re: How can I check my portfolio as little as possible?

Post by hungrywave » Tue May 28, 2019 7:05 pm

adam1712 wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 6:41 pm
I honestly think it is better to check on a regular schedule. It's going to be difficult to never check when the markets are down significantly and it's all over the news.

Setting yourself up to check on a fixed schedule gets you more used to the market fluctuations and better prepared to see a downturn. I got used to seeing things go up and down and it became part of my routine. Then when a big drop hit in 2008, it was just another fluctuation.
Thank you, adam1712!

Do you tax loss harvest? If so, how do you decide when to check?
The world is largely random so don't sweat the small stuff.

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hungrywave
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Re: How can I check my portfolio as little as possible?

Post by hungrywave » Tue May 28, 2019 7:17 pm

printer86 wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 7:04 pm
Your question is only good if your portfolio is bad.
I disagree, printer86. Any investor is exposed to market anxiety and potential adverse behavior. See Illumination's 20% bonds experience above. I only hope for us to develop strategies to reduce this anxiety, no matter what our portfolios.
The world is largely random so don't sweat the small stuff.

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Crushtheturtle
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Re: How can I check my portfolio as little as possible?

Post by Crushtheturtle » Tue May 28, 2019 7:22 pm

hungrywave wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 6:55 pm
Also, thank you for being the first person in the thread to attempt to answer my question (rather than convince me my portfolio is bad). :)
Interesting
Beware the advice of successful people; they do not seek company. - Scott Adams

Quaestner
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Re: How can I check my portfolio as little as possible?

Post by Quaestner » Tue May 28, 2019 7:37 pm

I've shared your challenge. It's helped me to reframe my interpretation of my portfolio. When I check on it, it's listed in dollars. But I try to remember that it's not dollars, but shares of 1000's of businesses. I'm learning to not worry about what others think the value of the businesses might be. In other words, I've spent the money on stocks. I own stocks now, not money, and I'm glad I made the purchases. I want to own the business for a looong time - so why worry? (Having the right asset allocation also helps me sleep better. If the value of the businesses does fall precipitously, I'll be ok because I've got bonds and some cash(ish) assets, too.)

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hungrywave
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Re: How can I check my portfolio as little as possible?

Post by hungrywave » Tue May 28, 2019 7:53 pm

Quaestner wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 7:37 pm
I've shared your challenge. It's helped me to reframe my interpretation of my portfolio. When I check on it, it's listed in dollars. But I try to remember that it's not dollars, but shares of 1000's of businesses. I'm learning to not worry about what others think the value of the businesses might be. In other words, I've spent the money on stocks. I own stocks now, not money, and I'm glad I made the purchases. I want to own the business for a looong time - so why worry? (Having the right asset allocation also helps me sleep better. If the value of the businesses does fall precipitously, I'll be ok because I've got bonds and some cash(ish) assets, too.)
Quaestner, thank you so much!

This is such an amazing way of understanding why bear markets should not be so scary. Bear markets are the market behaving as Graham's voting machine. But the long term trend of the market is the weighing machine. That's what we're in it for.

Thank you. I will remember that. :)
The world is largely random so don't sweat the small stuff.

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hungrywave
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Re: How can I check my portfolio as little as possible?

Post by hungrywave » Tue May 28, 2019 7:54 pm

Crushtheturtle wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 7:22 pm
hungrywave wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 6:55 pm
Also, thank you for being the first person in the thread to attempt to answer my question (rather than convince me my portfolio is bad). :)
Interesting
My apologies, Crushtheturtle! You were first, you were first. :)
The world is largely random so don't sweat the small stuff.

KlangFool
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Re: How can I check my portfolio as little as possible?

Post by KlangFool » Tue May 28, 2019 7:55 pm

hungrywave wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 6:58 pm
KlangFool wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 6:31 pm
B) If I lose 50%, it will take 10 years of saving to recover. I am old enough that I may not be fully-employed over the next 10 years.
Thank you for your perspective and context, KlangFool.

I guess I would suggest that even a 50% decline in the stock market would be followed by a recovery at some point - probably in the next few years and not much longer than that. I think I could wait it out... And, the "bucket strategy" of keeping some number of years in bonds is a way to prepare for a prolonged bear market.
hungrywave,

If you have the money in fixed income, you could wait it out. But, if you are 100/0 and unemployed, you will be selling at 50% loss when your emergency fund runs out.

So, why should you be 100/0?

KlangFool

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hungrywave
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Re: How can I check my portfolio as little as possible?

Post by hungrywave » Tue May 28, 2019 7:58 pm

KlangFool wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 7:55 pm
hungrywave,

If you have the money in fixed income, you could wait it out. But, if you are 100/0 and unemployed, you will be selling at 50% loss when your emergency fund runs out.

So, why should you be 100/0?

KlangFool
Good point, KlangFool. I hadn't thought of that. I guess that I will rely on my wife's income while I am unemployed, the risk being that we would still eventually need to draw down our stock. We do have an emergency fund and your suggestion is good encouragement to expand it beyond 3 months! Also, if one of us were to stop working, then expanding the emergency fund further would be a great idea. Thank you for the suggestion! :sharebeer
The world is largely random so don't sweat the small stuff.

KlangFool
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Re: How can I check my portfolio as little as possible?

Post by KlangFool » Tue May 28, 2019 8:02 pm

hungrywave wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 6:54 pm
KlangFool wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 6:22 pm
hungrywave wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 5:48 pm

2) Fair point. But I guess I've concluded that risk-adjustment is fundamentally subjective. In the very long term, stocks are less risky than bonds as they tend to produce higher returns more reliably.
hungrywave,

https://personal.vanguard.com/us/insigh ... ns?lang=en

<< But I guess I've concluded that risk-adjustment is fundamentally subjective. >>

It is not. Historically, the average return of the 100/0 is only 1% per year higher than 70/30.

<<In the very long term, stocks are less risky than bonds as they tend to produce higher returns more reliably.>>

You only have 15 years. 5 years from now, you only have 10 years. 10 years from now, you only have 5 years. So, please tell me how can you invest in the very long term? You do not have 50 years. If you do, then you can claim that you are investing for 30 years over the next 20 years.

KlangFool
Strong challenge, KlangFool! Thank you!

Thank you for the Vanguard link. While I agree that 30% bonds have not hurt return that much, I'm not sure that they would decrease my risk of adverse behavior or anxiety that much either.
hungrywave,

I do not know emotionally whether you will have capitulated in a bear market. But, if you do not have the 30% in the fixed income to survive beyond the emergency fund and you are unemployed, you will be forced to sell in order to feed your family. This is not subjective.

And, if you know that with 100/0, you can only last 1 year unemployed in a recession without major loss, you should be anxious.

I am not anxious because I am prepared for 5 years of the market downturn with unemployment. I will not suffer any permanent financial loss when it happened. How about you? How long before your loss is permanent?

KlangFool

Beensabu
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Re: How can I check my portfolio as little as possible?

Post by Beensabu » Tue May 28, 2019 8:23 pm

hungrywave wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 7:58 pm
We do have an emergency fund and your suggestion is good encouragement to expand it beyond 3 months!
Expand your emergency fund. It runs out faster than you think it will. You never know -- you could end up underemployed. If you don't want bonds, at least get it to 12 months. You'll feel better, for a reason. Since you keep talking about tax loss harvesting, you might have a lot of your contributions going to taxable? Put some of that towards your emergency fund.
"The only thing that makes life possible is permanent, intolerable uncertainty; not knowing what comes next."

Silence Dogood
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Re: How can I check my portfolio as little as possible?

Post by Silence Dogood » Tue May 28, 2019 8:26 pm

MichCPA wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 3:06 pm
jebmke wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 2:56 pm
I don't trust mobile devices to access financial accounts so I'd be comfortable deleting those apps.
What is the basis for this? I would trust an app more than a web browser because the chances of phishing would be substantially reduced. You don't have to enter a password and can use bio metric information. The app stores are vetted by Apple and Google.
I trust the mobile app, I just don't trust myself.

I do have my credit card and banking apps on my phone, but I see no reason to have my retirement account on my phone.

I don't want it to be that east to log in to my brokerage account when I'm feeling very tired ..or worse, inebriated.

retire2022
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Re: How can I check my portfolio as little as possible?

Post by retire2022 » Tue May 28, 2019 8:36 pm

Hungrywave

You have too much free time, last time I checked last 32 years of investing was annualized 6% rate of return.

There will be up years and down years at 32 years old you should be focused on cutting out student loan, cutting costs and living below your means and plowing as much as you can into the lazy portfolio

https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Lazy_portfolios

Your goal should be 1.0 million portfolio and FIRE and not worry about the day to day.

go through his blog if you have not done so

https://www.mrmoneymustache.com/
Last edited by retire2022 on Wed May 29, 2019 7:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

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