How often do you check your brokerage accounts

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RagnarRahl
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How often do you check your brokerage accounts

Post by RagnarRahl » Sat Aug 11, 2018 7:17 pm

I have three brokerage accounts--Vanguard, Schwab and TD Ameritrade which came over from Scottrade. I re-balance quarterly. I look at the Schwab balance regularly because I bank with them. I'd like to ignore the other two except when I get ready to do my quarterly re-balancing. Vanguard and TDA send me emails when there is any activity. Do you think it is OK to ignore them for that period of time, or should I check on them every week or so? If you are an investor who re-balances that seldom, or even less, do you check your balances more frequently?

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Taylor Larimore
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Re: How often do you check your brokerage accounts

Post by Taylor Larimore » Sat Aug 11, 2018 7:23 pm

RagnarRahl:

I do not have a brokerage account. Everything is held directly with Vanguard and in my checking account. I check my Vanguard balance for fraud or mistakes once or twice a year. Never had a problem.

Best wishes.
Taylor
"Simplicity is the master key to financial success." -- Jack Bogle

Broken Man 1999
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Re: How often do you check your brokerage accounts

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Sat Aug 11, 2018 7:24 pm

RagnarRahl wrote:
Sat Aug 11, 2018 7:17 pm
I have three brokerage accounts--Vanguard, Schwab and TD Ameritrade which came over from Scottrade. I re-balance quarterly. I look at the Schwab balance regularly because I bank with them. I'd like to ignore the other two except when I get ready to do my quarterly re-balancing. Vanguard and TDA send me emails when there is any activity. Do you think it is OK to ignore them for that period of time, or should I check on them every week or so? If you are an investor who re-balances that seldom, or even less, do you check your balances more frequently?
There isn't a day that goes by that I don't stop in to make sure all my $$$ are still home and working for me.

I don't ever do much, but I still like to do a welfare check on them.

I don't want them taking up with the wrong crowd.

Broken Man 1999
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TXWill
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Re: How often do you check your brokerage accounts

Post by TXWill » Sat Aug 11, 2018 7:29 pm

Quick check once a month. Ten institutions, total time to check about 30 minutes.

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GoldStar
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Re: How often do you check your brokerage accounts

Post by GoldStar » Sat Aug 11, 2018 7:29 pm

I check monthly. Once in a while I skip a month.
But if I wasn't curious about balances I wouldn't do it. I trust the money is still there. I believe once a year is fine.

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FrugalInvestor
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Re: How often do you check your brokerage accounts

Post by FrugalInvestor » Sat Aug 11, 2018 7:31 pm

Taylor Larimore wrote:
Sat Aug 11, 2018 7:23 pm
RagnarRahl:

I do not have a brokerage account. Everything is held directly with Vanguard and in my checking account. I check my Vanguard balance for fraud or mistakes once or twice a year. Never had a problem.

Best wishes.
Taylor
I'm in the excellent company of Taylor but I'm more curious. I look at my accounts about once per month.

Actually, my wife handles the checking account so she tells me how much she needs each month and I transfer the $$ from our Vanguard Money Market.

The other reason I "peek" is to see how we're doing in comparison to our annual budget by looking at the balance remaining in our Money Market account.
IGNORE the noise! | Our life is frittered away by detail... simplify, simplify. - Henry David Thoreau

ThriftyPhD
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Re: How often do you check your brokerage accounts

Post by ThriftyPhD » Sat Aug 11, 2018 7:46 pm

I download statements when they become available. For most of my accounts, this is monthly or quarterly. I get an email when these are available and login to download them. I also check when making a transaction, or when I login after an automatic transaction occurred (such as in my 401k) to confirm the transaction happened as it should.

In terms of time, it is not very onerous. By checking as soon as data is available, I can quickly contest problems should they occur, or correct issues where something did not happen as expected.

Since I am in the accumulation phase, there are transactions happening frequently, so I end up checking fairly frequently when spread over all accounts. I can see this being a lot less necessary if I was retired, consolidated all accounts, and login a couple times a year to transfer money.

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abuss368
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Re: How often do you check your brokerage accounts

Post by abuss368 » Sat Aug 11, 2018 7:56 pm

We have mutual fund accounts with Vanguard and thus no brokerage accounts. We are in the accumulation stage so every other week we are buying. Thus we buy whatever is underweight. This keeps the investment portfolio balanced.

I have never found any errors or mistakes with Vanguard.
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Re: How often do you check your brokerage accounts

Post by abuss368 » Sat Aug 11, 2018 7:57 pm

Our only other institution is the bank.
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mortfree
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Re: How often do you check your brokerage accounts

Post by mortfree » Sat Aug 11, 2018 7:59 pm

With an app and fingerprint login for all 3 investment accounts I check it whenever I feel like it.

It’s way too easy.

UpperNwGuy
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Re: How often do you check your brokerage accounts

Post by UpperNwGuy » Sat Aug 11, 2018 8:04 pm

I check my brokerage accounts every weekday evening. I also check my bank balances and credit card transactions every weekday morning. I like to know what's going on.

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Re: How often do you check your brokerage accounts

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Sat Aug 11, 2018 8:14 pm

I check, can't be too careful these days. I also check my credit card accounts, I've caught two fraudulent transactions before the card company did, the first question from card company: How do you know its fraudulent? :oops: That is what we are dealing with these days.....
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jebmke
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Re: How often do you check your brokerage accounts

Post by jebmke » Sat Aug 11, 2018 8:17 pm

Typically once a month when I go in to download money. Except when there is a thread titled "have you seen what the Vanguard web page looks like now!!"
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runner3081
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Re: How often do you check your brokerage accounts

Post by runner3081 » Sat Aug 11, 2018 8:22 pm

I check them all once per month. This is also when I update my net worth spreadsheet with new balances.

I check credit card and bank accounts daily, however.

squirm
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Re: How often do you check your brokerage accounts

Post by squirm » Sat Aug 11, 2018 8:23 pm

During bull markets it's fun to check the account balance. During bear markets it's not fun, unless I'm short. I'm sure that goes for 90% of investors out there.

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leeks
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Re: How often do you check your brokerage accounts

Post by leeks » Sat Aug 11, 2018 8:34 pm

Once a month.

Dottie57
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Re: How often do you check your brokerage accounts

Post by Dottie57 » Sat Aug 11, 2018 8:34 pm

Way too often.

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Doom&Gloom
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Re: How often do you check your brokerage accounts

Post by Doom&Gloom » Sat Aug 11, 2018 8:41 pm

Statement time--3 institutions.

Also as needed (rarely).

123
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Re: How often do you check your brokerage accounts

Post by 123 » Sat Aug 11, 2018 8:52 pm

Accounts are reviewed monthly, or quarterly, depending on when the statements are received. Most accounts are 100% in a single investment, like a Vanguard LifeStrategy fund, so there's not much of an issue to rebalence. I've found that going to a fund-of-funds that works for my asset allocation makes me a lot less interested in the daily up/down movements in the market.
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dratkinson
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Re: How often do you check your brokerage accounts

Post by dratkinson » Sat Aug 11, 2018 8:56 pm

Once/month is enough for me.


At monthly statements' (checking, savings, investing) reconciliations and rebalancing, I verify that shares-owned are correct, emergency fund tiers are refilled, and excess cash is invested.

Rebalancing is needed due to direct deposits to mmkt (pay myself first) and checking (live on remainder), and dividends being redirected to mmkt and savings. (I don't worry about letting cash received mid-month sit until next month as I prefer the simplicity of rebalancing once/month.)

Reconciliations and rebalancing take ~1hour.



Monthly surveillance of investments.

--I appreciate that the investment companies send an email when there is account activity. So "no news" (unauthorized account changes) during the month, is good news.

--I track my investments in Excel and download daily prices. Built-in tests and conditional formatting alert me when something needs my attention (TLH opportunity, AA imbalance, Really Bad Day,...). It gives me a "heads up" and time to plan. Unless it's something that requires immediate attention (RBD), the changes can wait until next month's rebalancing.



Bottom line. I spend more time on the BH forum in one day that I do all month worrying about my investment accounts... because other things are monitoring that for me.
Last edited by dratkinson on Mon Aug 13, 2018 6:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Luckywon
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Re: How often do you check your brokerage accounts

Post by Luckywon » Sat Aug 11, 2018 9:00 pm

Via Mint and direct log in average about 3x/day. In my defense, fewer times on weekends and improved c/w 5-10x/day only a couple years ago. At least, trending well!

RickBoglehead
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Re: How often do you check your brokerage accounts

Post by RickBoglehead » Sat Aug 11, 2018 10:42 pm

Every Saturday morning.

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FiveK
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Re: How often do you check your brokerage accounts

Post by FiveK » Sat Aug 11, 2018 11:38 pm

Depends on the meaning of "check".

We download credit card transactions into Quicken every few days, and get downloads of our investment accounts at the same time. Don't usually check individual fund balances, but do check any downloaded transactions to ensure they are legitimate. Haven't found any errors, but it takes very little time doing this.

frugalmama
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Re: How often do you check your brokerage accounts

Post by frugalmama » Sun Aug 12, 2018 12:55 am

I'm a little OCD...I check my main accounts - Vanguard, credit card, and checking daily.

I know that I should receive an email when there is activity, but I don't entirely trust that I will and I actually really enjoy checking them (whether they go up or down). I don't rebalance, etc. except 1x a year though.
I think you should check them as you feel you need/want to.

TwstdSista
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Re: How often do you check your brokerage accounts

Post by TwstdSista » Sun Aug 12, 2018 3:12 am

Credit union -- a couples time per week. Basically whenever the husband's paycheck hits (to transfer it), when I need to use Bill Pay, and then both end of month and beginning of month (I'm self-employed -- end of month expenses and beginning of month pay day).

Fidelity -- end of month. Unless I'm contributing or investing mid-month.

CeeKay1729
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Re: How often do you check your brokerage accounts

Post by CeeKay1729 » Sun Aug 12, 2018 3:30 am

I use personal capital. I check 3-5x a day. OCD...I know.

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camillus
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Re: How often do you check your brokerage accounts

Post by camillus » Sun Aug 12, 2018 4:09 am

CeeKay1729 wrote:
Sun Aug 12, 2018 3:30 am
I use personal capital. I check 3-5x a day. OCD...I know.
This is my story as well. Also - checking bogleheads.org and other financial blogs every day. This is not good for me.

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nisiprius
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Re: How often do you check your brokerage accounts

Post by nisiprius » Sun Aug 12, 2018 6:13 am

I am probably on Vanguard.com several times a week checking out random stuff connected to forum discussions, but I am often not logged in. The last time I looked at my own account was yesterday, in order to see if it was true that their website design had changed and what it looked like. Naturally I must have glanced at the total but it must have been subconsciously close enough to what I expected not to draw my attention enough to actually look at it.

When a forum discussion (yes, I obsessively follow this forum) suggests that something dramatic has happened, I will sometimes check to see what effect it has had in my own portfolio. It never seems to be large. For example, some years ago, there was such a weight of opinion in the forum in favor of a higher international allocation than 20% of stocks that, after several years of listening to it, I decided to boost mine to 25%. My vague impression is that since then, after almost ten years of underperformance by international I might be down to 23%, but since there was that thread a few days ago about "international stocks in freefall" maybe I ought to just peek at mine.

Image

OK, so now I know.

I consciously try to resist the temptation to look frequently. I used to have an account at Fidelity, where at that time (does it still?) the home page showed a continuously scrolling minute by minute set of charts of the DJIA, S&P 500, and NASDAQ, and I actually changed my "favorites" like to go directly to my accounts page so that wouldn't see it.

A few years ago they were interviewing John C. Bogle on CNBC and at the time as he was talking about the importance of staying the course and tuning out the noise, on another part of the screen there was a scrolling chart that was tabulating the DJIA second by second as Bogle spoke.
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Toons
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Re: How often do you check your brokerage accounts

Post by Toons » Sun Aug 12, 2018 6:23 am

Mutual Fund Account here.
Maybe once a month...

:happy
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Re: How often do you check your brokerage accounts

Post by oldcomputerguy » Sun Aug 12, 2018 6:40 am

I download statements from my investment, banking and credit card companies once a month. I have my Fidelity accounts (IRAs) set up to send me alerts daily giving current balances, not in order to track the balances (I have no idea what the balances are doing from day to day) but just to make sure I haven't been hacked and robbed. (I would do that at Vanguard and Schwab as well if they offered the ability, but they don't seem to.) Other than that, I look at my investment accounts twice a year to see if I need to rebalance.
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grettman
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Re: How often do you check your brokerage accounts

Post by grettman » Sun Aug 12, 2018 7:07 am

Once a month to (1) Ensure I wasn't hacked / taken for a ride and (2) to track progress.

Nthomas
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Re: How often do you check your brokerage accounts

Post by Nthomas » Sun Aug 12, 2018 7:12 am

I get the Personal Capital daily update email which shows me the latest transactions (bank and brokerage). I identified fraud once based on this and was able to prevent further fraudulent transactions that would have likely occurred before end of month when I paid the CC bill. I find it keeps me from checking the brokerages too frequently.

livesoft
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Re: How often do you check your brokerage accounts

Post by livesoft » Sun Aug 12, 2018 7:47 am

I only check when I have a known transaction that I don't also see elsewhere.

For instance, I have a Fidelity taxable account that I look at once per year. The reason is that the dividends get sent to my checking account and that is a good enough "check" on what's going on in that account plus the annual 1099 is all I need and that doesn't require me to login into my account to get it since it can be imported into tax prep software. I don't make any buys nor sells in this Fidelity account.

Other accounts, I get dividends only quarterly that I have to do something with, so they get looked at about 4 times a year.

Other accounts, I get dividends monthly that I have to do something with, so they get looked at monthly.

Otherwise, I can surmise what is going on without actually checking the accounts at all. At year end, I download the last statement of the year in case I need that for tax purposes or other filings.
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student
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Re: How often do you check your brokerage accounts

Post by student » Sun Aug 12, 2018 7:57 am

Once a week to once a quarter depending on the account.

marstaton4
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Re: How often do you check your brokerage accounts

Post by marstaton4 » Sun Aug 12, 2018 8:23 am

I check my Google spreadsheet multiple times a day

Shallowpockets
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Re: How often do you check your brokerage accounts

Post by Shallowpockets » Sun Aug 12, 2018 11:17 am

Every day check on brokerage account. Unless vacation. Keep up on the markets. Bull or bear, need to check. Feel good during the bull times. During the bear times checking is to translate market news into numbers related to me.
On worse day of the year type stuff I look and keep my numbers for that day. I note that it was a bad day(s) and thus I can evaluate that effect on my finances.
Same with bull times. Numbers and notes and an evaluation.
If there is a lot of nay saying, handwringing, and teeth knashing in the markets news, I can look up past instances and equate it to my reality. I can see my bull and my bear. Up close and personal.

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CardinalRule
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Re: How often do you check your brokerage accounts

Post by CardinalRule » Sun Aug 12, 2018 11:22 am

This is basically my situation also, although doing a Quicken one-step update is part of my morning routine. For the brokerages, I am basically "checking" to see that transactions are accurate and authorized each day, rather than reviewing performance.
FiveK wrote:
Sat Aug 11, 2018 11:38 pm
Depends on the meaning of "check".

We download credit card transactions into Quicken every few days, and get downloads of our investment accounts at the same time. Don't usually check individual fund balances, but do check any downloaded transactions to ensure they are legitimate. Haven't found any errors, but it takes very little time doing this.
Last edited by CardinalRule on Sun Aug 12, 2018 11:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

ResearchMed
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Re: How often do you check your brokerage accounts

Post by ResearchMed » Sun Aug 12, 2018 11:23 am

Broken Man 1999 wrote:
Sat Aug 11, 2018 7:24 pm
RagnarRahl wrote:
Sat Aug 11, 2018 7:17 pm
I have three brokerage accounts--Vanguard, Schwab and TD Ameritrade which came over from Scottrade. I re-balance quarterly. I look at the Schwab balance regularly because I bank with them. I'd like to ignore the other two except when I get ready to do my quarterly re-balancing. Vanguard and TDA send me emails when there is any activity. Do you think it is OK to ignore them for that period of time, or should I check on them every week or so? If you are an investor who re-balances that seldom, or even less, do you check your balances more frequently?
There isn't a day that goes by that I don't stop in to make sure all my $$$ are still home and working for me.

I don't ever do much, but I still like to do a welfare check on them.

I don't want them taking up with the wrong crowd.

Broken Man 1999
Shallowpockets wrote:
Sun Aug 12, 2018 11:17 am
Every day check on brokerage account. Unless vacation. Keep up on the markets. Bull or bear, need to check. Feel good during the bull times. During the bear times checking is to translate market news into numbers related to me.
On worse day of the year type stuff I look and keep my numbers for that day. I note that it was a bad day(s) and thus I can evaluate that effect on my finances.
Same with bull times. Numbers and notes and an evaluation.
If there is a lot of nay saying, handwringing, and teeth knashing in the markets news, I can look up past instances and equate it to my reality. I can see my bull and my bear. Up close and personal.
This fits us, too.
Or "almost every day". If traveling where safe wifi isn't easily available, no big deal.

(I like the "taking up with the wrong crowd" wording. Cute!
We also like our investments to practice safe & hygienic computing. :wink: )

But there is another reason to "peek" and frequently.

We long ago "got used to" what happens to "our portfolio" when the market tanks (or has a great day).
Just as with Friday, albeit it wasn't a huge downer, but it wasn't "nice"...

... we've learned "Oh, right... this is what happens when the market does..." (up or down, or not much of anything, either).

We also keep track of our "most recent high" (actually, "all time high" most of the time recently).
It's like our dieting strategy: We'd keep track of the "most recent low".
Let the noisy blips up and down take care of themselves.

Since DH isn't interested in investing, I also want him to associate any "gut feel" with "reality".
So occasionally, I'll say something like, "Ready for a new number? :happy ", which usually means a new high, OR "You saw what the market 'did' today? Well, this was the effect on our number..."

After all, we got through 2008/9 okay.
Yes, it will be more difficult to weather something like that once we are fully "in" retirement and without a regular income other than SS and investments, but absent a zombie-esque apocalypse, we should be fine.

RM
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Earl Lemongrab
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Re: How often do you check your brokerage accounts

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Sun Aug 12, 2018 12:53 pm

Once a month. I would not do it once or twice a year. Prompt detection and reporting is vital. I guarantee that if there's fraud and don't report it for six months, they won't be very happy with you.
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scrabbler1
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Re: How often do you check your brokerage accounts

Post by scrabbler1 » Sun Aug 12, 2018 1:10 pm

I check them at the turn of the month when many of my funds pay their monthly dividends. I check them about halfway through the month when I record account balances. I also check them when some funds pay irregular dividend and cap gain distributions a few times per year. If I make an outside purchase (a few times a year), I check them. If I think I may need to rebalance, I will check them again; that happens only a few times per year. Sometimes, these checks overlap.

darrvao777
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Re: How often do you check your brokerage accounts

Post by darrvao777 » Sun Aug 12, 2018 1:19 pm

1 account at vanguard

I check monthly when i dump a portion of my paycheck into my taxable account

TravelforFun
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Re: How often do you check your brokerage accounts

Post by TravelforFun » Sun Aug 12, 2018 1:30 pm

I look at them daily. Twice a day if the market is doing real well and may skip a day or two if the market is diving.

TravelforFun

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JoMoney
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Re: How often do you check your brokerage accounts

Post by JoMoney » Sun Aug 12, 2018 1:32 pm

I verify after every transaction, which is at least every two weeks with my payroll deposit.
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Vanguard's online fraud policy
At a minimum, in order for this protection to apply, you must take the following steps:
...
Review your accounts regularly.
-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.
...
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bondsr4me
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Re: How often do you check your brokerage accounts

Post by bondsr4me » Sun Aug 12, 2018 1:42 pm

Every day....no intentions of changing that either.

I feel it’s part of my responsibility.

Hockey10
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Re: How often do you check your brokerage accounts

Post by Hockey10 » Sun Aug 12, 2018 1:45 pm

I never log into my brokerage accounts Mon - Fri between 0930 - 1600. This prevents me from doing something stupid while the market is open.

I do use Personal Capital about 5 -6 times per week to review recent transactions (have had credit card fraud 3 times in past 5 years).

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jhfenton
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Re: How often do you check your brokerage accounts

Post by jhfenton » Sun Aug 12, 2018 1:58 pm

At least six days per week, typically every day Monday through Saturday. I verify our balances every evening in our tracking spreadsheet, and then at least once on the weekend. I decided a few of years ago to strike and record a balance every day for my records. I wish I had the data a lot further back. It wouldn't be useful necessarily, but it would be entertaining.

prairieman
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Re: How often do you check your brokerage accounts

Post by prairieman » Sun Aug 12, 2018 2:26 pm

Every day that I am at home, usually in the late evening. It takes less than five minutes (3 log-ins) to make sure all is in order. I will admit to being more enthusiastic on up days than on down days even though I understand it’s all just noise.
Each month or two ...or three...I do a more thorough accounting to make sure each asset is performing as designed (I’m not a 3 fund portfolio guy, but still have manageable diversity) and to track my overall AA.

RagnarRahl
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Re: How often do you check your brokerage accounts

Post by RagnarRahl » Sun Aug 12, 2018 3:00 pm

Thank you for all of the responses. I think I will check the other two accounts once a week, but just look at the total balance. I don't want to look at how the individual funds are doing except for my quarterly re-balancing. So I will just check to make sure nothing is amiss.

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StevieG72
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Re: How often do you check your brokerage accounts

Post by StevieG72 » Sun Aug 12, 2018 7:35 pm

I glance daily when the market is open.

Have learned to stomach large swings, and need to keep track of my progress towards my goals.
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Re: How often do you check your brokerage accounts

Post by Nummerkins » Sun Aug 12, 2018 8:17 pm

Weekly. If nothing else I make sure no fraud has occurred. Find out out 6 months later and I guarantee you will have a tough time getting your money back. 'Not peeking' in this day and age is unwise. A previous poster suggested off market hours if looking would cause you to make transactions.

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