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It's OK To Look... Right?

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  • #16
    Unless you want to do some tax loss harvesting, what is the point of looking when the market is down? You just scare yourself, and a lot of the younger investors on this forum have not been through a serious bear market yet, and they do not know yet how they will react to it. Better not to tempt fate!

    When ignorance is bliss, ‘tis folly to be wise!

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    • #17
      My accounts are aggregated on a desktop app, moneydance, on my home computer.
      so I find I have been checking less and less often the older (and more secure) I get. After March 2020, I found the financial stress was less than I expected, and with the latest drop, well, I am confident we will weather it in the long run.

      So now I only check about once a month or less, since it is not going to make a difference in any of our actions. I expect to invest the same way, and my plan was already to work another 8-10 years anyway.

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      • #18
        It can actually provide motivation.
        Are you extremely goal driven? Just rationalizing my addiction.
        A day trader “roots” for a price movement. Coming oh so close, 49.98 with a 50.00 price target is so demoralizing. The lesson is don’t set a target that triggers any portfolio action.

        A different reaction is reaching a balance goal. Whether it’s 50k, 500k or 1 m, the only action that is triggered is the balance is 499.5 just dump $1k in. Achieving an artificial goal can motivate good financial behaviors.

        Many talk about reaching broke, paying off student loans, and $1m etc. Shorter smaller goals are a way of motivating.

        Thus. sticking with your process and focusing on the positives can reinforce your commitment to your plan.

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        • #19
          OP I get what you are saying. By checking daily you are disassociating market swings from emotions. I think what I do is similar. But I get what jfox is saying that we are the weird ones and most people do not think like this.

          I personally would not likely have as much fortitude if I was closer to retirement. Having massive human capital helps!

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Special Delivery View Post
            Yeah, but time dilutes the lesson. Of the 252 days of trading that occurred in 2021, the S&P 500 closed up less than 55% of the time, but by month it was 75% of the time, and for the year 100% of the time.
            Disagree—I think it’s the opposite. And I think you’re inadvertently making my point.

            The lesson that the market can drop 35% over the course of an entire calendar year, despite being more likely to go up on any given day, is a painful and powerful lesson.

            Certainly more powerful than seeing a small little drop on a random day.

            It’s the duration and magnitude that determine the strength of the lesson. And we all know that losing feels bad more than winning feels good.

            The people who invested through 2000-2002 and the GFC don’t need a daily reminder that markets also go down.

            That lesson has been learned, permanently.

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            • #21
              I look every six months. It's probably too infrequently, because I don't manage to do things like tax loss harvest. But I also made it through the 2008 crash and I know my tolerance.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Tim View Post
                It can actually provide motivation.
                Are you extremely goal driven? Just rationalizing my addiction.
                Everything you said, Tim. Absolutely goal driven. Achieving a major goal in 3 months, actually. I'm all checklists, order of operations, and optimization... and yeah, I enjoy the process.

                Originally posted by Lordosis View Post
                OP I get what you are saying. By checking daily you are disassociating market swings from emotions.
                That is exactly what I think I'm doing. I can't claim to have been through a bear market (only started investing in 2014), but gauging how I've felt about market corrections, the Covid drop, etc. I'm confident the only thing I will feel is motivation to increase a side hustle to boost a brokerage account.

                Originally posted by Lordosis View Post
                I think what I do is similar. But I get what jfox is saying that we are the weird ones and most people do not think like this.

                I personally would not likely have as much fortitude if I was closer to retirement. Having massive human capital helps!
                I'm OK with being weird, and I suspect my proclivity for updating things will wind up being inversely correlated to my long-term financial security. After I'm convinced I've won at retirement, I'll go find some other thing to preoccupy myself with. Maybe aquaculture?

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by bovie View Post
                  Disagree—I think it’s the opposite. And I think you’re inadvertently making my point. The lesson that the market can drop 35% over the course of an entire calendar year, despite being more likely to go up on any given day, is a painful and powerful lesson. Certainly more powerful than seeing a small little drop on a random day. It’s the duration and magnitude that determine the strength of the lesson. And we all know that losing feels bad more than winning feels good. The people who invested through 2000-2002 and the GFC don’t need a daily reminder that markets also go down. That lesson has been learned, permanently.
                  I don't think I'm making your point. A 35% market drop wouldn't be a painful lesson for me (it would be a boon, given where I am in my investing career)... it would be painful to someone who sold, or someone who was in retirement and stayed 100% equities. Given the returns between '95 and '00 I can see someone becoming numb to the risk and doing just that (which is a separate issue). Speaking of... just looking at the numbers, someone who invested $1000 in '95 and never touched it would have $1915 at the end of '02 (an annual return of about 8.4%).

                  Lordosis really hit the nail on the head. I'm disassociating and need a Psych referral

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Lordosis View Post
                    I have an app on my phone. I put all the major indexes Plus a couple of key stocks that I like to follow even though I don't own them. Some days I click into it multiple times. Usually these are days that are quite turbulent. Sometimes I go days without checking because I'm busy in real life.

                    I could stop if I wanted to!
                    There's a similar thread on Bogleheads, and here's an excerpt from my response there. Unlike many, I've found that daily checking of the market (and my portfolio) actually helps me keep everything in perspective, and "stay the course."

                    A few years ago I downloaded a "real time" stock tracking app for my smartphone, and loaded it with all the tickers (equivalent ETF's if Mutual Funds) in my portfolio. I actually check it a few times each trading day. That, along with reading the Bogleheads Forum, has become my Investing Desensitization Therapy! Over the years, watching the endless gyrations of my well diversified portfolio has reinforced the mantra that I can't/shouldn't "time the market" or react impulsively. That actually helps me stick to my IPS and rebalance when indicated, while sleeping well at night.

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                    • #25
                      Training involves repetition. There needs to be a planned workout to exercise the muscles and brain. Physical and mental training is not a one time or occasional effort. The plan has to be train your emotions to be market neutral. Behavioral finance is a learned response. The optimal personal investor's biggest problem it behavioral, not portfolio construction. May the savings and investment process work and avoid the emotional temptations. If you want to see how diversity works in your portfolio, you will see sometimes it is the same direction and sometimes not.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by jfoxcpacfp View Post
                        I don’t see any good coming from daily checking. If this is your “tic” then I suppose we’ve all got something but, otherwise, what’s the benefit? It’s on online gambling mentality. Would be far more comfortable with checking your house value daily than your portfolio, too easy to make significant buys and sells with only a few keystrokes.

                        For the few regulars posting here who can control their emotions, probably harmless waste of time. For the x1000 lurkers reading this who don’t have the discipline or understanding, financially risky. Just reviewed a return for doctor, new client, lost 6 figures day trading last year and can’t afford to fund solo-k for 2021. Makes me sick.

                        Are they going to stop day trading now? Wow.

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                        • #27
                          Wasn't there some study that showed that the best portfolio performances were from dead people or people who forgot about the accounts? I think that's an argument for not looking.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by jfoxcpacfp View Post
                            Just reviewed a return for doctor, new client, lost 6 figures day trading last year and can’t afford to fund solo-k for 2021. Makes me sick.
                            WCI should pay this person to do a guest post. . .

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Unless you are actively managing your portfolio (via options for example) where you need to make trades weekly, there's no point in looking at daily swings, especially if you are predominately indexed.

                              I check all my portfolios end of the month for my spreadsheet calculations, but other wise use Personal Capital every few weeks to see how it's doing.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Sampter View Post


                                Are they going to stop day trading now? Wow.
                                Hopefully, I don’t pry into CPA clients’ transactions (save that for planning clients🧐). But I have a feeling they learned a lesson. This is not the 1st client who has done this.
                                Our passion is protecting clients and others from predatory and ignorant advisors. Fox & Co CPAs, Fox & Co Wealth Mgmt. 270-247-6087

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