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How often do you check your net worth?

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  • afan
    replied
    I used to update a spreadsheet quarterly. Since the volatile part of the portfolio is all in cap weighted index funds Infind I know what has happened to my stocks just from listening to the news and knowing what the market has done. I try to do a formal check once a year.

    There is nothing I am going to do with the information, so knowing my networth is not important.

    Leave a comment:


  • Olorin
    replied
    Rather than try to extract the little subsection out of my overly complex and interconnected spreadsheet page, here's a link to one that does the same thing, and appears a bit more polished. You could add this as a separate sheet in excel, or add it within the same spreadsheet page where you keep your allocation information, and just link the cells so that this updates as well. Then you simply put however much you have to invest in that top cell, and it breaks it down for you.

    http://www.moneysense.ca/invest/portfolio-rebalancing-tool/

    I have no affiliation with the above site, but I did try the download link and the spreadsheet works well.

    Leave a comment:


  • ACN
    replied




    I’ve got a detailed spreadsheet I’ve built over the years that I update each time I invest (currently monthly), as I maintain my asset allocation via new investments, and I have a calculator built into the spreadsheet that shows me how much to drop into each of my 5 buckets to maintain my allocation. Otherwise I try to avoid looking at it too often, though I give into temptation more than I’d like to admit.
    Click to expand...


    Mind sharing that built-in calculator? sounds neat and right up my nerd alley

    Leave a comment:


  • Olorin
    replied
    I've got a detailed spreadsheet I've built over the years that I update each time I invest (currently monthly), as I maintain my asset allocation via new investments, and I have a calculator built into the spreadsheet that shows me how much to drop into each of my 5 buckets to maintain my allocation. Otherwise I try to avoid looking at it too often, though I give into temptation more than I'd like to admit.

    Leave a comment:


  • burritos
    replied
    I check if I know the dow/s+p is up. Seeing positive movement makes me feel good. If it's down I ignore it. On my quarter contributions, I try to put it in on a down day. I use wikinvest to compile my different accounts.

    Leave a comment:


  • disneydoc
    replied
    Hi everybody,

    Retired Physician here, my first post.

    I check my investments at least weekly to biweekly on - Vanguard, except when I am travelling, seeing the S&P also gives me an idea which way they are headed.

    2)When I am checking the transactions on MINT at least weekly, sometimes I browse over our bank savings & CDs and I check my real estate maybe yearly again on MINT itself.

     

     

    Leave a comment:


  • AR
    replied




    hatton1: that is sound advice, dial down risk. And quit shorting, options and futures. I am not sure if I can stop myself if I get some hair brained idea though. Hopefully I will. I have this daft idea still that I will buy compacted junk during the next bear market. Maybe I will restrict myself to some very small amount like 20k on hair brained ideas like that.

    AR: good points, but with 1. by that logic, people working in mental health (psychologists, psychiatrists) should be the best investors, but this does not seem to be the case.
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    Your logic is poor here.  That quality is only one of several needed to be successful.  The vast majority of docs don't even have the first idea about how they should go about investing.  So it doesn't matter if a mental health professional has the discipline to weather bear markets.  Most of the time they are going to be doing stupid stuff like buying whole life.  So even if there were an advantage it would be so far outweighed by the strategy employed that it would likely be undetectable.

    I suppose all other things being equal, perhaps a mental health professional may have a tiny advantage.  But I'm not even convinced of that.

    The key factor is knowing why buy and hold works and having faith in it.  That really doesn't depend on if you're a mental health professional or not.  Saying a mental health professional would be less likely to sell in a bear market would be like saying mental health professionals should be less prone to schizophrenia.  Just because they know how to treat it with psychotherapy, doesn't mean that they are immune to it.

    Leave a comment:


  • Dont_know_mind
    replied
    hatton1: that is sound advice, dial down risk. And quit shorting, options and futures. I am not sure if I can stop myself if I get some hair brained idea though. Hopefully I will. I have this daft idea still that I will buy compacted junk during the next bear market. Maybe I will restrict myself to some very small amount like 20k on hair brained ideas like that.

    AR: good points, but with 1. by that logic, people working in mental health (psychologists, psychiatrists) should be the best investors, but this does not seem to be the case.

    Leave a comment:


  • AR
    replied




    AR:

    I am petrified I going to be selling into a bear market, because of the dumb mistakes I’ve made in the past. I don’t think this is due to lack of knowledge. I think the cognitive biases cannot be overcome by just knowing you have them. I knew I had them before and I still made the mistakes!

    I have no idea about you. I am just over-generalizing. Maybe everyone is better than me with bear markets.

    I really need a system so I won’t be chucking up risk assets at the wrong time again. I don’t have a system at the moment. I really need a system.

    Do you have a system ? Or will you be relying on exceptionalism ?

    Does anyone have a system that has worked over at least one cycle that they can share ?

    I am thinking maybe I should come up with a written plan of the next 5 years and any possible bear market and give my brother and wife a copy, so I can be more accountable that I am actually carrying it out.

    I really need more checks in place to reduce the possibility of major error. Maybe I will ask them to check and I will enact the plan. But then I will probably check anyway and hash up enacting the plan. Maybe I should check quarterly and ask them to enact the plan.
    Click to expand...


    1.  I think knowing you have a bias is definitely helpful in overcoming it.  I believe that psychotherapy to help people overcome certain issues relies on this to some extent.  I really don't know, though.  I'll defer to any psychiatrists and psychologists on her with regard to that issue.

    2.  I guess I'm relying on exceptionalism, as you put it.  My mindset is basically when the market goes up, I think "Great, I've got more wealth".  And when the market goes down, I think "Great, stocks are on sale".  I just keep putting money in per my plan.  I've never sold anything except for tax-loss harvesting reasons.   Where the market is just doesn't matter to me right now.  I suppose once I'm at the decumulation phase, maybe I'll start to think differently.  But for right now, it just doesn't matter. Someone could send my precise net worth to my cell phone every day and it really wouldn't have any effect.

     

     

    Leave a comment:


  • Hatton
    replied
    I am a frequent checker but a rare trader.  My last trade was donating appreciated shares to my donor advised fund.  Don't know mind you posted that you have made a lot of money in Real Estate and lost big on shorting S&P futures.  You are worried about the next bear market and doing something dumb.  You seem to be making reasonable real estate decisions even if you ended up not getting your house at the best price.  You have won the game with your real estate investments.  I would dial down the risk with a stock/bond portfolio 60/40 and quit shorting and options and futures.  I don't think it matters if you check once a month or every day.

    Leave a comment:


  • q-school
    replied
    until i found this site, i checked once per year.

    now a lot more.

    wife not happy.

     

    Leave a comment:


  • Dont_know_mind
    replied
    AR:

    I am petrified I going to be selling into a bear market, because of the dumb mistakes I've made in the past. I don't think this is due to lack of knowledge. I think the cognitive biases cannot be overcome by just knowing you have them. I knew I had them before and I still made the mistakes!

    I have no idea about you. I am just over-generalizing. Maybe everyone is better than me with bear markets.

    I really need a system so I won't be chucking up risk assets at the wrong time again. I don't have a system at the moment. I really need a system.

    Do you have a system ? Or will you be relying on exceptionalism ?

    Does anyone have a system that has worked over at least one cycle that they can share ?

    I am thinking maybe I should come up with a written plan of the next 5 years and any possible bear market and give my brother and wife a copy, so I can be more accountable that I am actually carrying it out.

    I really need more checks in place to reduce the possibility of major error. Maybe I will ask them to check and I will enact the plan. But then I will probably check anyway and hash up enacting the plan. Maybe I should check quarterly and ask them to enact the plan.

    Leave a comment:


  • AR
    replied
    Dont_know_mind,

    I hear what you're saying and I admitted as much in my post.  I wouldn't be surprised if most would be better off with a no check strategy for the reasons you  state.  However, even you have to admit there are some people who wouldn't be affected.   Do you actually believe that there is no one who is immune to making a mistake due to overchecking? I think our only disagreement would be respect to how uncommon such individuals are.  I would say they are uncommon, you would probably say extremely uncommon.

    I guess the only disagreement that I've got with you is that you seem to suggest that overchecking is always a problem. Change "always" to "often" and we would be in agreement.

     

    Leave a comment:


  • Dont_know_mind
    replied










    I update my Excel spreadsheet monthly.




    Do you have a plan and does checking help to stick to that or hinder it ? There is evidence that checking more often increases cognitive biases (‘I’m doing well’, ‘I’m going down’). This may hinder performance. One of the advantages of property is that it is hard to check the price frequently and harder to act on any urges that come up. Whereas with liquid assets, it is perhaps too easy to check and do something.
    Click to expand…


    The only way to improve something is to measure it.
    Click to expand…


    Perhaps, but I thought if you are following passive investing with the stockmarket part, what is the point in checking the value of the investment ? Each time you check is a point at which you can make a mistake : at all these points you check, you can choose to move from your target allocation for whatever reason. Adding more potential points for making a mistake increases your potential for making an error in the long term.

    As an indexer, shouldn’t you set the allocation, predetermine set points (or age) where you will change the allocation and then forget about it until you turn 55 (or whatever is the predetermined age) ? If there is an point of manual over-ride in your system then it will not be passive investing but discretionary.
    Click to expand…


    1. The problem here is that you are assuming that there is some correlation between checking and an increased desire to move from a passive strategy.  Some people (even most) might be wired that way, but certainly not everyone.  It’s possible that someone who checks more often may find reassurance in that and it helps them stick to it.  Or maybe it has no effect.  Everyone is different in this regard. You can’t just assume that checking will make someone do something.  Even if that is the case for you or most people (which it may be)

    2. Generally as a passive type you will never set it and forget it for decades.  You will need to rebalance to maintain proper ratios of various assets per your investment plan (at least that’s what most do).  So there has to be some checking.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     
    Click to expand...


    Very possibly AR, I am engaging in overgeneralization (and also black and white thinking) labeling of checkers there. But I wonder whether you are engaging in another cognitive bias called exceptionalism. We all think we are exceptional and yet we are likely not (as investors anyway, not as physicians). The average return from mutual funds is so below the actual funds because most people sell at the wrong time and buy at the wrong time. I have have certainly thrown up risk assets during bear markets.

    The paradox of passive investing is that by caring, you make it more certain you will be adequately funded, because how can anyone know he or she is underfunded unless they check. But by checking, I would argue (and I could be wrong) you have put yourself at a disadvantage. The reason 50% (here I am pulling out a number I remember from somewhere but again I could be wrong) get the actual return from mutual funds is because a large proportion of that 50% is people who never bothered to check their retirement balance (they never turned up for the race). I haven't found any research, and if anyone has any, please inform me, but I suspect that of the people who turn up (check), over 60% would underperform due to switching allocations at the wrong time. From a limited sample of people I know, I estimate the error rate to be 90%, but maybe that is just my cohort.

    Anyway, rather than the frequency of checking, I am very much more interested in developing a system where I don't make the mistake of bad timing. From what I know, this counter-intuitively tends to indicate towards very minimal checking and no discretionary potential. Maybe I am wrong there though.

    The problem with checking is that it absolutely does change your frame of mind when you are up and will make you doubt when you are down. The same doubts come to my mind when a bear market emerges and I am long, I become fearful : 1. Is this time different, 2. Has the market changed. And it absolutely could change, that is the paradox.

    My problem with index investing is that despite all the arguments, I actually don't have sufficient faith in it to hold on during the downturns, or if I have, it has been with great difficulty. I have been able to hold with property a lot more easily because there are mainly emotional ties. "I wouldn't sell this because my wife bought it", "I couldn't sell this because we lived there", "How can I sell this when my father helped me buy it". Entirely emotional, but those non-rational reasons are I suspect the main reason I have been able to not be shaken from whatever property I've still held (*). I can't really find that sort of reason to tether emotionally to holding more liquid investments, so I haven't developed the sort of capital return on that where selling would be very hard due to capital gains tax.

    (*) And also that I'm lazy and it is quite an effort to sell a property whereas selling an ETF is very easy.

     

    Leave a comment:


  • AR
    replied







    I update my Excel spreadsheet monthly.


    Do you have a plan and does checking help to stick to that or hinder it ? There is evidence that checking more often increases cognitive biases (‘I’m doing well’, ‘I’m going down’). This may hinder performance. One of the advantages of property is that it is hard to check the price frequently and harder to act on any urges that come up. Whereas with liquid assets, it is perhaps too easy to check and do something. 
    Click to expand…


    The only way to improve something is to measure it.
    Click to expand…


    Perhaps, but I thought if you are following passive investing with the stockmarket part, what is the point in checking the value of the investment ? Each time you check is a point at which you can make a mistake : at all these points you check, you can choose to move from your target allocation for whatever reason. Adding more potential points for making a mistake increases your potential for making an error in the long term.

    As an indexer, shouldn’t you set the allocation, predetermine set points (or age) where you will change the allocation and then forget about it until you turn 55 (or whatever is the predetermined age) ? If there is an point of manual over-ride in your system then it will not be passive investing but discretionary.
    Click to expand...


    1. The problem here is that you are assuming that there is some correlation between checking and an increased desire to move from a passive strategy.  Some people (even most) might be wired that way, but certainly not everyone.  It's possible that someone who checks more often may find reassurance in that and it helps them stick to it.  Or maybe it has no effect.  Everyone is different in this regard. You can't just assume that checking will make someone do something.  Even if that is the case for you or most people (which it may be)

    2. Generally as a passive type you will never set it and forget it for decades.  You will need to rebalance to maintain proper ratios of various assets per your investment plan (at least that's what most do).  So there has to be some checking.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Leave a comment:

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