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Check your Checking
Old 01-17-2015, 11:22 AM   #1
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Check your Checking

Jack Bogle has been quoted as saying that there is no need to continuously check your accounts or even open your quarterly 401(k) statements when they are sent to you. Seems that constant checking leads to unnecessary trading. This article seems to agree with that Idea.

Quote:
“History has shown us that the stock market is a relatively safe bet over the long term because it has typically grown,” Michaela Pagel, assistant professor of finance and economics at the business school, said in a statement. “Investors would be wise to keep this in mind, because those that check their portfolio too often and are driven by the daily or hourly fluctuations in the market may make decisions that have a negative impact on their long-term financial prospects.”
Quote:
Ultimately, Pagel found that her model investor only looks at his portfolio approximately once a year.
I have tried to follow this course myself over the years and it has served me well.

Stop Checking Your Retirement Portfolio So Often: Columbia Study
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Old 01-17-2015, 11:29 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by mickeyd View Post
Seems that constant checking leads to unnecessary trading.
I think many of those who hang around this forum may be an exception to this. I know I check often but rarely trade - and even then less than 3% of my assets are involved.

Nothing wrong with looking as long as you just look.
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Old 01-17-2015, 11:34 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
I think many of those who hang around this forum may be an exception to this. I know I check often but rarely trade - and even then less than 3% of my assets are involved.

Nothing wrong with looking as long as you just look.
+1. I've checked daily for 20 years or so. With the exception of a few (small) deliberately short-term positions in past years, those daily checks are just to look. Sort of like when DW and I are on a beach with crowds of people who are in the condition/age we once were in. We both engage in [discreet] "just looking."
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Old 01-17-2015, 11:37 AM   #4
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I am certain watching a pot slows the water from boiling. I wish i could realize that i shouldn't watch my accounts the same way.


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Old 01-17-2015, 11:41 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
I think many of those who hang around this forum may be an exception to this. I know I check often but rarely trade - and even then less than 3% of my assets are involved.

Nothing wrong with looking as long as you just look.
Same here. My investment plan only requires me to take action at the end of each year. So I track weekly, but very rarely take action.
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Old 01-17-2015, 11:44 AM   #6
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I find a daily check earns me a subliminal/osmosis insight into what's going on in the market vs my portfolio. I can now predict pretty well how much I'm up/down based on the day's S&P.

A daily check hasn't increased my tendency to trade; just the opposite. Because I know each day what's going on, I'm less likely to make a panic trade. Last week I was down big, big-time mid-week. If I had check on that Wednesday alone, I'd be selling everything, only to have seen a rebound the next day; but I know that lately it's been a roller coaster.

Twenty seconds on my smart phone to my Excel sheet is all it takes.

Maybe I'm weird.
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Old 01-17-2015, 11:45 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
I think many of those who hang around this forum may be an exception to this. I know I check often but rarely trade - and even then less than 3% of my assets are involved.

Nothing wrong with looking as long as you just look.
+3

I check my accounts almost every weekday, so my guess is that I check them over 200 times/year. I almost never trade at all, except to re-balance during the first week in January. I just like to see that there is something IN there and it hasn't all been stolen or vanished....
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Old 01-17-2015, 11:54 AM   #8
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I check every day so I know when to do the happy dance (we just ignore those not-so-happy days). We never even rebalance (mysteriously, withdrawals from the MMF as needed for property taxes etc. have served that purpose in slowly moving our AA percentages), let alone make frequent trades among funds or into new ones. So far so good.
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Old 01-17-2015, 11:59 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
I think many of those who hang around this forum may be an exception to this. I know I check often but rarely trade - and even then less than 3% of my assets are involved.

Nothing wrong with looking as long as you just look.
Of course you are correct.

But this gang here @ e-r are a bunch of overachievers who are outliers when it comes to all (most?) of these kind of studies. If frequent checking with no action is part of your plan that works for you, have at it. My thinking is that I seldom take a peek because I know that no matter what I view I will not take any action.

Just different ways to work similar financial plans.
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Old 01-17-2015, 12:53 PM   #10
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I check fairly often too. This leads to me making a trade of some sort every few years. So the article might be right.


OTOH, during the 2008-2009 meltdown period I tended to toss my statements into the shoebox unopened. I knew it was down, and didn't want to tempt myself into making any decisions based on depression or fear. Ignorance can be bliss.
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Old 01-17-2015, 01:03 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
I think many of those who hang around this forum may be an exception to this. I know I check often but rarely trade - and even then less than 3% of my assets are involved.

Nothing wrong with looking as long as you just look.
I check a lot and re balance more than most.
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Old 01-17-2015, 01:12 PM   #12
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I check and update my spreadsheet once a week on Friday. Only trade when I have a lot of cash sitting around.
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Old 01-17-2015, 01:17 PM   #13
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Since DH will be retiring February 3rd :-) I check several times daily. We are fixing to do a big NUA so have to watch those stock prices!
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Old 01-17-2015, 01:27 PM   #14
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I check frequently but it's for entertainment purposes only. I only rebalance when my very wide equity/bond bands are exceeded. Last time was May of 2013. Time before that surprisingly February 2007.
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Old 01-17-2015, 02:09 PM   #15
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Quote "The paper’s message for financial advisors, according to Pagel, is to help their clients find an appropriate portfolio share and then “encourage them to be inattentive so that they don’t make wrong decisions.”

This quote from that article bothered me. I think if you have a financial advisor you should be checking often.

That said I check my accounts every day and make up a financial report once a week for my husband. I am not one to panic when there's a drop in the market. Some drops I look at as a buying opportunity. I'm still in the accumulation stage so maybe that's why. I do enjoy the stock market.
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Old 01-17-2015, 02:10 PM   #16
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I have to go in at the beginning of the month to transfer money from VG to bank. Then I usually go in mid-month just to make sure no bad transactions.
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Old 01-17-2015, 02:26 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by marko View Post
I find a daily check earns me a subliminal/osmosis insight into what's going on in the market vs my portfolio. I can now predict pretty well how much I'm up/down based on the day's S&P.

A daily check hasn't increased my tendency to trade; just the opposite. Because I know each day what's going on, I'm less likely to make a panic trade. Last week I was down big, big-time mid-week. If I had check on that Wednesday alone, I'd be selling everything, only to have seen a rebound the next day; but I know that lately it's been a roller coaster.

Twenty seconds on my smart phone to my Excel sheet is all it takes.

Maybe I'm weird.
Note: quoting myself!

OTOH, my idiot brother who spends most of his time skiing or at the beach and who only knows Fidelity as the "those people who send the checks" (seriously...no idea what they do) beat my own portfolio's performance by 4% last year!
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Old 01-17-2015, 03:00 PM   #18
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I check daily to see if unauthorized transactions show up in the checking account. I did find two deposits credited to my account that did not belong there over the last 10 years.
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Old 01-17-2015, 03:15 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
Nothing wrong with looking as long as you just look.
At first I thought you were talking about pretty girls.

I check often but like ejman it is for entertainment purposes only.
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Old 01-17-2015, 03:31 PM   #20
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OTOH, my idiot brother who spends most of his time skiing or at the beach and who only knows Fidelity as the "those people who send the checks" (seriously...no idea what they do) beat my own portfolio's performance by 4% last year!
I don't think that's the definition of the word "idiot". Sounds like "genius" to me.
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