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View Poll Results: How often do you check your investments for any reason?
Only when my financial advisors tells me to. 0 0%
Daily 95 60.90%
Weekly 29 18.59%
Monthly 17 10.90%
Quarterly 11 7.05%
Annually 3 1.92%
Huh? 1 0.64%
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Old 03-23-2008, 04:44 PM   #21
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Guess I should have defined more clearly...

Read prospectuses? I'll confess that I've never read more than 10% of one, and usually less. If I read one through, I am sure I'd pass out...
Well in that case, I guess I would be at around once a year.
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Old 03-23-2008, 05:07 PM   #22
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Quicken makes it easy to download prices daily. Instant net worth calculation. I just like having everything up to date. I've been doing it for years and I'm used to market fluctuations.

After a sustained market move up or down I check my spreadsheet for portfolio rebalancing, watching for a trigger. Once a quarter if things are slow, weekly if market volatility is high.

Fidelity sends me emails as soon as any of my funds pay out distributions, so it's easy to keep up with that as well.

I check bank and credit cards once a week, and reconcile accounts once a month.

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Old 03-23-2008, 05:14 PM   #23
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Clients daily, quarterly for DW and me...........
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Old 03-23-2008, 05:15 PM   #24
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I used to do it only once a month, but then I set up my tracking spreadsheet to use the MSN Stock Quote excel addin. Now that I can do it with a click of a button, I do it several times a week.

(I wish I could figure out how to get treasury prices on MSN, the one thing my single-button doesn't do is reprice my TIPS)
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Old 03-23-2008, 05:16 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
Guess I should have defined more clearly...

Read prospectuses? I'll confess that I've never read more than 10% of one, and usually less. If I read one through, I am sure I'd pass out...
I am guilty there too.........I have read the prospectuses of every financial instrument I have ever recommended to anyone...........

Even my engineer clients think I'm nuts...........
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Old 03-23-2008, 10:56 PM   #26
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I am guilty there too.........I have read the prospectuses of every financial instrument I have ever recommended to anyone...........

Even my engineer clients think I'm nuts...........
I'm impressed (really)...
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Old 03-23-2008, 10:56 PM   #27
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A psychiatrist would probably diagnose my everyday scrutiny of my investment portfolio as an obsession, but, ask me if I really care.
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Old 03-23-2008, 11:54 PM   #28
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I check daily, summarize monthly.
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Old 03-24-2008, 01:35 AM   #29
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Well, it depends on what you mean by "check"

If you mean research, read prospectuses, etc that would be all the time.

If you mean look at the values, that would be almost never. believe that encourages emotions which have no place in my investment strategy.
I am not sure I follow this. How do you know if an investment is a good one if you don't know the price??:confused:
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Old 03-24-2008, 04:37 AM   #30
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I use Quicken, and it is one click to get a portfolio update and info on any distributions/dividends. Quicken has its ideosyncracies, but overall seems to be a pretty good tool for this.

There are several references here to "updating my spreadsheet" from daily to quarterly. For those of you using this approach:
  1. What are your inputs?
  2. What are your outputs (displays, calculations, i.e. what do you look at?)
  3. What decisions do you guide by your spreadsheet tracking and calculations?
Thanks!
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Old 03-24-2008, 06:19 AM   #31
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I am not sure I follow this. How do you know if an investment is a good one if you don't know the price??:confused:
I guess I should clarify. Most of the things I own I am also buying for at least one of our firms clients. Therefor I am almost always aware of the prices on the publicly traded stuff I own (mostly dimensional funds). I just never go through and look at all my positions and run my net worth.

IMHO people put way to much value on todays price. I think it's pure insanity to look at the value of your investments daily. All you are seeing is the opinion of the last guy who decided to sell (buy) today. I couldn't live my life that way.

Oh, and yes If I buy something for somebody I do read the prospectus, from cover to cover.
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Old 03-24-2008, 07:58 AM   #32
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I look at the overall picture once a year quite seriously (yearly performance, whether rebalancing is needed, etc.), but I check account balances (401k's, RothIRA's, and taxable) once a quarter.
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Old 03-24-2008, 11:16 AM   #33
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"It depends." During a bull market when I was nearing the end of the accumulation phase, I checked so seldom that when the Dow hit the mid-11,000s for the first time, I was taken by surprise. During the '70s I was just learning about investing, never checked the papers, just read everything the fund company sent me, paying particular attention to the notes to the financial statements, largest holdings, and some of the charts. I check my NW sporatically now but have checked the NAVs daily since mid-July '07.
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Old 03-24-2008, 11:36 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by Gsquared View Post
I use Quicken, and it is one click to get a portfolio update and info on any distributions/dividends. Quicken has its ideosyncracies, but overall seems to be a pretty good tool for this.

There are several references here to "updating my spreadsheet" from daily to quarterly. For those of you using this approach:
  1. What are your inputs?
  2. What are your outputs (displays, calculations, i.e. what do you look at?)
  3. What decisions do you guide by your spreadsheet tracking and calculations?
Thanks!
I use Quicken and Excel. My process is to update Quicken, and then I copy some numbers from Quicken to Excel to get some more customized data than Quicken is able to provide.

I update Q and E daily, although I'm trying to wean myself to weekly since nothing changes that much and I usually end up seeing more "noise" than information. I never trade on what I see in my spreadsheets either, I'm a LTBH.

As to your questions:

1. The data that gets transferred over from Q to E is basically two things: the current valuation of all my assets and liabilities and my last six months expenditures by top level Quicken category (Kids, Taxes, Insurance, Auto, Food, etc.).

2. For outputs, I have a worksheet dedicated to each question I am trying to answer. For example, what is my liquidity situation? What are my life insurance needs? How are my kids' college funds coming along? How are my FIRE plans coming along? I also have a "dashboard" which pulls data from the other sheets, combines it with my target goals, and uses Excel's conditional formatting to tell me if I'm in good shape or not (green = good, red = pay attention).

3. Decisions I make or am making based on my spreadsheets include: (1) How much cash I can safely invest in my taxable Vanguard account and still have enough cash cushion for emergencies? (2) Do I need to buy life insurance? (3) Do I need to increase or decrease the rate of savings into my kids' college accounts? (4) Should I suck it up and stay in my soul-sucking but good paying job, find a different, more highly paid soul-sucking job, or should I go do what I want at a lower salary? (5) What kinds of offers are worth my time to do in my 0% BT game? (6) How much overtime should I work at my day job?

2Cor521
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Old 03-24-2008, 12:02 PM   #35
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I usually see it updated 3-4 times a week in my financial software, but not specifically to check the investments. It's usually to enter checks and debit/credit card purchases so I know how much I have left in those accounts (and how much I've charged in the month), and the investment balances get updated with online quotes. I do some updating of my FIRE clock based on the current value, though.

As far as really looking at my investments for the purposes of rebalancing or making other investment decisions, I probably only look at it about once a month to see if anything is out of whack.
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Old 03-25-2008, 06:11 AM   #36
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I do a Quicken update monthly, but visual check my 401k a few times a month.
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Old 03-25-2008, 08:33 AM   #37
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I am guilty there too.........I have read the prospectuses of every financial instrument I have ever recommended to anyone...........

Even my engineer clients think I'm nuts...........
You mean most FA's don't read prospectuses? That's very surprising to me.
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Old 03-25-2008, 08:35 AM   #38
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Like waiting for water to boil

Check too often and you are likely to adjust when you shouldn't (such as sell on the way down) and react to news that has happened if only moments ago.

You have to ask yourself: what you made you buy in the first place? Was it the track record of the company - a backward looking consideration that you used for future growth or was it the potential of future growth - an optimism that shouldn't change on whim?

If it is a mutual fund you are buying, check quarterly for any drift in style. If you have built a portfolio of stocks, do as all the great investors have done: go to the movies or engage in some other pleasant distraction. Ignore the day-to-day. Once you get in the habit of checking daily, weekly, or even monthly, you will no longer consider the tax consequences, the commissions, or even the reasons you purchased the investment in the first place. You will be answering the call of marketplace, not your original reasoning.
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Old 03-25-2008, 09:29 AM   #39
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I like the system that Vanguard has available. I've stored my user-names and passwords at their site for my bank accounts. When I log on, I know exactly what my total portfolio because they automatically update my outside bank balances. With Vanguard, I also have free access to Financial Engines, which I use several times a month. I also use Morningstar on a daily basis to help satisfy my obsession for daily stock/bond balance changes. Several times a year, I download transactions to Quicken from Vanguard to see how horrible my tax situation has become. Later, during tax season, I upload from Quicken to TurboTax to take care of my federal and state returns.
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Old 03-25-2008, 09:36 AM   #40
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Check too often and you are likely to adjust when you shouldn't (such as sell on the way down) and react to news that has happened if only moments ago.
Actually, if you are rebalancing a fixed asset allocation, you'd do the opposite: BUY on the way down while selling the assets that have been outperforming. But unless you have a specific time or percentage trigger for rebalancing, you are introducing an element of emotion and "gut feeling" to your investment decisions, which probably isn't a good idea.
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