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Weird Question... How often do you count your money/assets?
Old 07-12-2021, 08:05 PM   #1
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Weird Question... How often do you count your money/assets?

A friend want to learn about investment, retirement and finance in general. He pop the question "how often do you count your money?" Hmm... caught me off guard and got me thinking.

I find that as I get older and closer to retirement, I obsessively check on retirement account, asset sheets, then calculate retirement needs and FireCal ... something like 2,3 times or even 4 times a week.

Am I nut or is this normal? I know my Buddies check on their stocks everyday because we're on a group chat and lots of "stock tips" exchanged every hour.

Just wonder if you can share your thought. : )

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Old 07-12-2021, 08:13 PM   #2
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I check my brokerage accounts pretty much daily. It’s an app on my iPad and it takes about a minute. However, at each quarter’s end, I enter everything into a spreadsheet, takes about 15 minutes, and I compare it to past balances to see how things are going.
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Old 07-12-2021, 08:17 PM   #3
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I let Quicken count for me everyday, after all MFs have reported their NAV.

And I usually click on "download all accounts", in order to have Quicken download any dividend payouts, any trade I made, plus any charges that are incurred on my bank cards, payments my wife made off the checking account.

So, I guess you can say I count my money daily. No need to do any expense planning or budgeting, as I have been retired for quite a few years and there's no change in expenditures other than they keep going down.
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Old 07-12-2021, 08:17 PM   #4
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Pretty normal I think. I formally tally everything monthly but I look at the market and investments most days.

But it may be a bit of an outlier. Looking does not make me nervous or cause me to needlessly trade.
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Old 07-12-2021, 08:32 PM   #5
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Once every month or two.
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Old 07-12-2021, 08:50 PM   #6
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I look at the paper statements as they come in monthly and then replace the old with the new in a 3 ring binder.
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Old 07-12-2021, 09:39 PM   #7
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I check my brokerage accounts pretty much daily. It’s an app on my iPad and it takes about a minute. However, at each quarter’s end, I enter everything into a spreadsheet, takes about 15 minutes, and I compare it to past balances to see how things are going.


This is what I do but only check brokerage accounts once or twice a week.
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Old 07-12-2021, 09:46 PM   #8
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Mint app. Once a day.
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Old 07-12-2021, 09:49 PM   #9
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I would have to admit that I check daily. I have projected cash flow/tax payments/income streams which I count on timing and like to confirm. Nope, not really needed. I like the daily confirmation of my investment strategy, which I adjust on trends. It is something you can feel you control, when so much of life is random.
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Old 07-12-2021, 09:51 PM   #10
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My goal is to log into my account at the end of the day and update my spreadsheet. I skip some days when I get busy. Going up or down a percent or two does not faze me because our WR is fairly low. But it always feels good when the market is up.
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Old 07-12-2021, 09:55 PM   #11
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I can see activity and balances easily on my phone so usually take a look most days. Especially when the market rises.
I update a spreadsheet monthly but not sure I really need to anymore.
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Old 07-12-2021, 10:13 PM   #12
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I download transactions monthly into my financial software and balance my accounts. At that point I can generate various financial reports (what I have, where I spent money by category, etc...). I also download statements and retain soft copies for my records. I back up my financial data every 3 months onto offline storage.
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Old 07-12-2021, 10:29 PM   #13
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I look whenever the market hits a new high and update my spreadsheet. That way our accounts always only go up. We’re at 100% in firecalc, so I figure this is as good a mind game as any to not let me stress out when things are down. DH is much calmer about the ups and downs, so he checks more often.

I have all of our outflow in quicken, which I update and go through at least once a week. The irony is that while DH could probably ballpark our monthly spend I think he could easily be off by +/- 20%.

Eta, I just asked DH how much he thought we spend on a monthly basis. He was off by -30%. ��. It’s a good thing we each focus on our respective strengths.
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Old 07-12-2021, 10:41 PM   #14
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A timely question... I just came up from the counting house... lifting all those gold ingots isn't doing my back much good as I get older!

Naw, I summarize once a month. The possible actionable item, which is pretty rare, is if it shows I've met a rebalancing trigger.
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Old 07-13-2021, 12:00 AM   #15
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Wow! I guess I'm not as obsessive as I thought. I probably see my net worth on a monthly basis, but even then I don't pay that much attention to it. I'm more concerned with my spending. I know the general vicinity of how much we have, but the market moves around so much it seems silly (to me) to care what the number is on any particular day. Whatever it is today it will probably be about the same tomorrow. And if something huge happens I'll see that.
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Old 07-13-2021, 02:25 AM   #16
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For some reason, I'm picturing Uncle Scrooge in his Bobcat, tossing around buckets of loot in his money bin.
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Old 07-13-2021, 04:16 AM   #17
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Twice a day.
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Old 07-13-2021, 04:45 AM   #18
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Daily - I have a spreadsheet I've had for years that I use to keep up with things and I update it daily. It's the first 15 minutes of my "me time" in the morning before anybody else in the house wakes up. It includes a lot of pre-canned calculations including "how much could I withdraw if today was the day I retired" based on a PMT calculation in Excel or a fixed % of portfolio value. Other things include YTD growth of each account and total portfolio, a calculation of an RMD as if I were 72, how long could we live on the bond portion of our portfolio till it ran out, and some other stuff. There are some things that I update once a month like monthly returns of individual funds I own.

But you need to know yourself. There are many people I know who are worried that if they look too much, they may tend to act on their investments in an emotional way. They probably need to look much less frequently.

There are reasons to look occasionally
- If you're making regular contributions, a lot of people like to direct new dollars in such a way that, after the contribution, they are closer to being back at their target asset allocation
- Lumpy contributions (proceeds from RSU's, ESPP, bonuses) would be handled similarly as above, but they usually happen less often
- People who use rebalance bands to determine whether to rebalance need to determine how often they want to take a look to make that determination. Doesn't need to be monitored all that often, either.

On the flip side, I also know some retirees that look only once a year and that's when they make an annual withdrawal.

It's more about what you intend (or not intend) to do with the information you get by monitoring frequently, rather than the frequency of monitoring itself.

Cheers.
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Wow real outlier here
Old 07-13-2021, 04:54 AM   #19
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Wow real outlier here

At the end of the calendar year, I update the annual net worth statement, that's it. I do glance at statements as they come in monthly, but some are online and I often dont bother with those. As we move into the year, and there has been a major market move like this year, I may estimate in my head that we now have x since the market has moved up y% since the start of the year. But unlike you guys, who have a picture daily, I can easily be hundreds of thousands of dollars off until I do the next net worth calculation Dec 31.
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Old 07-13-2021, 04:54 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by big-papa View Post
Daily - I have a spreadsheet I've had for years that I use to keep up with things and I update it daily. It's the first 15 minutes of my "me time" in the morning before anybody else in the house wakes up.
Ditto. My spreadsheet uses Google functions to load the COB prices from the evening before. I check the actual accounts every 3 months or so to update changes from dividends. Like big papa, I don't freak out when prices crash so checking daily is not a problem.
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