How often Do You Check Your Investment Accounts’ Balance?

Every day? Every week? or Every month?

When I first started investing in 2001, I was so eager to see how my investments (mutual funds) were doing, I just couldn’t wait till 6 o’clock in the eventing to get the closing prices. So I entered the top 10 or 15 holdings of each mutual funds I had in MSN Money online to get a sense of up or down and by how much from each component’s performance. Sounds silly, but that what I did back then. Later on, when I started to trade individual stocks in 2002, I kept my ScottradeElite window open from 9:30 am to 4:00 pm, just to see how my holdings were doing.

Now, I almost give up real time online trading, though I still have eleven individual stocks (LFC, NT, MSFT, and GRRF) and ETFs. Gone together with the active trading is the urge to check my investment balance the first thing in the evening. True, I still open up my Quicken a couple of times a week, but don’t do anything. I love to see the balance goes up a couple of thousands in days, but won’t feel bad if it loses that much.

I remember some time ago I read a financial-tip kind of article and one of suggestions is like “Check your balance every month.” The reason of not tracking the balance every day is to resist the urge to change due to short-term market fluctuations. Instead, the focus should be on the overall asset allocation and long-term goal. As long as I think I have the right mix of asset classes, I don’t feel the need to make any dramatic change to my portfolio, even if the performance didn’t match my expections. However, I don’t sit idle all the time. Rebalancing the portfolio once a year is enough to keep me staying the course.

There’s nothing error to find where you are every day, as long as you set your sight on the long-term health of your porfolio, not day-to-day gain or loss.

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