It’s a refrain you’ve heard here before: Stop checking your investments. Let the market do its thing. Remain somewhat blissfully unaware. Trust that your nest egg will grow.
Here’s one more reminder, in case you’re antsy at the sheer mention of checking your portfolio.
The sweet spot for checking your investments, according to analyst Jared Dillian, is monthly. He writes at MarketWatch:
Don’t turn off paper statements! Get them delivered to your house, and when they come, open them. But don’t log on to the website.
Once a month you should balance the competing concerns of having too much negative feedback versus willful ignorance. Before the internet, people did just fine with monthly statements.
Sorry, trees. We’re gonna stick to paper on this one.
“If you look at it too infrequently, you may miss an opportunity to change your asset allocation,” Dillian continues. “Most investors shouldn’t try to time the market, but I do think that there are one, maybe two times in your investing career that might argue for a sizable shift in your investment mix.”
Dillian’s advice goes back to the idea that your finances should be boring. Instead of getting worked up on a daily basis about what’s happening or not happening in the stock market, you have to believe in the power of compounding interest to lift your investments gradually despite the daily swings you see talked about (sometimes shouted about) on the news.
For those of you grimacing at the suggestion of keeping paper statements: I get it, it’s good to be able to check things on the World Wide Web. But if you log into your account, it will be harder to resist the urge of meddling with your own best interests.
Unless you’re shrugging on your vented jacket and heading down to the trading floor as you read this, you can skip the urge to constantly refresh your portfolio performance and stick to reviewing your monthly statement.