How Often Should You Check Your Investment Portfolio?

How often should you check your investment portfolio?

Checking your portfolio too often could lead to unwarranted worry and stress

How often should you check your investment portfolio? If you are a day trader, then you may never stop checking your holdings. But what if you are a long-term investor who is putting money away at regular intervals with a timeline of several decades before retirement? Let’s have a look.

Your Choice

You are free to check your investments as often as you like but beware a few common pitfalls.

Checking your portfolio too often can cause anxiety and possibly push you to sell at the bottom. Remember, you are investing for the long-term. The daily ups and downs of the market don’t matter when you are investing for decades to come.

Admittedly, I probably check my investment portfolio too often. I’ve been known to log in and peek daily. How could I not? With a smartphone hopping online to look at my portfolio is as easy as going on Facebook. I have done a good job of staying disciplined though. I can say that I’ve never panicked and sold one of my holdings after it experienced a big drop. If you don’t have this same discipline, then don’t logon as often.

Recommendations

Here are a few scenarios for checking your investment portfolio.

Daily

I am pretty much in this category. You may own a few individual holdings along with your broader portfolio that you like to track. You might like the excitement of seeing your stocks go up or even down in value.

If you want to check your portfolio daily just don’t get gripped by fear when the market falls or corrects. Avoid making emotional short-term decisions. If you cannot master this, then look at your portfolio less often.

Monthly

This is a decent place to be for the average investor. Most bank statements are sent our monthly. Credit cards and other bills are due at the end or beginning of the month. Most people receive a paycheck around that same time as well. While you are handling your other financial matters, it is also a good time to check in on your portfolio.

Quarterly

Most of the brokerage firms send out quarterly statements. If you are not comfortable with looking at your portfolio frequently, then looking quarterly might be the answer. You are a long-term investor, so missing out on the daily ups and downs for a few months doesn’t bother you. When you do look you can adjust as needed or just let everything ride and go back to living your life.

Annually

I think that this is not often enough, but some people have no interest or knowledge of the financial world. They leave their money in the hands of a financial advisor and trust them to watch over their nest egg. Even if you don’t have an advisor and simply choose an index fund, then you might not need to look except annually. This is fine until retirement approaches. At that point you may want to check in more often to make sure retirement isn’t in jeopardy. For instance, you may spend a few years slowly rebalancing your portfolio and shifting to less risky assets as retirement approaches. This will take some effort and won’t be accomplished successfully if you only check in once a year.

Never

Yes, this is a thing. Some people set up a 401K or other retirement account, and then they never look at it again. There is hands off, and then there is this approach. Please don’t be this person.

Conclusion

How often you check your investment portfolio is a matter of choice and personal situation. However, I would recommend that the typical long-term investor who can stomach a little bit of short-term losses should look at their holdings at least quarterly. Daily and even monthly might be too much for some. You could end up making an irrational decision. Yearly is too long in my opinion. You will want to have enough sense of awareness concerning your portfolio to make smart changes as needed in a timely manner. Just don’t forget that this is a marathon not a sprint.

Read Also:

6 Reasons Why You Might Want to Consider Hiring a Portfolio Manager

Protect Your Investments – How To Shield Your Portfolio From Decline

What Are Professionals Overlooking In Their Portfolio?

What is the Best Day of the Month to Buy Stocks?

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