I Only Check My Brokerage Account Once Every 6 Months. Here's Why
- I have money invested in a brokerage account to grow my wealth.
- I only check in around once every six months, at most.
- I don't want to check my account more and be prompted to make bad choices.
Checking your brokerage account regularly could end up backfiring.
I have a lot of money invested in a brokerage account. Despite the fact that I've put hundreds of thousands of dollars into one, I don't check it very often. In fact, I only sign into my online brokerage account around once every six months -- or less.
So, why do I opt for a biannual check of my brokerage account? I've found that this schedule helps me avoid high-risk moves while allowing me to responsibly allocate my assets. Here's why I think checking in around twice a year is the right choice.
Not checking my account every day protects me from snap decisions
It may seem strange to check in on my investment account only a few times a year. But the reality is, I've made a very conscious decision that I do not want to follow my portfolio's performance on a daily, weekly, or even monthly basis.
The reason for that is because I believe the best way for me to build wealth is to invest in assets I believe in and leave them alone. I am committed to being a long-term investor, and I also primarily invest in index funds that track broad financial indexes rather than individual stocks, so I don’t have a need to change my investment strategy based on what particular companies are doing.
SInce I don't want my investing strategy to be influenced by short-term trends and I want to simply buy investments on a regular schedule and leave them alone for decades, I don't want to know if my balance is going up or down right now.
Seeing a lot of losses -- or even a lot of profits -- could prompt me to act based on fear of missing out or fear of losing money. And while it's easy to say that I will be rational and not do that, it can be harder to actually refrain from taking action when checking in too regularly on my investment performance.
Since I want to avoid the temptation to take the wrong sort of actions and potentially end up buying high and selling low (since it is hard for the average person to time things perfectly), I just don't put myself in a position where I'm likely to do that. My accounts don't need me to babysit them, so I ignore them for most of the year.
Checking in every few months allows me to rebalance
I check in on my portfolio sometimes, though, even though I don't do it because I want to see whether I'm making a profit or not. My periodic check-ins are designed to rebalance my portfolio so I have the appropriate asset allocation.
If some investments have outperformed others and I'm too heavily invested in a particular asset class because of it, I'll make a change to fix that issue. And as I get closer to needing to rely on my invested funds, I'll make my investment mix a little more conservative.
Since I don't need to check in too often to rebalance, a biannual look at my portfolio is the best schedule for me. And it might be a great choice for others too, if they're eager to invest for the long term -- which has been proven over time to be an ideal strategy for building wealth.
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