A wise friend once told me when I first decided to buy mutual funds:
Just stick money in the fund(s) and FORGET ABOUT IT. Resist the urge to log in and check it every day. You’ll only give yourself ulcers!
I think it’s terrific… fantastic… nay, stupendous advice! There is just one problem:
I have not been following that sage advice lately!
I’ve owned mutual funds (at Vanguard) for a couple years now, and most of the time I only pay attention to them when I want to buy more shares.
A Bad Habit
I must confess – when the bottom started falling out of the stock market back in January ’08, I began a regretful habit of logging into my Vanguard account every evening to survey the damage. I did it first out of wonderment, then amazement, then fear, and finally disgust. Now it has become a habit!
Most of my Vanguard assets are in index funds, most of which have taken a severe beating since the beginning of the year. However, I am proud that I have not sold a single share, despite the volatility. The current value of my shares have decreased, but I still own the same number. In essence, I have not lost anything.
I’ve actually used this opportunity to scoop up a few more shares, as if they are “on sale.”
Still, it’s awfully depressing to watch a value that drops almost every day, even if the loss is unrealized. Yes, I realize how silly and foolish it is to check on my mutual funds frequently. No good can come from it. It’s a waste of time and energy.
That’s what I keep telling myself, yet I continue to log in and gawk every evening! It’s as if I’m witessing a train wreck in-progress and can’t look away.
At this point, I fully intend to follow that sage advice my wise friend gave me. Therefore, I refuse to log into my Vanguard account for at least a month. Let’s make it April 15th.
I don’t need the money in my index funds anytime soon, and I can’t afford to buy anymore shares for a little while, so I have absolutely no need to sneak a peek at my account. No reason at all. Not going to do it. 🙂
I intend to kick this ridiculous daily-checking habit of mine and reset it more along the lines of monthly-checking.
How about you? Have you found yourself sitting on the edge of your seat and biting your nails as you watch your long-term investments plummet? If so, you are welcome to join me in NOT logging in again for at least a month! 🙂