3 reasons not to check your brokerage account too often
It is really important to find the right balance.
- A brokerage account is not something you have to set up and forget.
- At the same time, there is something like checking your account too frequently.
Some people like to check their brokerage account balance once a week. For others, once a month or even once a quarter is enough.
When it comes to keeping track of your brokerage account, there really is no right or wrong answer when it comes to how often you check in. And to be clear, the occasional check-in is a good thing. You don’t want to put together a mix of stocks and walk away without checking to see how your portfolio is doing.
But checking too often your brokerage account certainly exists. And if you pass every day, you are definitely going too far.
Even a weekly record is too much for the typical investor. A better balance is a check once a month, or even once a quarter. Here’s why you don’t want to check too often.
1. You may have to make rash choices
During periods of stock market volatility, brokerage account balances can drop significantly overnight. If you frequently check your balance and continue to see losses, this could prompt you to quickly offload inventory to avoid an additional financial hit. But it could create a scenario where you have blocked a loss.
When you see a lower brokerage account balance on screen than you started with, this loss is merely hypothetical. It represents the amount of money your wallet would be worth if you were to sell everything you own right away.
If you don’t sell any assets and instead wait for the value of your portfolio to recover, you could emerge from a period of volatility without losing a penny. But the more losses you record and see, the more you might be pressured into panic selling, worsening your financial situation.
2. You will stress yourself out unnecessarily.
You may know enough about investing to recognize that you shouldn’t sell stocks just because they’re falling. But even if you tell yourself to sit back and get things done, checking your brokerage account balance often can lead to added stress that you simply don’t need. And there’s really no reason to get into it.
3. If you’re investing for the long term, you’re just wasting your time
Many people create brokerage account portfolios with the goal of accessing that money in 10, 20, or 30 years. If you, too, take a long-term approach to investing, there is absolutely no need to check your account balance daily or weekly.
After all, market movements over 24 or 48 hours are unlikely to make much difference to the grand scheme of a 20-year investment window. And if you keep checking, you might just keep wasting your time.
Investing in a brokerage account is a great way to grow your money when you’re not using it and don’t need it in an emergency. But don’t make the mistake of checking your wallet too often, as this could lead to poor choices and an unnecessary amount of heartache and wasted hours.
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