I only check my brokerage account once every 6 months. here’s why
Regularly checking your brokerage account could end up backfiring.
- I have money invested in a brokerage account to grow my wealth.
- I only log in once every six months, at the most.
- I no longer want to verify my account and be prompted to make bad choices.
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 log into my online brokerage account about once every six months – or less.
So why opt for a semi-annual verification of my brokerage account? I have found that this schedule helps me avoid high-risk moves while allowing me to allocate my assets responsibly. Here’s why I think checking in about twice a year is the right choice.
Not checking my account every day protects me from hasty decisions
It may seem odd to only check my investment account a few times a year. But the reality is that I made a very conscious decision not to track my portfolio performance on a daily, weekly, or even monthly basis.
The reason is that I believe the best way for me to build wealth is to invest in assets I believe in and leave them alone. I’m committed to being a long-term investor, and I also invest primarily in index funds that track broad financial indices rather than individual stocks, so I don’t need to change my investment strategy based on what some companies are doing.
Since I don’t want my investment strategy to be influenced by short term trends and just want to buy investments on a regular schedule and leave them alone for decades, I don’t want to know if my balance goes up or decreasing at present.
Seeing a lot of losses – or even a lot of profits – might prompt me to act out of fear of missing something or out of fear of losing money. And while it’s easy to say I’ll be rational and not do so, it can be harder to refrain from acting when I check my investment performance too regularly.
Since I want to avoid the temptation to take the wrong kind of actions and end up buying high and selling low (since it’s hard for the average person to time things perfectly), I’m not putting myself in a position where I I’m likely to. My accounts don’t need me to keep them, so I ignore them for most of the year.
Checking every few months allows me to rebalance
I sometimes check my portfolio, even if I don’t because I want to see if I’m making a profit or not. My periodic checks are designed to rebalance my portfolio so I have the proper asset allocation.
If some investments have outperformed others and I am over-invested in a particular asset class because of this, I will make an edit to address this issue. And as I get closer to needing to rely on my invested funds, I will make my investment mix a bit more conservative.
Since I don’t need to check too often to rebalance, a semi-annual review of my portfolio is the best schedule for me. And it could be a great choice for others too, if they are keen on investing for the long term – which has proven over time to be an ideal strategy for building wealth.
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