Author Topic: Getting used to big swings in investment values  (Read 6872 times)

SpendyMcSpend

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Getting used to big swings in investment values
« on: June 05, 2014, 05:20:16 PM »
So I have almost saved my first $100k.  I know that now that I have a lot invested, the amounts could swing wildly.  Since my salary is only around $60k, those swings may seem very large.  Do you just not check your balance frequently in order to keep sane?

taekvideo

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Re: Getting used to big swings in investment values
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2014, 06:26:42 PM »
only check it when it's time to rebalance ;)

Frankies Girl

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Re: Getting used to big swings in investment values
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2014, 06:45:56 PM »
I checked every day for a very long time at the beginning. I think the crazy drops and rises actually desensitized me. I no longer worry if I "lose" 20k in a few days because I saw that it also could swing wildly in the other direction. It doesn't really matter in the short term since the gains/losses are all just numbers on a screen and will stay that way for decades.

Eric

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Re: Getting used to big swings in investment values
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2014, 06:52:04 PM »
Congrats!  That's a nice milestone.  I've checked daily for years now, but I don't do anything with that information.  It's just information.  If it messes with your sanity or mood to see the swings, then figure out how to "set it and forget it".  The swings will only get bigger.  Check it once or twice a year and otherwise don't look if it's a problem.

brewer12345

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Re: Getting used to big swings in investment values
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2014, 06:58:12 PM »
Add a zero to your portfolio and the swings get really silly some days.  I think it does not bear getting your undies in a wad over day to day or even month to month swings.  I keep several year-end portfolio balances to keep a bit of perspective over time.  I think that these swings also help put things into perspective.  If a typical daily movement in my portfolio is between 5 and 10k (plus or minus, both are swings), it means that I should not get bent out of shape when I have a hailstorm and get a roof torn up and have to cough up a $1000 insurance deductible.  A thousand dollar move would not be noticeable in my portfolio, after all.

oldladystache

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Re: Getting used to big swings in investment values
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2014, 06:59:33 PM »
I check nearly every day. Have for many years. I don't worry when it goes down. I expect it to drop a lot every few years, same as always.

I figure my net worth once or twice a year, and it seems to always go up so I don't worry. And if it goes down I still won't worry. That's just how things are.

Ziggurat

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Re: Getting used to big swings in investment values
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2014, 07:12:54 PM »
I just bought some ETFs with some cash sitting in my accounts.  I'm not worried any more about the investments' market value, but rather about keeping the little employees busy. But it has taken me quite a while to reverse my fear on that.  And full confession, I still check almost daily just to keep a finger on the pulse.

When my faith waivers, I revisit the stock market always goes up. It includes healthy warnings about these feelings, and reminds that there are fundamental reasons why it goes up over time.

RootofGood

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Re: Getting used to big swings in investment values
« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2014, 07:20:25 PM »
I check often enough, but I've gotten over caring about making or losing five figure amounts in one day.  In the last week, there have been two days where the portfolio fluctuated by an amount equal to six months of our spending.  Which means in a week we've made enough to pay for an extra year of expenses.  I know that next week, we might lose a year (or two!) of expenses.  I'm playing the long game and I don't really care what the market does day to day.  Caring too much will drive you crazy.

The only thing I know about the stock market is that it will fluctuate. 

Rural

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Re: Getting used to big swings in investment values
« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2014, 07:35:33 PM »
I just look at my hard copy quarterly statements, which are out of date by the time they get to our mailbox, anyway. Keeps things in perspective.

rocklebock

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Re: Getting used to big swings in investment values
« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2014, 07:36:50 PM »
 I check every day because I think it's fun. Lately it's been at $123-$125k depending on the day. When it goes down a bunch all of a sudden, I feel about as bad as I would if my team lost big at pub trivia that week.

bikebum

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Re: Getting used to big swings in investment values
« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2014, 07:38:52 PM »
I'm new at this too; been investing for less than a year. I don't check it very often because it doesn't matter what it does on any given day.

robotclown

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Re: Getting used to big swings in investment values
« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2014, 08:02:47 PM »
I update it weekly, mostly because it doesn't matter.  I want to get used to random ups and downs and not be concerned with them. 

boarder42

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Re: Getting used to big swings in investment values
« Reply #12 on: June 05, 2014, 08:19:21 PM »
i check daily for the fun of it but have been investing since i was 10 for the last 17 years ... i really just celebrate the big days and dont care about the bad days.  today was a great day.  i mad more today than i will make in a week at work... if you're concerned about your swings at 100k you probably shouldnt check daily b/c those swings increase exponentially as you build wealth.

iris lily

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Re: Getting used to big swings in investment values
« Reply #13 on: June 05, 2014, 08:46:58 PM »
I dollar-cost-averaged* into investment vehicles (not index funds, my big mistake) and honestly didn't look at them for years on end. Then in the Big Dip a few years back I had to look , but didn't make any real changes since I didn't know what to do, anyways. Just as well since it all came back up again.

I will say that DH and I have a 1X annual powwow over our networth, so I did kinda/sorta have to look at the amounts 1X annually, but I didn't necessarily compare them to the previous year. And after I looked at them, I promptly forgot the amount. But I always remembers out net worth number.

*dca is a fancy term for putting the same amount of money in financial investments at the same intervals; I dropped in money once a month
« Last Edit: June 05, 2014, 09:38:57 PM by iris lily »

Caoineag

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Re: Getting used to big swings in investment values
« Reply #14 on: June 05, 2014, 08:59:27 PM »
As I didn't want to be one of those people who freaked at the big swings, I check pretty often. It desensitized me to the swings. Which is good, because the larger the portfolio, the bigger the swings will get.

Nords

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Re: Getting used to big swings in investment values
« Reply #15 on: June 05, 2014, 09:17:21 PM »
So I have almost saved my first $100k.  I know that now that I have a lot invested, the amounts could swing wildly.  Since my salary is only around $60k, those swings may seem very large.  Do you just not check your balance frequently in order to keep sane?
When the amount rises each year by more than your annual expenses, then you can quit your job...

Otherwise it helps to look at those big numbers as percentages instead of as numbers.

hexdexorex

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Re: Getting used to big swings in investment values
« Reply #16 on: June 05, 2014, 10:36:41 PM »
Honestly It never bothered me in 2008 when I lost a ton. I luckily bought more. Tons of my friends were selling though...index funds are a lot easier to do this strategy with because you can ignore the small things and look at the big picture...is the world going to be a better place in 10 years?

I have seen many people with individual stocks sell at the wrong times because their original thesis on why they bought the stock was on shaky ground.

fishingman88

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Re: Getting used to big swings in investment values
« Reply #17 on: June 06, 2014, 04:48:03 AM »
I check my investments quarterly because I just don't need the added stress in my life.  I used to check every day when I was younger but found myself thinking irrational thoughts (should I sell and re-allocate and try to beat the market), so I stopped doing it. 

When it comes down to quarterly checks, I re-allocate as needed. 

MidwestGal

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Re: Getting used to big swings in investment values
« Reply #18 on: June 06, 2014, 07:58:27 AM »
I haven't saved nearly as much as Meadow yet, and am still at the point where I check numbers far too often (more than once a quarter or year).  I'm hoping that with time the itch to do that will fade.  It certainly becomes easier to go back into set-and-forget mode when life cycles into busy season again!

dude

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Re: Getting used to big swings in investment values
« Reply #19 on: June 06, 2014, 08:24:40 AM »
I check pretty regularly, but find that I check daily without fail as I'm approaching one of those milestone figures (generally any $100K increment).  Got a big milestone coming up that I might be able to hit by the end of this year . . . for sure I'll be watching it!

hexdexorex

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Re: Getting used to big swings in investment values
« Reply #20 on: June 06, 2014, 08:34:19 AM »
I check the market every morning...but it doesn't change my decision on my investments.

Mississippi Mudstache

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Re: Getting used to big swings in investment values
« Reply #21 on: June 06, 2014, 08:49:25 AM »
I used to check daily. Now, maybe a couple of times a month. I track my accounts on Personal Capital, so if I notice a strange anomaly in net worth, I may pull up my investments to see what happened. But that's just out of curiosity. Honestly, up, down, or sideways matters very little to me any more. You get used to it.

Ftao93

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Re: Getting used to big swings in investment values
« Reply #22 on: June 06, 2014, 09:11:11 AM »
Since I'm new to all this anyway, and barely have a net worth that could cover 6 months of my life, I don't worry too much.

Oh no!  I lost $12 today!  Yay!  I gained $300...

It's just funny numbers.

frugaliknowit

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Re: Getting used to big swings in investment values
« Reply #23 on: June 06, 2014, 09:57:17 AM »
Assuming you are well diversified and the money is for long term use (5+ years, conservatively 10+), when it goes down just reassure yourself that the money is a long term investment and there is no reward without risk.  How often you check is up to you.

Ishmael

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Re: Getting used to big swings in investment values
« Reply #24 on: June 06, 2014, 11:22:45 AM »
I check mine daily, repeatedly through the day.

Well, when it's going up. If I look at it in the morning, and it's having a bad day, I shut it down and turn my attention to something else. If we're going through a bad period (like in 2008), I stopped looking at it for a few months, and turned my attention to other interests. I knew it would be a horrible idea to sell and lock in losses (well over 50% at the time), so I just held on and waited to see what would happen.

What did happen is a monumental leapfrog over where I was then. It took a while, but that's what happened.

I'm the same way with sports. If my team sucks, I don't watch very much. If they're doing well, I tune in more often. I try and focus on positive things, I guess. 


Bookworm

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Re: Getting used to big swings in investment values
« Reply #25 on: June 06, 2014, 11:54:36 AM »
I check on the first of every month, just to take a snapshot of our financial condition.  I know it's really just an estimate, though, because almost all of our net worth is in real estate, and it's not like we're getting an appraisal every month.  We only have ~$30,000 in the TSP.  For a long time, it's only gone up.  I know that's not going to last.

Catbert

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Re: Getting used to big swings in investment values
« Reply #26 on: June 06, 2014, 01:29:46 PM »
As someone else said,just wait until you add a zero to your portfolio size.  I look at my monthly statement and am largely desensitized to the changes.  Since the late '90s its not unusual for my portfolio to increase or decrease monthly more than my yearly salary (before I retired.)