Author Topic: How gleeful are you when your NW jumps in a month?  (Read 6269 times)

catccc

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How gleeful are you when your NW jumps in a month?
« on: February 23, 2015, 12:14:12 PM »
I know things go up and down, but I get really excited when I see my savings working considerably harder than I do. 

Like this month, I'm looking at maybe 20k in unrealized investment gains.  Compared to my take home of less that $4,000, it feels like magic!  (yes, I've done everything "right!"  This is my payoff!)  But it's just on paper, and it's a month to month swing that is making up for unrealized losses last month.  On that note, it is always depressing when you save and watch your spending all month, only to see your NW drop 6K.

Our stash isn't huge, still short of $600K, but it is growing, and as it does, so do the swings.

Anyway, I feel like I need to temper my emotions around the ups and downs of my portfolio.  Any thoughts on how to do this?  things you tell yourself?
« Last Edit: February 23, 2015, 12:18:06 PM by catccc »

2Birds1Stone

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Re: How gleeful are you when your NW jumps in a month?
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2015, 12:17:47 PM »
Its tough to take emotions out of the picture when you are so heavily invested (pun intended) in your portfolio.

I think it is easier to do when in the accumulation phase, I actually enjoy shifts up and down at this point. I will sweat the moves more when the paycheck is gone and we are drawing down. I can only imagine what it feels like to FIRE or full on retire and have your portfolio halved in a bear market.

johnny847

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Re: How gleeful are you when your NW jumps in a month?
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2015, 12:20:11 PM »
I keep telling myself any gains or losses made mean nothing, because FIRE is years away, and the stock market will almost certainly crash at least once before that happens.

I try to look at my Vanguard account balance as little as possible, but I also download my transaction confirmations as they come out, so I'm not all that successful at that.

Gone Fishing

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Re: How gleeful are you when your NW jumps in a month?
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2015, 12:21:36 PM »
You know you are a mustachian when you say:


Our stash isn't huge, still short of $600K...

That's only more than 90% of Americans! Good work!

Like most, I have enjoyed watching my stache march forward almost every month for the past 5+ years with only an occasional hiccup.  I tell myself all the time that next month (or week) might be the one where it drops 10-20% or more which keeps my excitement tempered. 

One thing you might think about is just watching your share count instead of your $ total.  As long as you are investing, this should never go down and you would get to see a nice little bump when dividends get paid out. 


odput

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Re: How gleeful are you when your NW jumps in a month?
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2015, 02:05:45 PM »
Anyway, I feel like I need to temper my emotions around the ups and downs of my portfolio.  Any thoughts on how to do this?

I use a 12 month rolling difference in NW.  This helps tremendously to smooth out a single month's performance, regardless of the direction.

dunhamjr

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Re: How gleeful are you when your NW jumps in a month?
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2015, 03:24:52 PM »
i have always tried not too look too closely at monthly/quarterly gains.  YoY is a lot better for me.

buddy of mine has been "gambling" in stocks, and is gleeful of his 12% gains from a penny stock he bought last week.  all i can say is i am happy he is doing well, and hope he keeps doing so.

meanwhile most of my money is working in index funds and is only up 3.25% over the past month but is up 12.41% over the past year.  :D
works for me.

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Re: How gleeful are you when your NW jumps in a month?
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2015, 04:16:01 PM »
I know things go up and down, but I get really excited when I see my savings working considerably harder than I do. 

I was busy over Christmas and then got really sick in Jan. When I got around to it and looked at my investment results from 31 Dec to 1 Feb. I did a little Fuck Yeah! dance. My investments grew more in one month than if I earn if I had worked 6 months.

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Adventine

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Re: How gleeful are you when your NW jumps in a month?
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2015, 04:38:04 PM »
I have to admit, I have the same problem. I log in at least once a day to check on all my bank and investment accounts. I'm always pleased whenever I see a spike in my net worth, even though I know it would be better for my stash in the long term to have a stock market (and therefore NW) dip.

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Re: How gleeful are you when your NW jumps in a month?
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2015, 05:02:03 PM »
I get excited and update my spreadsheet out of schedule BUT since I have no plan of RE in the next 5 years, I am telling myself at the back of my head that I should be more excited for a market downturn and get a chance to buy stocks on sale.

boognish

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Re: How gleeful are you when your NW jumps in a month?
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2015, 05:16:45 PM »
I'm 25 and have only seen gains in my brief time investing. I check Vanguard most days and am generally pleased (I know it's a waste of time but I can't help it).

I genuinely believe I'd be more stoked at the market tumbling and putting everything on sale.

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Re: How gleeful are you when your NW jumps in a month?
« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2015, 07:05:46 PM »
Anyway, I feel like I need to temper my emotions around the ups and downs of my portfolio.  Any thoughts on how to do this?

I use a 12 month rolling difference in NW.  This helps tremendously to smooth out a single month's performance, regardless of the direction.
+1 You also get a feeling for the monthly cycle of the stock exchange, which will stand you in good stead later.

chasesfish

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Re: How gleeful are you when your NW jumps in a month?
« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2015, 07:47:49 PM »
I track it monthly.  Had almost a 10% increase in one month back when I had $500,000 invested a couple year's back.  Good timing of the market and a bonus.

Its also nice to look back and see that other months have dropped when we have a bad month.

h2ogal

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Re: How gleeful are you when your NW jumps in a month?
« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2015, 08:20:53 PM »
Quote
I feel like I need to temper my emotions around the ups and downs of my portfolio.  Any thoughts on how to do this?  things you tell yourself?

Why temper your glee?! Watching your passive earnings bring in more $ than your 40+ hours of cube-dwelling is super encouraging!!     

I say "Up $20K.....WOOO....Im leaving the cube 4 months ahead of schedule!!!"

On the other hand, when things go down, I say.....hmmm the street is having a sale on S+P 500...maybe I should stock up?

If things go down too far too fast, I just close my eyes....I literally stop checking my balances....I may be a fool... or maybe an incorrigible optimist...when news gets too bad I refuse to read it! 

So far (2 recesssions) this has worked out OK for me...

Bateaux

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Re: How gleeful are you when your NW jumps in a month?
« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2015, 10:10:15 PM »
I'm going to repost something I said last year.   Buy, buy,  buy, buy, buy, buy, buy, buy, buy, buy, buy, buy, buy, buy, buy, buy, buy, buy,.

catccc

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Re: How gleeful are you when your NW jumps in a month?
« Reply #14 on: February 24, 2015, 07:30:06 AM »
Right, lots of good strategies here! 

Year over year is definitely a good way to look at it.  I update my NW spreadsheet in excel monthly, and maybe check it once or twice during the month with personal capital.  Last summer was a figurative roller coaster when it came to NW due to market volatility.  I would look at the YTD in relation to my annual goal.  I should focus on that and YOY more.

I never thought of viewing it from share count perspective.  That's a good idea, too!

For me FI is 5-15 years out.  I know that is a really wide window, but a few years ago I was saying 15, and in the last couple years things have gone better than anticipated, and it just keeps looking closer and closer.  Although there is a big wildcard in that we are currently renters, and if that changes, so may our FIRE timeline.  I will try to go with the flow as much as possible.

Most of my savings are on autopilot, but I should take even small amounts to buy more when it is down.  I don't really do that.  Just have the 401K maxing out, the Roths maxed out at the start of the year, and then annual cash savings that I will use to max out Roths at the start of the next year.  The annual cash savings usually exceed the roth max, and in prior years I've used the remaining funds for 529 contributions, preschool tuition, and on an occasion or two, a big vacation.  I should think about moving some of that $ out sooner to investments.

I also wonder if it is worthwhile to increase or decrease 401K contributions when things are down or up, respectively.  IDK.  Maybe that's too much trouble.  There's a lag between when I change my contribution % to when it is actually in effect.

The ups and downs certainly have some kind of "entertainment value" for me...

Trudie

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Re: How gleeful are you when your NW jumps in a month?
« Reply #15 on: February 24, 2015, 08:29:17 AM »
Probably too gleeful.  I know I check it too often, and I know why precisely that is a bad idea.  The new online tools which make it possible for you to link all of your investments in real time, though, just make it too easy!

To me the most important thing is consistency with investing.  I also take pride in seeing my mortgage liability decline on my personal balance sheet.  So, viewing my net worth isn't just about investment performance.

Once I feel as if I'm doing about all I reasonably can with my investments I usually do little projects to focus on the spending side of things.  It just keeps me focused.

GetItRight

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Re: How gleeful are you when your NW jumps in a month?
« Reply #16 on: February 24, 2015, 03:45:50 PM »
Since I'm still a long ways from retirement I tend to look at the positive. It's exciting during an upturn to see the investment accounts and net worth rise, but if it swings down I am excited to be buying my investments at discount prices. Downturns would probably make me nervous in retirement, but I would likely decrease discretionary spending during those periods.

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Re: How gleeful are you when your NW jumps in a month?
« Reply #17 on: February 28, 2015, 08:28:50 AM »
If 0 was not excited at all, and 10 was literally jumping for joy, I'm at about a 0.5 (1/2) - slightly happier than if it was flat or down.

Hopefully that will be down to 0 soon and I can convince myself to stop tracking it; updating the NW every month has become a chore (albeit one that takes 5 minutes, but still, not something to look forward to, just extra paperwork).
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Re: How gleeful are you when your NW jumps in a month?
« Reply #18 on: February 28, 2015, 09:08:24 AM »
I check, and feel joy about gains. I also check regularly to get a sense of how each part of the portfolio moves in relation to the overall market and what is happening in the economy.

I think the big downside for me is that given the big run-up in the market of the last number of years, that gets normalized.  Always good to see the downturns as buying opportunities (if you have things structured so you can take advantage of them).