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bender

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« on: November 02, 2016, 11:24:11 AM »
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« Last Edit: March 30, 2018, 08:10:42 AM by bender »

Frankies Girl

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Re: October was a down month...
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2016, 11:36:37 AM »
Definitely need to get used to seeing things like this. I am down about 30K, but no worries. I've had "dips" of as much as 60K in a month and definitely desensitized to them now.

And remember, you haven't lost shares and likely gained over those two months, just so happens that in October those shares are worth less than back in August. But the number of shares only grows, as long as you're reinvesting and still contributing, those dips are when the market is on sale.

You lost nothing unless you sell it all off. It's just fluctuations of numbers on a screen.

NoStacheOhio

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Re: October was a down month...
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2016, 11:42:47 AM »
I track monthly and October's losses wiped out September's gains, so I'm setback 2 months.  I find it annoying that I worked and saved a large percentage, but it's gone, on paper anyways.  I know this market drop was very mild, just posting to grumble and hear of some shared misery maybe :)

On the bright side, stocks are on sale, so November's purchases will buy more shares.    I'm confident it will be back and then some in a month or two though!

Stop looking at monthly losses and gains. There's no upside. If you have to look at a monthly number, just look at your contributions. You won't be touching this money for a long time.

Retire-Canada

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Re: October was a down month...
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2016, 12:38:00 PM »
Stop looking at monthly losses and gains. There's no upside. If you have to look at a monthly number, just look at your contributions. You won't be touching this money for a long time.

This ^^^. I track savings on a monthly basis. I only look at the balance of my portfolio when I know there has been a big rally [can't help, but hear about that] for a feel good moment or if I am about to roll over to my next big milestone [$700K, $800K, etc...].

This advice is particularly appropriate if you are getting bummed out by the fluctuations as it seems the OP is.

Frankies Girl

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Re: October was a down month...
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2016, 01:04:25 PM »
FYI: I look daily. Have been for years. I'm OCD anyway, and like seeing the way the market moves as I feel like it adds to my overall education on what outside influences can trigger crashes, dips and rises. It is funny to watch sometimes to see what random event makes it rise and fall (in addition to the obvious influences of course).

In the beginning it was scary seeing it jump around. But the constant exposure desensitized me because I can also now pull back to see the big picture and how those scary drops didn't mean the end of days. ;)

I keep a monthly tally on my net worth. I don't know that I'll keep that up forever, but it's been enjoyable even in the down months to see how I'm doing.

meghan88

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Re: October was a down month...
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2016, 01:19:18 PM »
FYI: I look daily. Have been for years. I'm OCD anyway, and like seeing the way the market moves as I feel like it adds to my overall education on what outside influences can trigger crashes, dips and rises. It is funny to watch sometimes to see what random event makes it rise and fall (in addition to the obvious influences of course).

In the beginning it was scary seeing it jump around. But the constant exposure desensitized me because I can also now pull back to see the big picture and how those scary drops didn't mean the end of days. ;)

I keep a monthly tally on my net worth. I don't know that I'll keep that up forever, but it's been enjoyable even in the down months to see how I'm doing.
I look multiple times per day and I update my spreadsheet each morning.  So I guess that makes me really, really OCD.  I didn't sell through any of the downturns, including 2008-2009, but I've not done very well with investments because of bad advice.  I'm sitting on 50% cash right now because I've been pulling it out since August to change strategy to ETFs.  I only have a 4 year horizon until retirement (hopefully) and I WILL be drawing down from my registered retirement fund at that point, so yeah, I care about what I buy, and yeah, I'm worried about things being overvalued.

FIRE47

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Re: October was a down month...
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2016, 06:48:04 PM »
Yea you slowly get over it - but the amount and therefore $ fluctuation also grows with your tolerance as you have more invested. I've been in the game about 5 years now in any meaningful way and it still stings to see paper losses for me anyways, I can shrug off a few days now no sweat but a couple bad weeks in a row still gets to me a bit.

I'm starting to just track market values quarterly or to notch a major milestone - there really is no point when your horizon is 40+ years. The daily trcking will be a tough habit to break.

One Noisy Cat

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Re: October was a down month...
« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2016, 09:11:24 PM »
You got to buy good companies at a discount.   Hoo Rah!!!

jeeebus

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Re: October was a down month...
« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2016, 03:11:42 AM »
On the bright side, stocks are on sale, so November's purchases will buy more shares.

You've said it! Just keep buying

misshathaway

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Re: October was a down month...
« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2016, 07:12:33 AM »
How often do others look at their balances and calculate NW, FI, etc?  Quarterly or Annually?  As for me, I like to see a monthly balance sheet.

I'm in ER and I do a spreadsheet of everything monthly. I thought I -was- desensitized until I did October. My thoughts were the same as yours, rational or not. I've only been retired a year. I'm already more mellow than I was initially about the money, because I've seen it accumulate for a year. In time we will probably both take losses more in stride, although I would do the monthly spreadsheet even if I had twice as much.

MVal

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Re: October was a down month...
« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2016, 07:59:01 AM »
Ugh, yes. I'm a daily checker and I just drive myself nuts most of the time. I feel like I'm turning myself into a manic-depressive, feeling giddy and omnipotent when my net worth grows by a big leap and then grumpy and depressed when it drops. I'm fairly new to the game, only in my second year of tracking, but I'm getting better and rolling with the punches. Still probably going to keep checking daily though, as I need the continued motivation.

Kaspian

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Re: October was a down month...
« Reply #11 on: November 03, 2016, 08:29:09 AM »
Ugh, yes. I'm a daily checker and I just drive myself nuts most of the time. I feel like I'm turning myself into a manic-depressive, feeling giddy and omnipotent when my net worth grows by a big leap and then grumpy and depressed when it drops. I'm fairly new to the game, only in my second year of tracking, but I'm getting better and rolling with the punches. Still probably going to keep checking daily though, as I need the continued motivation.

Oh, no!  That's a hallmark of danger--feeling smart and triumphant when things are up and feeling unsure and depressed when things are down.  It's a whirlpool full of sharks, glass, and spiders and I really suggest you throw yourself a lifeline and get out immediately because it can cause people do do rash things if the forces are down for something like two years.  (e.g., Changing strategies instead of sticking with it.)  Maybe curb the behavior and start checking every two days instead of every one?   

You have to constantly remember that when people say things like, "This fund returns about 8% annually," that they're not talking about month over month or often year over year but in terms of (usually) a decade or so.  A 2-4% drop in one month means absolutely nothing.  It seriously means nothing at all.  (Unless somebody chooses that moment to cash out everything.  But even then, they'd likely be up for the year and most certainly over the last 5.)

To be honest, I check my numbers often but don't worry about the net worth line (I have no control over market crazy), and instead just focus on my savings rate. 

talltexan

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Re: October was a down month...
« Reply #12 on: November 03, 2016, 09:39:10 AM »
I check all the time, but I try to tell myself I can only make moves on payday. That reduces the temptation to actually do some damage to my portfolio

NESailor

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Re: October was a down month...
« Reply #13 on: November 03, 2016, 10:52:26 AM »
Daily checker checking in.  I actually came on here to check if anyone's talking about the unpleasant market ;)

I find myself checking LESS when the market goes down.  Just because it's less fun to see the figures go down.  I think that's a good thing.  I won't be motivated to do something stupid, ha!

That said, I'm fairly new to the game so perhaps it'll get better eventually.  The overwhelming trend is up since we're relatively poor compared to our monthly savings amount.  We're up from about 50K in investments this time last year to 110K.  Considering we grossed only about 110K in that same period and paid down a good chunk of our mortgage it's not too bad.  Even in down months it's staying mostly flat at our rate.  I know this will change soon since several percentage points will be more than what we can save in 1 month.

RetirementDreaming

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Re: October was a down month...
« Reply #14 on: November 03, 2016, 12:48:00 PM »
I check daily.  I record it in my spreadsheet 2-3 times a month. 

The ups are more fun to look at but the downs don't really bother me.  I have 3 years before FIRE and I'm trying to get a feel of the market and how to plan my withdrawal strategy, include amount of cash on hand.

scrubbyfish

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Re: October was a down month...
« Reply #15 on: November 03, 2016, 12:53:10 PM »
Half of mine display with my regular bank account, so I see the totals every time I do online banking or update YNAB. Like others here, I enjoy practicing not worrying :)   I am quite proud of myself that I am no longer thrilled nor thrown by the ups and downs. It's like the Buddhist thought around "praise and blame." All things we can't control, and that have nothing to do with us or what we do.

A few years in, I don't seem to gain much in the market. Only my contributions and govt matches have been awesome so far.

catccc

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Re: October was a down month...
« Reply #16 on: November 03, 2016, 01:05:16 PM »
hey there, chiming in as a little company for your misery.  I hear ya.  It's annoying, but I can quickly squash negative feelings with "hey, it's all on sale now!"

I look nearly daily thru my personal capital app, but only update my personal excel records monthly.  Up feels better than down, but really down now is better for me since I'm still well within the accumulation phase.  Not sure how I'll feel about it in 5 years when RE is nigh.

Lunasol

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Re: October was a down month...
« Reply #17 on: November 03, 2016, 01:10:05 PM »
I hear ya, it's a bum when you're expecting the price to go up but it goes down instead, like someone said you haven't lost until you sell!

MVal

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Re: October was a down month...
« Reply #18 on: November 03, 2016, 03:15:59 PM »
Ugh, yes. I'm a daily checker and I just drive myself nuts most of the time. I feel like I'm turning myself into a manic-depressive, feeling giddy and omnipotent when my net worth grows by a big leap and then grumpy and depressed when it drops. I'm fairly new to the game, only in my second year of tracking, but I'm getting better and rolling with the punches. Still probably going to keep checking daily though, as I need the continued motivation.

Oh, no!  That's a hallmark of danger--feeling smart and triumphant when things are up and feeling unsure and depressed when things are down.  It's a whirlpool full of sharks, glass, and spiders and I really suggest you throw yourself a lifeline and get out immediately because it can cause people do do rash things if the forces are down for something like two years.  (e.g., Changing strategies instead of sticking with it.)  Maybe curb the behavior and start checking every two days instead of every one?   

You have to constantly remember that when people say things like, "This fund returns about 8% annually," that they're not talking about month over month or often year over year but in terms of (usually) a decade or so.  A 2-4% drop in one month means absolutely nothing.  It seriously means nothing at all.  (Unless somebody chooses that moment to cash out everything.  But even then, they'd likely be up for the year and most certainly over the last 5.)

To be honest, I check my numbers often but don't worry about the net worth line (I have no control over market crazy), and instead just focus on my savings rate.

Yeah, you are totally right. I know rationally that staying the course is the way to go and these daily fluctuations don't mean much in the long run, but it's like a slot machine pull to my brain getting to check it daily. Been thinking I need something else that will grow steadily that might keep me just as motivated, like a side hustle or other small, passive income stream. I need something that I can generally count on to go up, even just a little bit, so I don't lose heart. Maybe then I will be able to go a month between checking. I should work on waiting at least a few days right now.

MVal

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Re: October was a down month...
« Reply #19 on: November 03, 2016, 04:05:56 PM »
I do also try to remember the "stocks on sale" aspect, but if I'm two weeks away from the next time I can purchase (paycheck 401K contribution), then I feel like I can't take advantage in the moment.

However, I have been working on getting funds together for opening a new IRA this year and it looks like good timing to pull the trigger on that now.

tonysemail

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Re: October was a down month...
« Reply #20 on: November 03, 2016, 04:11:14 PM »
yeah, Oct ended on a sour note.
on the bright side, i list the month-month delta right next to the YTD delta.
I can't feel too badly when I look at how much I'm up since Jan.
I update my balance sheet monthly, but look at google finance daily.

tommie

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Re: October was a down month...
« Reply #21 on: November 03, 2016, 06:26:00 PM »
Down -0.04%.

As tonysemail i also check YTD since the monthly performance just isn't that interesting.
I've yet to see any sort strategy worth its salt that only have good months (meaning basically no risk at all).

frugal_c

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Re: October was a down month...
« Reply #22 on: November 03, 2016, 07:45:01 PM »
I have lived through two brutal bear markets, this is just nothing compare to them.   The 2000 - 2002 crash was just so insane and so much worse that anything over the last few years.   The 2008 and 2009 crash was technically worse as far as percentage loss but it was fairly quick, in 2000-2002 it went on for so long it felt a lot worse.   Don't get frustrated with these dips, just try to use it to your advantage when you see good deals and buy more.  Just keep in your mind that you are going to go through some real drawdowns and you will be second guessing yourself when it happens, or at least I sure do!  Just stay focused on the long term.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2016, 07:46:38 PM by frugal_c »

JetBlast

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Re: October was a down month...
« Reply #23 on: November 03, 2016, 08:11:57 PM »
With the exception of prices on individual companies I am interested in buying for my brokerage account, I look at the value of my accounts roughly once a month.  Usually I don't even really remember what the value was the month prior. I'm checking to see that the contributions from my employer were made, and updating a spreadsheet that helps motivate me. They're low cost Vanguard and Fudelity index funds so I'll let time take care of the prices and not worry about it.

The spreadsheet shows how many shares/units I own and multiplies it by the current dividend rate to show me how much I'd earn in dividends per year. As long as those numbers are going up it's a lot easier for me to ignore the current market value. I think of it like a business that I'm gradually buying a larger stake in every couple weeks, getting more and more of the earnings from that business.

It's also easier for me to ignore right now since I'm not nearing FI and am not very interested in RE. I could see having a harder time not looking and worrying if I were nearing or just past FIRE.

MasterStache

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Re: October was a down month...
« Reply #24 on: November 04, 2016, 06:07:04 AM »
I check my balance more often than I should. But I don't really log it or think about it. I track my contributions weekly though and enjoy seeing that number grow no matter what happens.

2Birds1Stone

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Re: October was a down month...
« Reply #25 on: November 04, 2016, 06:37:23 AM »
I enjoy looking every month (been doing it for many years), I'm surprised at the purists out here that say don't look!  The post was meant to be a bit tongue-in-cheek anyways - there is a smiley in there somewhere :)

How often do others look at their balances and calculate NW, FI, etc?  Quarterly or Annually?  As for me, I like to see a monthly balance sheet.

Daily lol

ducky19

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Re: October was a down month...
« Reply #26 on: November 04, 2016, 07:04:33 AM »
Daily checker checking in.  I actually came on here to check if anyone's talking about the unpleasant market ;)

I find myself checking LESS when the market goes down.  Just because it's less fun to see the figures go down.  I think that's a good thing.  I won't be motivated to do something stupid, ha!

This! Also a daily checker, but much less so when the markets are down for the same reason!

Cycling Stache

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Re: October was a down month...
« Reply #27 on: November 04, 2016, 07:19:16 AM »
I realize that this thread is not any kind of panic attack, but it highlights why everyone needs a pre-planned, non-human-emotion-influenced, approach to buying stocks.  Typically, that's automated buy-and-hold index funds.

Because . . . behavioral economics is a bitch.  Your instincts are pretty much always wrong.

If you are buying stocks, you want the market to go down.  ALWAYS.  Down, down, down, down.  Every time the market is down and you buy, you win.  The only time you want the market up is when you are selling--for MMMers, that's post-FIRE.

I totally get the emotions, and I too feel a little sad when the market is down, but I realize it's wrong.  Yes, you might need X dollars to retire, but the way you want that to happen is for the market to EXPLODE at the last second.  So every purchase you make is at a "down" price.

And by the way, you then have to trust the 4% rule because your instincts are going to be wrong again.  How do you know?

See all the threads about how the market is going to be down for the next 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 years and you can't trust the 4% rule because the market went up quickly the last few years.

Behavioral economics at work.  So enjoy the down--if you're buying, it's helping you!


misshathaway

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Re: October was a down month...
« Reply #28 on: November 04, 2016, 10:18:40 AM »
Been thinking I need something else that will grow steadily that might keep me just as motivated, like a side hustle or other small, passive income stream. I need something that I can generally count on to go up, even just a little bit, so I don't lose heart.

Well, that can backfire too. I have eBay income, but then when my portfolio goes down, besides saying "Oh no, that wiped out all of September gains" I can also say "Darn it! That wiped out all of eBay income since August". Just sayin ...

Space Pickle

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Re: October was a down month...
« Reply #29 on: November 05, 2016, 08:15:01 AM »
I check all the time, but it doesn't bother me at all.

lordmetroid

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Re: October was a down month...
« Reply #30 on: November 05, 2016, 03:56:44 PM »
Definitely need to get used to seeing things like this. I am down about 30K, but no worries. I've had "dips" of as much as 60K in a month and definitely desensitized to them now.

And remember, you haven't lost shares and likely gained over those two months, just so happens that in October those shares are worth less than back in August. But the number of shares only grows, as long as you're reinvesting and still contributing, those dips are when the market is on sale.

You lost nothing unless you sell it all off. It's just fluctuations of numbers on a screen.
Exactly!
Count the shares not the dollars.

When you buy a house you do not stand in the garden and tell your friends, "I lost about a tenth of the house this month". The house is obviously still standing there. Likewise with the economy and the businesses you own. Your final goal may be counted in dollars but the road to that goal you better not look at the net-worth but the number of shares you own.

Prices per share has declined this path month so this is your chance to buy more for a bargain price!

DailyGrindFree

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Re: October was a down month...
« Reply #31 on: November 05, 2016, 04:42:53 PM »
I am a daily checker too. But it doesn't bother me insanely - just a little. And that is OK.
As long as, I stick with the plan, keep saving and investing as much as I can everything will be OK. At least, that is what I keep telling myself. So far, it is working. :-)

lordmetroid

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Re: October was a down month...
« Reply #32 on: November 05, 2016, 05:10:52 PM »
Been thinking I need something else that will grow steadily that might keep me just as motivated, like a side hustle or other small, passive income stream. I need something that I can generally count on to go up, even just a little bit, so I don't lose heart.

Well, that can backfire too. I have eBay income, but then when my portfolio goes down, besides saying "Oh no, that wiped out all of September gains" I can also say "Darn it! That wiped out all of eBay income since August". Just sayin ...
I check daily because I need to have my leverage monitored to ensure that I will not get in trouble.

My salary had just been invested at the "top"(because you never know if prices will be lower or higher tomorrow, you might as well simply buy soon as money is available). The next day, the account decreased with an equal amount of money just invested and then over the last few days hiccup. More of my savings I worked and toiled for vanished into thin air. Having several month of savings disappear sure is a emotionally unbearable.

However, I have to stick to the plan!
I know why I invest and that the long term odds are in my favor. Included in my plan, I have an exit strategy and If I sell now, all my investments up to this point have been for naught as it is not the time to exit according to my plan.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2016, 05:16:17 PM by lordmetroid »

Metric Mouse

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Re: October was a down month...
« Reply #33 on: November 06, 2016, 01:25:44 AM »

On the bright side, stocks are on sale, so November's purchases will buy more shares.    I'm confident it will be back and then some in a month or two though!

I'm expecting another end of the year slump like the past few years - especially with the uncertainty of the election and the likely rate hike in December. Hoping for it, anyway! I buy in December.


misshathaway

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Re: October was a down month...
« Reply #34 on: November 06, 2016, 05:26:38 AM »
However, I have to stick to the plan!
I know why I invest and that the long term odds are in my favor. Included in my plan, I have an exit strategy and If I sell now, all my investments up to this point have been for naught as it is not the time to exit according to my plan.

I sold almost everything in a panic in the early 2000s downturn. Did it pretty much at the low. It delayed my retirement. Remembering that lapse keeps me from making the same mistake again. I'm glad that you already get it without needing such a "teaching moment".

MoonLiteNite

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Re: October was a down month...
« Reply #35 on: November 07, 2016, 11:38:41 AM »
Same boat, i have been putting in 20% into 401k for a few years now, but this year bumped it up to 50% (just hitting max limit).

Also this year i sold 10 years worth of ESPP around, 30,000$ and put it all into a taxable account with FIAX. Think i bought it right at the top was 202$, now it is at like 192$. :( Oh well it will go back up sooner or later.

OurTown

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Re: October was a down month...
« Reply #36 on: November 18, 2016, 02:37:51 PM »
I check once a month when I do my net worth spreadsheet, but I usually don't do anything about it unless I hit a rebalancing band.  I will run to the computer and buy a few hundred bucks worth if there is a really bad market drop.

Lunasol

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Re: October was a down month...
« Reply #37 on: November 18, 2016, 03:25:39 PM »
We sold AMD a day before it hit $8, missed out on ~1K but still made like $300, oh well

Metric Mouse

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Re: October was a down month...
« Reply #38 on: November 21, 2016, 07:50:15 PM »
In brighter news - wow November!

I was just thinking about this! But then i figured coming up after going down isn't as great as only looking st the upsides.

tonycar17

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Re: October was a down month...
« Reply #39 on: November 22, 2016, 07:07:14 PM »
Like another poster before me, most of my balances come up when I login to online banking - which I do daily because with all of the various data hacks over the last couple of years, I just feel better checking on things to ensure what is clearing my accounts is all legit.

With that said, I update balances and Net Worth monthly, and send a financial state of the union that includes charts and quarter over quarter and year over year variances by account to my wife quarterly as that is all she wants to see it.  I am a bit more "nerdy" with this stuff than she is though!

It is interesting though, I feel that being connected regularly - in both up and down markets actually helps us to stay the course.  With our NW around 500K and the swings in up and down markets getting to be bigger numbers, I wonder how that will play out when we hit a prolonged downswing (and we WILL hit a prolonged downswing).  We are 100% stocks now and just went over 40 years of age - looking to work another 10 years maybe and then slow things down and go part time if we hit our target number. 

Will be an interesting ride for sure.....

TC