How Often Should I Watch My Stock Portfolio?

One of the most frequently asked questions about stocks is how often a person should check their stock portfolio.  If you ask this question, you are bound to get any number of answers, but those answers are often not backed up by much solid reasoning.  Here are some clear answers to this question and why they’re the right ones.

How Often Should You Check?

Be prepared to be surprised, but in most cases, you should only check your stock portfolio once or twice a year.  Before you decide that this is complete lunacy, take a look at why this is the case.  Stocks fluctuate.  They go up and down and repeat this dance to different degrees all the time.  Checking your stock portfolio regularly will not change the nature of stocks nor will it give you the opportunity to improve stock performance.  If you choose solid stocks, then you don’t need to check in on them more than once or twice a year.

Can You Check More Often?

You can check more often, but it’s not likely to do you a lot of good.  Instead, you will probably be riding the emotional rollercoaster of watching your investments go up and down from day to day without doing much more than watching it all unfold.  Again, you can check more often, but there’s no need to, and it might not be good for your emotional health.  It’s better to save those rare peeks for times when you intend to take action and not just for when they will make you worry or celebrate temporary gains.

What About Riskier Stocks?

So what if you decided to throw your hat into the ring with some riskier stocks?  Should you be checking these stocks more often?  The answer depends on your goals.  If you want to make big money quickly and believe that these stocks are your ticket, then you might want to check them regularly to know when to take your money and run.  This case would be a rarity, though, because with most stocks, you want to let them do their thing over time, so they don’t need to be watched regularly.

To sum up, you should check your stock portfolio once or twice a year.  Stocks pay off in the long term, so getting caught up in their petty daily, weekly, and even monthly activities has little purpose.  Your stock portfolio can carry on without your help most of the time, so let it.

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