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3 Tips to Stop Checking Your Stocks Constantly

Originally Published 3/26/2014
Updated 8/18/2015

“I buy on the assumption that they could close the market the next day and not reopen it for five years.”

-Warren Buffett

For a long time, I checked my stock portfolio several times a day.

I would constantly check my stock holdings to see what went up and what went down. Hoping that one holding broke out, and fearing that another crashed.

As if 1 day really mattered in real investing… So why did I constantly check what my stocks were doing?

Because I didn’t have a set long-term plan. At any moment, I would have a doubt about whether I was investing ‘the right way’. To be successful, you have to give up on winning every single day and focus on making decisions that will be beneficial years from now.

I know I’m not the only one who has struggled with over-checking my portfolio.

3 Steps To Stop Checking Your Stocks Constantly

  1. Watch your urge to check your stocks. It is fine to have the urge. It is just a feeling. Watch it, observe it, and let it pass. This is urge surging. It is a powerful mindfulness technique used to change a variety of behaviors.
  2. Realize it doesn’t matter. There is nothing that your stocks will do today that matter. They could be up or down. It doesn’t matter. What matters is where they are 5 years from now.
  3. Remember your plan. Sit back and say, I am saving X amount per month, and I am buying and selling stocks once per month. I know my plan works well because it is academically verified and follows sound investing principals. Checking and trading daily is not part of my investment plan.

Having the willpower to constantly fight an urge is nearly impossible, but noticing and observing an urge is easy. Once we observe, we can use our logical self to analyze the situation and realize the folly of our emotional self.

Now here’s the benefit to you.  The less you trade the better your investments will do.  This is not conjecture, it was proven by analyzing thousands of individual accounts at a discount brokerage over a period of years.

The less you look at your portfolio, the less you will have the desire to trade.  The less you trade, the better your investments will perform.  It is simple, but it is difficult to achieve if you don’t approach investing with a long-term mindset.

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