I make no secret about the fact that I’m basically an adrenaline junkie. If given the opportunity, I’d travel around the world to ride every roller coaster there is. As it is, twice a year, Dad and I travel to the roller coaster capital of the world: Cedar Point. We drive 8 hours for the privilege of waiting in line, being tossed around and getting an adrenaline high (at least for me – Dad is just along for the ride). This past weekend was our last trip this year, and we go with good friends, which makes the experience even better – we have people to talk to in line 🙂
I love the ups and downs (and sideways) experiences that roller coasters give over and over again. But, I don’t really like my accounts to look like that.
My checking account tends to look like that over time as money comes into and goes out of the account to pay for day to day things, and I accept that. But I don’t really like seeing the high hills and valleys in my retirement accounts. In technical terms, it’s called volatility – usually measured as a standard deviation from a mean. Thanks to the government shutdown and uncertainty, this is the view of our portfolio balances.
While it’s a roller coaster that I’d love to ride (that double dip there would really give some airtime), it’s not my favorite view of my balances.
Of course, daily viewing of your portfolio balances is discouraged for this very reason. I have enough mental constitution to not emotionally sell when things are down, but many people do not. If you’ve got a solid investment plan – whatever it is – stick with it, through the ups and downs. Only sell when your plan says to, not based on the market for that particular day.
Are you able to look at your balances daily (or even weekly) and stay the course with your strategy or do you sell when things look down?