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With investing apps, it’s easier than ever to get instant information on the status of your portfolio. In fact, a new survey from Select and Dynata found that almost half (49%) of investors check the performance of their investments once a day or more.
While it’s certainly easy to get carried away by the excitement of the stock market, being very engaged can backfire. In many cases, checking your portfolio frequently can actually hurt your performance. Dan Egan, Managing Director of Behavioral Finance and Investing at Betterment, calls this habit “high frequency surveillance.”
âFrequently looking at your portfolio can make you feel like it is performing less well than it actually is, and the less you will invest well for long-term success,â says Egan. Excessive monitoring of short-term returns can lead to gut reactions and impulsive decision-making that don’t lend themselves to letting your money grow over time.
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How to avoid myopic discharge aversion
Research shows that the more frequently investors monitor their portfolios, the more risky they perceive the investment to be, Egan says. This is also known as myopic loss aversion: when investors constantly check their investments, they become more susceptible to losses than to gains.
âThe more frequently you monitor your portfolio, the more likely you are to see a loss since the last time you looked,â Egan adds.
Investors are more willing to accept risk if they evaluate their investments less often. Research on myopic loss aversion and stock market performance shows that an investor who checks his portfolio quarterly instead of daily reduces the chances of seeing a moderate loss (of -2% or more) from 25% to 12%. âAnd that means he or she is less likely to experience emotional stress and / or change assignments,â says Egan.
How often should investors check their portfolio?
In short: as little as possible, advises Tony Molina, CPA and senior product specialist at Wealth front.
âI know from experience how difficult it can be to avoid looking completely,â says Molina. “But the more you can avoid it, the better your long-term investments will be.”
It’s easy to leave your investments alone if you use an automated investing service that monitors your portfolio for you. Robo-advisers are software platforms that use algorithms to create your investment portfolio, with the aim of maximizing your potential return based on your risk tolerance and risk capacity.
The best robot advisers offer low-cost diversification and will automatically and regularly adjust your investments, also known as rebalancing, so you don’t have to. We’ve looked at 22 different platforms and narrowed down our top five picks:
You can read our methodology below for more information on how we chose the best robo-advisors.
If you are investing yourself or have a robot advisor but still feel the need to check it regularly, Molina suggests looking at once a month.
Ivory Johnson, CFP and Founder of Delancey Wealth Management, recommends that you wait even longer. He suggests investors take a look every two or three months to make sure there aren’t any dramatic changes in either direction. âA portfolio that doubles the market’s return in a short period of time may have more built-in risk than you initially thought,â he adds.
At a minimum, Johnson suggests reviewing your investments annually to make sure your portfolio is performing and is still fit for what you’re trying to accomplish.
At the end of the line
It can be tempting to review your investments, especially when there are big fluctuations in the market. Research, however, shows us that watching everyday can make us more likely to make rash decisions and ultimately risk losing money.
Investing is more accessible than ever, but the old rules are still worth following: âAs long as you define your long-term strategy when you start investing, you need to trust the process and take a holistic approach to investing. your investments, âsays Molina.
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To determine which robo-advisors offer the best services to investors, Select reviewed 22 different platforms. We then narrowed down our top picks taking into account the following factors:
- Minimum Account
- Account, advisory, trading and fund fees
- Investment vehicles offered
- Selection of investments
- Educational tools and resources
- Customer service
- Sign-up bonus
After reviewing the above features, we based our recommendations on the platforms offering the lowest fees, the widest range of investment options, usability, and all the unique features like access to a human advisor. . We also looked at each company’s customer support structure and app ratings.
Your investment income via a robo-advisor is subject to market fluctuations. Your income also depends on the associated fees and contributions you make to your account. There is no guarantee that you will get a certain rate of return or that current investment options will always be available. To determine the best approach for your specific investment objectives, it is recommended that you speak with a reputable fiduciary investment advisor.
Editorial note: Any opinions, analysis, criticism or recommendations expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the editorial staff of Select and have not been reviewed, endorsed or otherwise approved by any third party.