Thursday, August 9, 2007

No Peeking!

When I started this blog two short months ago, I had $170,000 in accumulated 401 (k) funds. Today, I have $165,000, which is better than two days ago, when I had $162,000. The roller coaster that is our stock market (I am 100% invested in stock mutual funds) is making me dizzy.

The answer, of course, is NOT to abandon the stock market, but to stop looking at my funds! This is harder than it sounds.

All my funds are listed with Financial Engines. All I have to do is log on, and there are all my funds, complete with updated figures. This works fine as long as everything is going up. But the past month has been, alternately, barely OK or really depressing.

It is especially distressing because I know that my employer is depositing $500 of my hard-earned money every 15 days. Silly me--but when my money is going in, I want the totals to go up at least that much!

I know what I have to do. I have to stop taking a daily look at my account. I have to trust that over time, stock markets do go up. (I have to try NOT to think of the Japanese stock market--which apparently is unaware of that "going up over time" rule.)

My new resolution is to check my accounts once a quarter when I update my net worth. Period. Only then.

Anyone want to take bets on how long this resolution lasts?


Louise said...

I know what you mean, I have my super in some failry aggressive funds as I still have almost 20 years to retirement. Now I only check them twice a year and discuss the mix each year with my acccountant at tax time. I just remind myself they are a long term investment.

Anonymous said...

I had the same thought today.
I track my funds in GnuCash. Part of me knows that one day I'll want this history as part of the record, so I've decided to keep checking it daily. It is a bit unnerving, though.

Anonymous said...

I DID peek yesterday--BIG mistake. I'm down $12,000--actually $13,000 since I deposited $1000 this month.

It's a dang good thing I've got 11 years till retirement!