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How much time should I spend thinking about my investments?

How much time should I spend thinking about my investments?

Investments form a crucial part of personal financial planning, and like any essential element in life, they require an adequate amount of attention and care. The question for most investors, from novices to seasoned veterans, is: How much time should one spend contemplating their investment portfolio? While it is crucial to keep an eye on your investments, there is a fine line between careful oversight and obsession, the latter of which can lead to significant detriments, both professionally and financially.

The Risks of Over-Involvement in Investment Management

The reality of investment management is that it can sometimes become an all-consuming preoccupation. Investors who devote an excessive amount of time to their portfolio risk losing focus on their core professional responsibilities. Moreover, this obsession can potentially drive impulsive and irrational investment decisions, leading to detrimental financial consequences.

Over-trading, a common result of excessive portfolio monitoring, is a problem that particularly plagues the hyper-attentive investor. The average investor, without appropriate guidance, tends to base investment decisions on emotions, which often leads to underperformance relative to the market.

Furthermore, those spending copious amounts of time micro-managing their investments also face an opportunity cost. Consider the example of residential real estate rental properties; investing in these can quickly evolve into a full-time job, thereby precluding the investor from pursuing other potentially lucrative opportunities.

Investment Monitoring: A Calculated Approach

Investors need to strike a balance between neglect and obsession when it comes to their portfolio. One way to achieve this is by leveraging advanced investment management software or seeking assistance from financial advisors. These tools and professionals can provide important updates and insights, enabling investors to stay informed without becoming overly entangled in the minutiae of investment management.

Practicing Prudent Financial Stewardship: Let Your Dollars Work for You

A powerful analogy, particularly for business owners, is to consider your dollars as your employees. The goal is to put your dollars to work, just as you would a new recruit. However, just like a good manager, you need to give your employees (or in this case, your investments) the autonomy to perform their tasks while you focus on your own responsibilities.

As with any job, success comes from doing what you do best, trusting your team, and making informed, strategic decisions based on expert advice and market trends. The same applies to your investments. They should work for you, not become another full-time job.

Finding the Right Investment Time Balance

Investment management is an integral aspect of financial planning that requires careful consideration. However, investors should guard against becoming overly preoccupied with their portfolios to the detriment of their professional duties and personal life.

Employing the right technology and professional guidance can help investors maintain an informed yet balanced approach to their portfolio. Remember, the objective is to let your investments work for you while you focus on what you do best. By striking the right balance, investors can ensure their money is well-managed while preserving their own time and energy for the areas of life where it is most effectively spent.

Summary

You should give your portfolio some deep thought and keep it in the back of your mind throughout your day-to-day, up to a point.

Some investors become somewhat obsessive about their portfolio, and it can cause them to lose focus at their own job, to make impulsive and irrational decisions, and to possibly over-trade. Many other investors need a more consistent system to keep up with it.

With some good software on your side, or an advisor giving you updates, you should be able to keep up with what’s important without becoming too involved. The average investor, left to their own devices, will tend to make decisions based on emotion, and will likely underperform the market significantly.

There is also an opportunity cost to those who have devoted unnecessary amounts of time and energy towards watching and micro-managing their investments. Investing in residential real estate rental properties, for example, can easily become a full-time endeavor, and any other money you might have made with other endeavors or jobs is lost.

A good analogy, especially for business owners, is that the goal is to put your “dollars to work” as if they were an employee of yours, but to let them do their job while you do your job.

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