Watching the stock market can be exciting some days, especially if you have your life’s savings wrapped up in investment accounts. But it turns out that watching the market’s rises and falls can be detrimental to your portfolio’s return.
News broadcasts remind us hourly about the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500. Here is a recap of the market on September 22, 2015 from NPR:
Again on Wall Street, the Dow is down 254 points, or about one-and-a-half percent.
A 12-year-old boy is recovering in a Florida hospital from a shark attack that inflicted significant leg injuries. Police say the boy was bitten while he was in waist deep water. At last check on wall street, the Dow is down 263 points, more than one-and-a-half percent.
US stocks are sharply lower this hour: DJIA losing 235 points since the open, it’s at 60,270; NASDAQ off 96 at 4733; S&P 500 down 31 at 1935. All major market indices are down 2%.
Before the close all major market indices were down one percent.
(I threw that shark attack story in, because the guys at Freakonomics know that vending machines are twice as likely to kill you as sharks. Which goes to show that human beings are terrible at assessing risk.)
Dan Solin is an attorney who learned that watching the market is nonsense:
As an attorney, I used to cross-examine brokers on behalf of investors who suffered losses due to misconduct. I found these brokers frequently testified about how they “watched” the market every minute. They seemed to believe this gave them special insight. So I asked them to describe what they did to monitor the market. They said they “watched the tape.” Then I posed this question: “What were you looking for?” Not a single broker was able to provide a coherent response.
The investment firm Fidelity performed a study of its accounts last year to determine which accounts performed the best. The results were surprising to some:
The clients that did the best were the ones who were dead. The second best performing set of clients forgot they had Fidelity accounts.
In other words, investors who establish their investment strategy appropriately and then ignore the account have better returns than those who watch the market and make changes from time to time. Set it and forget it. Put your investments on cruise control and take a nap.
Talk with Endress Capital Management to get your investment strategy in line, and let us watch the market for you.
After that, my advice is to ignore the media. Block out information about the market. Be blissfully ignorant. Get on with your life – take all that time you might have spent looking at stocks and mutual funds, and use it to pursue your life’s passions instead – hobbies, family, and volunteer work.