What caught my eye this week.

How often do you check your portfolio, or even calculate your net worth? And how do you do it? Inquiring minds want to know. By which I mean your fellow Monevator readers!

The topic came up in a recent comment thread about end-of-year reviews. We decided a reader poll might be of interest.

Of course in theory I agree with my blogging buddy Nick Magguilli, who warned this week that most people’s time is better spent working for an income rather than fiddling with their investments:

Assume someone with $10,000 invested spends 10 hours a week doing stock research looking for the best investments. Let’s also assume that their research is good and they are able to beat the market by 10% a year as a result.

While this is impressive, unfortunately, their 520 hours of work (10 hours per week * 52 weeks per year) only netted them an additional $1,000 (10% alpha * $10,000). This means that our star analyst was doing stock research for under $2 an hour ($1,000/520 hours).

If the analyst’s ultimate goal was to build wealth, you can see how they would’ve been far better off by picking up a part-time job instead of analyzing 10-Ks.

Even if we were to increase the analyst’s portfolio size to $100,000, their 10% alpha (i.e. $10,000) is roughly equivalent to what they could have made driving for Uber in the same amount of time.

Guilty as charged Nick, at least for the past nine years.

Also, I suspect ten hours spent on investing matters a week is a big underestimate for active investors. It certainly is in my case.

On the other hand it’s good to have a hobby – even a passion.

For my part, my interest was what made saving and investing as much as 50% of my income more like an exciting prospect than a sacrifice. I was simply buying more firepower to do what I loved – the way somebody else might buy new golf clubs.

On the other hand, I don’t really any career to speak of. And given my passion, it might well have been better to get a job as a junior analyst while I still could and then to work my way into running money. (But… wearing a tie. The horror!)

Anyway, I can see both sides.

The poll tax

Hopefully my musings haven’t queered the pitch too badly. Please answer the polls based on what you do – not what you think you should do!

Below you’ll find two questions. Select the answer that’s closest to your own habits.

Yes, I understand some responses aren’t mutually exclusive, or that the poll does not reflect your unique and special experience.

Mine neither. That’s the nature of broad brush polls! We’re just after a sense of how Monevator readers mind what’s theirs, in aggregate.

For instance, I check my portfolio more-than daily via a real-time spreadsheet, but I also do occasional reviews in a text document. Clearly the first best describes how I keep tabs on my portfolio, right?

Two questions, no wrong answers

Firstly, let’s hear how often you check in on your portfolio.

I don’t mean attending to administrative matters (say an email from the platform) or adding money (automatic or manually) but rather keeping tabs on the (hopefully) growing value of your stash.

How often do you tend to check your portfolio’s value?

Secondly, readers and I were curious how you do it.

Again – there’ll be crossover. For example I run a massive real-time spreadsheet, but of course I sometimes see elements of my portfolio on a platform’s web page. Who doesn’t? So the spreadsheet answer I’d give here.

What best describes how you mostly track your portfolio?

Thanks in advance! The poll will run until Friday and I’ll either recap the final results next weekend or riff them into a future article.

Have a great weekend.

p.s. The new Netflix documentary Madoff: The Monster of Wall Street is worth getting in the supermarket popcorn for. The first episode in particular offers a potted history of 20th Century Wall Street. As for the story, it’s completely unbelievable. Which is crazy, considering it’s true.

From Monevator

The Slow & Steady Passive Portfolio update: Q4 2022 – Monevator

Unlocking a cheaper mortgage rate by tweaking your loan-to-value ratio – Monevator

From the archive-ator: How to stick to your savings goals – Monevator


Note: Some links are Google search results – in PC/desktop view click through to read the article. Try privacy/incognito mode to avoid cookies. Consider subscribing to sites you visit a lot.

The inventor of the US yield curve recession signal reckons its wrong this time – Bloomberg via YF

Blackrock and M&G defer [i.e. effectively block] withdrawals from UK property funds – Reuters

UK house prices fall by more than £4,100 in a month as cost-of-living tightens… – Yahoo Finance

…while mortgage approvals are at their lowest level since June 2020 [Search result]FT

Thousands of Britons expelled from EU since Brexit transition ended – Guardian

3,275 people filed their tax return on Christmas Day – GOV.UK

Historically, 60/40 portfolios have soared after terrible years [US but relevant]Humble Dollar

Products and services

Top instance-access savings rate vanishes before customers can grab it – Which

TSB and Nationwide latest lenders to slash mortgage rates… [Search result]FT

…while average five-year fix rate across the market now down to 5.62% – This Is Money

Hargreaves Lansdown is offering £100 to £1,500 cashback if you transfer your pension to its SIPP. Terms apply – Hargreaves Lansdown

Royal Mail urges people to use or swap non-barcoded stamps before deadline – Guardian

Savers look to pension annuities as rates soar [Search result]FT

Open a SIPP with Interactive Investor and pay no SIPP fee for six months. Terms apply – Interactive Investor

English homes for hybrid working, in pictures – Guardian

Comment and opinion

Why investing is hard – Young Money

Costs matter – The Financial Bodyguard

The 16 best countries for retirement abroad – Think Advisor

How will investors behave in 2022? – Behavioural Investment

Five reasons you’ll blow up your retirement plan – Kiplinger

Five ideas to improve your finances in 2023 – Jason Butler

Achieve – Indeedably

Money and happiness, with William Green [Podcast]The Investor’s Podcast

Eight tips for finding a suitable financial advisorThe Evidence-based Investor

Venture capital’s reckoning looms closer [Search result]FT

Old age and money mini-special

A Mexican wrestler gets a taste of retirement at 50 – Humble Dollar

Talking to adult kids about money and inheritances – Kindness Financial Planning

Larry Swedroe: The elderly keep accumulating assets – Advisor Perspectives

Looking back over an ‘interesting’ year – Simple Living in Somerset

Naughty corner: Active antics

End of the sub-zero bond yield era [Search result]FT

Best of The Long View investing podcast of 2022 [Podcast]Morningstar

Great news! US consumer sentiment is awful! – Alhambra Investments

New Year bargains – Fire V London

Hedge funds have their ‘hedge’ back – Validea

The inflation outlook in five charts – Morningstar

Dylan Grice: building resilient portfolios with alternatives [Podcast]Allocators

UK stock picker portfolio reviews

A 2022 portfolio review from a veteran UK small cap stockpicker… – Maynard Paton

…and the same from a long-time UK dividend share investor – John Kingham

An annual review of a portfolio of UK closed-ended funds – IT Investor

How to survive a bad year in the stock market – Richard Beddard

Kindle book bargains

The Investment Trusts Handbook 2023 by Jonathan Davis et alFree on Kindle

Stuffocation: Living More With Less by James Wallman – £0.99 on Kindle

Factfulness: Ten Reasons…Why Things Are Better Than You Think by Hans Rosling – £0.99 on Kindle

Money: The True Story of a Made-Up Thing by Jacob Goldstein – £1.19 on Kindle

Dead in the Water: Murder and Fraud in the World’s Most Secretive Industry by Matthew Campbell and Kit Chellel – £1.29 on Kindle

Environmental factors

Where have all the A-rated fridges and freezers gone? – Which

The dolphins dying in the Ukraine war – BBC

UK’s record hot 2022 made 160 times more likely by climate crisis – Guardian

Flying boats and other technology for cleaner shipping – BBC

The doomsday glacier – Hakai

Off our beat

[US] inequality might have peaked – Noahopion

The company purging meetings from its calendars – Guardian

How David Beckham made $500m in MLS – Huddle Up [h/t Abnormal Returns]

Freudenschaude – Barry Ritholtz

The world as it is – Seth’s Blog

And finally…

“In the abstract, life is a mixture of chance and choice. Chance can be thought of as the cards you are dealt in life. Choice is how you play them.”
– Edward Thorpe, A Man for All Markets

Like these links? Subscribe to get them every Friday! Note this article includes affiliate links, such as from Amazon and Interactive Investor. We may be compensated if you pursue these offers, but that will not affect the price you pay.

The post Weekend reading: A poll about your portfolio checking habits appeared first on Monevator.

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