Look less via automation

My investing is for the longterm. One of the pitfalls to look every minute at your portfolio. It can become an obsessions, it interrupts your daily work and family life. You can become addicted to the ticks up and down.Why Look? If you have a plan in place with a clear entry and exit strategy, then you can just follow that? Right?!? euh… No. Turns out I still look too often.

For the main portfolio, I am already able to limit the time I spend at looking at the market and following up my losses and gains. Paper losses and paper gains that is. I index and plan to keep all the way into financial independence. At that time, I will have to decide on DGI or selling assets.

For my play portfolio, that is a whole other situation. Waking up means looking at Asia, Around 9:30 I check Europe open and at 15:30 I wonder what NYSE does. Not to mention the NYSE close… Gotta take a quick peak. This has to stop.

In February, I decided to push my automation a little further.

CVB_1My play money tracking spreadsheet is tuned to now provide a clear view on the status of all my options with one blink of my eye. No need to go to a site and type in all the tickers one by one. I do this via the in-the-money indicator.

Next to that, I track to see what options are coming close to expiration. This way, I know where to act first.

I also leverage the tools from the brokers: alerts. Very easy: I get an email if a stock breaches the strike price of the option. I can the analyse and decide on what to do next.

As a last step, I use the spreadsheet to keep track of my buy-to-close orders. I do not keep the details, I just track if one is in place. An email informs me when it is executed. These are the best emails to get.

All of the actions above allow me to be more relaxed about my positions. I know that the technology is there to help me.

The one thing remaining is my curiosity. This stays stronger than myself. It does not help that I am surrounded by people that follow the market. We often discuss it during a 2 minute break. For this, I still have to find a solution. (I have changed job recently, no follow traders here)

I do not mind looking once or twice a day, the goal is to no longer look multiple times per day. Will it work?

How often do you look? Too often? What do you do to look less?


14 thoughts on “Look less via automation

  1. Working in the industry, unfortunately (or fortunately) I have to check multiple times a day. I also have a set of short put options expiring every Friday, so it’s hard to escape the Interactive Brokers iPhone app. As long as it’s for information purpose only and I don’t make any rash irrational decisions (Brexit was a bit unnerving, I can tell you), I think it’s all fine. It’s almost entertainment. Inexpensive entertainment, too. It’s almost like watching Korean Soap opera, but with index futures. 🙂


  2. I hear ya ATL, I check my portfolios daily, and I’m a long term investor too…Even my Super portfolio which I won’t access until age 65+ I check almost daily…WTF WFT! I’m trying to check just once per week for regular investments and once per month for Super… then wean myself down to once a month for each (when I publish my regular net worth update). It doesn’t help that it’s reporting season and I’m super curious to find the big moves in my portfolio.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Same here! I used to be much worse, tracking and updating my portfolio after every market close. Now I update my spreadsheets weekly, but I still follow the market closely throughout most days primarily because my office has cnbc on all the tv’s. It’s too easy to look at the tickers to get an update.

    I don’t think it’s a huge problem now for me but taking in the constant negativity when the market drops is when it’ll be bad.


  4. Very recognizable, sitting at or near a computer all day it’s hard not to look and there’s almost always some fresh news, especially during the quarterly earnings seasons. The beats of the markets are very addicting.


  5. I agree with “Dividends Are Coming”. I work in the IT field and the online accessibility makes it very easy to be obsessive. I basically check the markets, my watch lists and investments twice a day; usually sometime during breakfast or lunch and almost always in the evening after the kids are in bed.


  6. Hi Amber Tree,
    Automation is always good! On my vacation I rarely looked at the markets; but normally I just check my accounts once in the evening via Quicken to see if there are any unexpected transactions and if the portfolio went up or down.
    Best wishes,


  7. I’m a little guilty of looking a lot at how my individual stocks are doing. I love that the markets are always moving and changing so I look in my trading portfolio.

    I don’t look or care what happens to my retirement portfolio, however. Bi-weekly contribution and I will forget about it until it’s time for me to withdraw at 60!


  8. good job on automating your investing process!

    Now that I’m travelling, I look at my portfolio about twice a month and I’m still doing good 🙂 hahaha!
    I didn’t even see the effect of the Brexit on my portfolio it was already back up!


  9. I used to look almost daily at our (tiny) portfolio. Now I look a lot less, I feel much mentally healthier about it 🙂

    It’s arguably important to check the business news regularly (for actual updates) but the change in prices of things we own don’t make a difference.



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