Why? Our goal is to become wealthy and not beat the market. Many of us feel that our money will grow faster if our returns are better. While this is certainly true, imagine how our attitude towards money is affected when daily fluctuations are high. Some of my stocks are pretty volatile, so I look at my performance daily (buying more and selling shares when needed). Recently, the value of my portfolio changes more than $1,000 per day at least 30% of the time. That means that I could be $1,500 richer one day, and $3,000 poorer the next.
Let’s say today’s move was $3,000 to the down side. Why would the $5 dollar Starbucks coffee feel like anything? Losing $3,000 and $3,005 is pretty much the exact same thing. Now on the brighter side of things, $5 is nothing when it means gaining $1,500 and $1,495 for one day.
I can really see this happening to myself. I’m starting to lose my attitude to save. When my portfolio loses money, I feel like another couple bucks isn’t much. When it gains money, I feel like I can afford it. This means that every time I feel this way and spend money, I’m losing the opportunity to save and grow it. Little things add up, and although we may be able to beat the market for years, we might still lose because we have lost all the extra opportunity to keep funding our investment accounts.
Slow and steady wins more ways than one.
Editor's Note: I've begun tracking my assets through Personal Capital. I'm only using the free service so far and I no longer have to log into all the different accounts just to pull the numbers. And with a single screen showing all my assets, it's much easier to figure out when I need to rebalance or where I stand on the path to financial independence. They developed this pretty nifty 401K Fee Analyzer that will show you whether you are paying too much in fees, as well as an Investment Checkup tool to help determine whether your asset allocation fits your risk profile. The platform literally takes a few minutes to sign up and it's free to use by following this link here. For those trying to build wealth, Personal Capital is worth a look.