Worried About Checking Your Portfolio? Don't Be: Things Are Looking Up

Though the markets are still fluctuating, this expert sees an encouraging upward trend and is giving himself permission to check his investments.

An investor sits with his laptop open on his lap and rubs his hands together in anticipation of checking his portfolio.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Last year, when the markets were miserable, my number one recommendation to my clients (and myself) was simply to not check your portfolio.

If you believe in the markets and the strength of the economy, you know and understand that downturns are typically a temporary occurrence. When you’re constantly looking at your portfolio and seeing it go down, down and down, you’re setting yourself up to make snap decisions based on bias and emotion, which isn’t in your best financial interests. It’s also not great for your mental health.

That’s one of the potential values that a financial planner can bring to the table for you — monitoring your portfolio for you during the rough times. They’re there to remind you about the long-term goals and to help keep you on track while things are bumpy.

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The good news is that the clouds appear to be parting, and I’m looking at my portfolio again. The markets are still going up and down, which is to be expected, but we’re seeing an upward trend lately. As a financial planner, I’m giving myself permission now to start checking my portfolio again, because I think we’re moving in the right direction.

It’s something to keep in mind, in general: When the markets are massively down, don’t look, just keep trust that you’re investing in the long game and hold steady. When the markets are rebounding, go ahead and take a peek and enjoy seeing the numbers go up, because you’ve been patient.

I always like the advice “control the controllable,” and it works in this situation — you can’t control the stock market, but you can control your reaction to it. When it’s down, you should not look at it to avoid making panicked decisions. And when it’s up, if looking at your portfolio gives you hope, then by all means, enjoy taking a cautious look again.

Diversified, LLC is an investment adviser registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Registration of an investment adviser does not imply any specific level of skill or training and does not constitute an endorsement of the firm by the SEC. A copy of Diversified’s current written disclosure brochure which discusses, among other things, the firm’s business practices, services and fees, is available through the SEC’s website at: www.adviserinfo.sec.gov. Investments in securities involve risk, including the possible loss of principal. The information on this website is not a recommendation nor an offer to sell (or solicitation of an offer to buy) securities in the United States or in any other jurisdiction.


This article was written by and presents the views of our contributing adviser, not the Kiplinger editorial staff. You can check adviser records with the SEC or with FINRA.

Andrew Rosen, CFP®, CEP
President, Partner and Financial Adviser, Diversified, LLC

In March 2010, Andrew Rosen joined Diversified, bringing with him nine years of financial industry experience.  As a financial planner, Andrew forges lifelong relationships with clients, coaching them through all stages of life. He has obtained his Series 6, 7 and 63, along with property/casualty and health/life insurance licenses.