The earlier you start investing, the greater your returns can be. If you invest $1,000 when you're 20, you can expect that to double before you're 40. Time is on your side when you invest long-term as early as possible. Nevertheless, staying the course for years can be a challenge. Once you invest, there's temptation to monitor your investments every day. So let's address one of the most common financial advisor questions: how should you monitor your long-term investments?
How to Monitor Your Long-Term Investments
Long-term investments are those that are expected to last at least a year, according to the IRS, which taxes long-term gains differently from short-term ones. In practice, these investments could last much longer than a year. No matter how long you plan on holding, patience is essential. That's why we don't recommend that you check your investments' performance constantly.
When you refresh your brokerage account every 15 minutes, you enter into a short-term mindset. A sudden dip in the price of a stock could make you feel like selling, even though the dip is only temporary and could easily recover over the long term. Give your portfolio a daily glance, but avoid making rash decisions. Patience is key. Still, how you should monitor your investments depends on the specific investment vehicle. Consider some differences between stocks, ETFs, and bonds.
Stocks can fluctuate wildly from one day to the next. While this is normal, it is important to keep an eye on the news related to your stocks. If a long-term investment isn't panning out, you may want to sell it off before it causes more losses. If you pick a stock, try to set a date for when you'd like to sell it based on expected performance.
For example, a pharmaceutical company's stock could have a fairly low price now, with products in clinical trials. If those trials are approved and the products hit the market in the next couple of years, the stock could soar. Pay attention to trial and approval dates and plan accordingly.
Stock investing includes risks, including fluctuating prices and loss of principal.
ETFs give you a variety of stocks with one click. They're great for diversifying your portfolio and most of them pay dividends too. ETFs will largely move in tandem with the market, so you don't need to worry about bad news from a single business. It's best to buy these when the market as a whole is declining.
Ideally, you'll buy ETF shares and leave them alone for years while they grow in step with the market sector they represent. Set it and forget it.
ETFs trade like stocks, are subject to investment risk, fluctuate in market value, and may trade at prices above or below the ETF's net asset value (NAV). Upon redemption, the value of fund shares may be worth more or less than their original cost. ETFs carry additional risks such as not being diversified, possible trading halts, and index tracking errors. There is no guarantee that a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk.
Bond yields are at historic highs right now. Your odds of flipping a bond for a better price later on are low. Instead, just buy bonds and enjoy the 5-7% interest rates you can get. There's virtually no monitoring necessary.
Bonds are subject to market and interest rate risk if sold prior to maturity. Bond values will decline as interest rates rise and bonds are subject to availability and change in price. Bond yields are subject to change. Certain call or special redemption features may exist which could impact yield.
Got Financial Advisor Questions?
If you've got questions about your portfolio, or are looking to start investing, consider working with an experienced financial advisor. Besides giving you solid financial advice, a financial advisor can also help you plan for taxes or help you choose insurance plans for long-term security.
Contact Jaks Financial to schedule a meeting with us and start building a brighter future today.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results.