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Checking up on your investments
#1
How do most of you check your stocks?  Do you look at your portfolio value or do you just check on the income you received for the month?  I have heard that it is best to avoid looking at the stock prices and just check your (hopefully) increasing income on a monthly basis.  Does anyone heed that advice? 

I believe I can take a 2008 style market correction if I see my income still coming in.  I am not sure about if I watch my portfolio value drop 30!!

Thanks!

Jeffrey
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#2
I check my dividend for the month. Look to see if it's higher than the same month last year, if so I'm happy.
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#3
Hey Jeffrey -- I keep a pretty detailed spreadsheet of my portfolio holdings and dividends. How often I open it up and update it with current prices and other information depends on what is going on in my life and in the market. I recently went through a lot of life turbulence and didn't update it for over a year. (And was delighted to find everything humming along just as I had left it, only with larger dividends!) Other times I'm really focused on the market and I'll update part of of it every day or week.

"Don't look on prices" is generally good advice if you're the type of person that might be tempted to sell if prices drop hard. On the other hand, if you are still building your portfolio, you'll have to watch for those drops to identify good buying opportunities. My sense is that most DG devotees are pretty calm, if not happy, about price drops (except maybe those really nearing or in retirement). I guess as in all areas of life, it pays to know yourself and build systems accordingly. I'd also love to hear how others approach this question.
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#4
Hi Jeffrey,

I find I now pay attention to what's going on in the market for only three reasons: 1.) Looking for a company I'm interested in that is unreasonably punished by the market, 2.) dividends that hit our accounts so I can update my spreadsheet, or 3.) watching for dividend increases (or possibly a cut) so I can update the spreadsheet and/or decide what action I should take because of it.

I'm comfortable with all the companies I own. I've been around long enough to know that the companies I invest in are not going to skyrocket overnight and at some point they are going to hit a rough patch. In the interim, they still keep throwing money at me. It's taken almost 10 years to adjust to these facts but I've reached the point that 10 minutes after I edit my spreadsheet, I couldn't tell you the exact value of either of our accounts or any specific stock.

Identify good companies, buy at reasonable prices (and yes, even slightly overvalued stocks may be good values 2 or 3 years down the road) and don't let Mr. Market affect you too much.

I sometimes look at investor slide decks, read an earnings report transcript or two or read news on companies I own. If there's a red flag, then I'll dig a little deeper. Every year or two I update my company-specific analysis spreadsheets and read a few web sites (including DGF) frequently. Think long term!

Oh, and I read every proxy statement and vote at every company's annual meeting.
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How do they get the deer to cross at that yellow road sign?

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#5
I do keep an eye on total portfolio value but it's not an important metric. I pay a lot more attention to the dividends, or what I just started last year: cashflow from investments. In this I look at the dividends, interest payments, IBs stock yield enhancement program as well as any realized gain from options trading. So basically that is what I look to see what amount of money, in euros, I could use if I wanted to live with my investment income only.

Other than that I do have an app on my phone where I can see the current prices of all my holdings. It's just to see if something special is going on and to identify where I want to invest my next chunk of money. And seeking alpha is great for sending you all the important news relating to the stocks you own... so basically my mobile app and email are all I follow daily. (and this is because I enjoy doing it, not because I have to keep myself updated daily!)
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#6
I am checking mostly XIRR, if its negative, I check how much stock tanked. If its too much, I check what could be the reason. If it's not good enough reason to me, I buy some more of that stock.

Did not have too many opportunities in this market Sad
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