Sunday, July 20, 2008

A better way to track fund performance

I am sick of watching the value of my portfolio go down and down. It's depressing. I know I know, people like and and just about every other money dude would state the "buy and hold" mantra as well as the "you are buying it cheap" dollar cost averaging thing.

They'd also probably tell me not to check my mutual fund balances every day, but that's like asking a kid to sit quietly at an ice cream store/petting zoo/big ball pit/buzz lightyear superstore. Yeah right, of course I am going to look.

Even though I know these things, I still freak out. So my new plan has these features:
  • I will still get to look obsessively at something.
  • The values will always go up.
  • When the market is doing terrible, the values will go up even faster, making me happier when the market is bad not depressed.
Here is the plan: monitor the number of shares I own not the cash value of the funds. When the market is cheap, I will buy shares at a faster rate, which will cause the values to increase. That will make me happy, which is the right emotion to feel when the market is slumping.

Additionally, I can estimate what the value of the fund will be in 40 years by compounding it by 8%. So if I want a cash value I can still have it. I can use this cash value to know when to rebalance.

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