Technology, while a great benefit in many aspects of our lives, has caused some serious consequences that can easily take over your life if you let them. Have you ever been around a friend or colleague who, instead of engaging in a conversation with you, is continuously checking email or a Facebook feed? Or perhaps that person is you? Technology has made access to information instant—and its addictive. Ten years ago, we would have had no problem waiting to catch all the scores of the day on our nightly SportsCenter viewing, but today we feel we need to be updated on every game throughout the day. This need to constantly be in the know at every hour of every day is taking its toll. It’s damaging relationships, disrupting workflow, and even changing the way our brains are wired. It’s more than a little scary.
Guess what? This reliance on technology has affected the way we manage our money as well. Instead of budgeting, we check our online bank account number after every purchase and bill paid to see where we stand. And instead of listening to our financial advisors on creating a long-term investment strategy, we check our investments after every market dip and world event to make sure our plan isn’t going to hell in a hand basket. I’m here to tell you that this constant investment-checking is the equivalent to shooting yourself (and your advisor) in the foot. Here are three reasons why.
There Will Always Be Fluctuation
Markets are volatile. It doesn’t matter how safe of an investment you think you made, we simply can’t tell the future and there will always be fluctuation. If you check your investments every day, you’re putting yourself through unnecessary stress. A dip one day could be followed by an upswing the next. If you live and die by these fluctuations, you’re going to give yourself a heart attack (and annoy the heck out of your planner).
Investments Are a Marathon, Not a Sprint
When you made investment decisions with your financial planner, were you under the impression that you’d triple your money in a few weeks, then take the money and run? Unless you had a really bad advisor, I’m going to guess this was not the plan. Investments work because specifically because they are not short-term fixes. They are long-term strategies and it takes time for them to give you the return you envision. When you start moving your money after every fluctuation, you undermine your investments and destroy your strategy.
You Will Be Tempted to Make Emotional Decisions
It’s tough not to react to the loss of money—especially if it’s a lot of money. I get it. When you pull up your investing app and see that the most recent market plunge lost you thousands, it’s extremely easy to make a decision based on emotion. And we all know where emotional decisions made in the heat of the moment land us. Not checking your investments daily means you won’t be exposed to the emotion and the temptation to make rash decisions will be removed. Trust your advisor—if a change needs to be made based on world events or a stock market crash, he or she will tell you.
Technology can be one of our greatest partners—or it can be an enemy that robs us of time, deep connection, and a peaceful life. When you use technology to check your investments every day, you’re not doing yourself or your advisor any favors and are causing yourself avoidable stress. If you’d like help building a long-term financial strategy with a planner you can trust, please reach out.
Patrick Tucker, owner of True Measure Wealth Management, has over 20 years experience in the industry and has spent the last 15 years learning the ins and outs of the fee-only advisory business. He focuses on client behaviors and what ‘wealth’ means for each individual client to provide caregiving plans that leads to a mindful fulfillment of financial goals. A lifelong learner, Patrick uses his continued knowledge to become a valued partner for his clients and help them explore the wisdom of true wealth.