21 June 2010

How often do you have to check your portfolio?

An advertisement for a mobile phone application giving you instant updates on your portfolio is testimony to the increasing short-term orientation of today's financial markets. This is not the result for a real need expressed by investors but the outcome of a sales-driven culture that dominates the financial sector and seduces investors into excessive trading which creates a serious drag on the performance produced by investments.
Prices fluctuate from second-to-second and looking at these gyrations will only confuse investors. A sound investment strategy should instead focus on long-term targets and reduce costs and risks. Real-time quotes may have entertainment value but contribute nothing to the achievement of satisfactory investment results.