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A fifth of investors check their investments at least every day

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Written by: Emma Lunn
20/07/2020
More than half of people check their investments once a week – but 5% never check how their stocks and shares are performing.

Research by BMO and F&C Investment Trust looked at how often people keep an eye on how their investments are performing.

It found a fifth of investors check their investments more than once a day (8%) or review them daily (12%).

Men are the most likely to keep a close eye on their stocks’ performance and are twice as likely to check their investments once a day than women.

More than half of men (55%) say they check their investments at least once a week, compared to less than half of women (47%).

Young people may be mistakenly reviewing their investments too regularly with more than a quarter (26%) of Gen Zs (16 to 22-year olds) checking their portfolios every other day. Likewise, one in seven (15%) millennials (23 to 39-year olds) look at their investments every other day.

The research suggests that older investors may be wiser when it comes to monitoring the money they have invested. Baby boomers are the least likely to check their investments daily (6%). More than two fifths (43%) say they check their portfolios every few months.

One in 20 (5%) investors say they never check their investments with those aged 40 to 56 (Gen X) being the most likely to admit to this (11%).

Ross Duncton, head of direct at BMO, said: “It can be tempting to check your investments daily, especially in the current market environment. While it’s important to keep track of your investments, it’s also important to keep in mind that these are tied to long-term saving objectives.

“The adage that it’s about time in the market rather than timing the market, is a good one to keep in mind. It’s important not to be alarmed by sudden changes in markets and to avoid the temptation to react too hastily if you see your investments in the red.

“Investments should be made with at least a three-year time horizon and panicking or making rushed decisions when markets are at lows will mean that investors realise those losses. Always have your long-term goals in the back of your mind and be conscious that you may need to ride some peaks and troughs of the market to reach them.”

How to keep calm and carry on investing

  • Align your investments to your risk appetite

There are many different types of investments that people can choose. Picking a fund or investment strategy that suits your risk profile should provide you with more reassurance and mean that you are more comfortable to refrain from constantly checking in on short-term performance.

  • Try not to change your investments too regularly

While you should think about the long-term prospects for your portfolio, try not to be tempted to keep chopping and changing your investments every few months.

As well as the costs of frequent trades, it should be remembered that investing is for the long-term and you may need to ride out some short-term volatility for your portfolio or fund manager to meet the desired outcome over your investment time horizon.

  • Consider investing little and often

Investing a lump sum at a certain point of the year can mean that you are more exposed to buying at a time when markets are high – you may get less shares for your money and be more susceptible to falling markets.

By investing little and often, or ‘drip-feeding’ your money into the markets, you will buy more stocks when they are cheaper and less when prices are higher, smoothing out volatility. This is called pound cost averaging.

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