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Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Note to self: don't check mutual fund balances daily.

In the past two months, I've checked my 403b account balance (through TIAA-CREF)dozens and dozens of times. I watched the balance inch painfully upward, only to plummet the next day when the latest oil prices or inflation indexes were announced.

Each time I logged into my account, I warned myself: "It doesn't matter; you won't be retiring anytime during the next 20 years, so whether it's up or down just doesn't matter". That, unfortunately, doesn't make it any less painful to watch my contributions (and the interest earned over the past 8 years or so) diminish before my very eyes.

The Money Blue Book has a great post about this issue, reminding us that if we're really in it for the long term (I am! I am!) then don't worry about stock prices on a daily (or, in my case, minute-by-minute) basis. Sure, follow the general business news, but don't bother with stock tickers at the bottom of your computer screen or television (unless, of course, you're into individual stock purchases and are looking for good deals---I'm a mutual fund gal myself).

I'm going to try to keep my habit of checking online investment balances at once a week from now on, if that. Maybe even once a month if I can possibly stand it, just to save my sanity. FYI: Millionaire Mommy Next Door has a great post about how she handles the recent market rollercoaster. . . . .

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