The new Money Magazine arrived the other day and I quickly found two surprises in it. Well, this is embarrassing… I was actually reading an old Money Magazine that my kids shuffled around. Still, most of this article holds.
The first was the Cialis postcard. I think Kiplinger’s has a few cards that fall out of the magazine, but they are typically renewals and stuff like that. I don’t remember the cards being advertisements. I understand that the print media business isn’t doing well, but this seems a lot like when cinemas started to show advertisements before the movies. I’ve got enough advertising in my life*… when I pay you money, please don’t give me any more. And the advertisement should probably be a financial services company. Without getting too personal this is poorly targeted and I have to wonder how Cialis has the money to throw in the trash like this**. One last thing about advertisements…
Okay, with that out of the way, we can move on to the second surprise. It’s a little less interesting than the first, but it might matter a lot more to you. I was reading the Editor’s Note by Diane Harris and stopped at this:
“The cardinal rule of long-term investing is not to get caught up in the daily, weekly, or even monthly vagaries of the market.”
This was in the context of Ms. Harris saying that she checked her 401(k) balance during the summer slide in stocks.
That cardinal rule certainly makes sense. I love to let the stock market do it’s thing and I’m a long-term investor. However, the other side of it is that tracking our net worth has made a (positive) world of change in our finances. Maybe it didn’t do it directly, but there’s a clear correlation. What’s the old saying, “What gets measured gets improved?”
I realize that investing and net worth are two different things, but I think for many Money readers they are likely to be the same. These are people (like you and me!) who have been maxing out their 401ks and Roth IRAs to the best of their ability.
I recommend that people check their net worth monthly (side plug: the FREE software at Personal Capital is great at this!***). This means being exposed to the monthly vagaries of the market.
If you were looking for a definitive answer here, I don’t have one. I’d like to hear your thoughts below. Do you track your net worth? If so, do the vagaries of the stock market influence you?
* I realize the irony here of course, but at least you are paying any money.
** Well, I won’t wonder because healthcare is well… healthcare.
*** I may receive a few dollars if you sign up for Personal Capital.