January 22, 2007

who needs real-time quotes?

Recently, the evil empire announced that it'll be offering free real-time stock quotes. Many people would love that. I, on the other hand, have realized (yet again) just how addicted I can be to monitoring my holdings' performances. It's probably similar to a gambler's addiction.

I've been using the Windows Vista, and one of the cool new features it has is the sidebar. You can put gadgets on it (similar to widgets on a Mac, I've heard). One of the gadgets you can put is a list of stock quotes. Up until today, I had all of my holdings listed in that gadget, with up to the (20-)minute(-delay) quotes and percentage changes. You know what that's been like? Imagine a person who just underwent gastric bypass surgery and chooses to sit in front of a buffet full of red, delicious meat. It's somewhat the same -- for someone who's trying to thinking long term, and be disciplined in buying and holding, getting constant reminders of how your stocks are performing is not a great idea.

So I mustered the strength to get that gadget off my desktop. Moral of the story? If you buy stocks, mutual funds, ETFs, etc. with a long-term objective, then don't subject yourself to daily updates. =)

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