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Thursday, May 15, 2008

* To Infinity and Beyond!

My kids are now 13 and 11, and Disney is no longer cool. What a shame. I miss the movies like Toy Story and the quips aimed at the adults. One of my favorites was Buzz Lightyear’s line “To Infinity and Beyond!” My kids were toddlers when we first watched Toy Story and they had no clue what that line meant and the impossibility of achieving it.

Have you ever pondered the concept of forever or infinity? It is truly mind boggling! What is even more astonishing is that when I buy a stock, my target holding period is forever. For most people, myself included, that is hard to grasp and to carry out. When things start going bad, our primal instinct of flight kicks in and we want to sell. In many cases that is the time to be buying.

How do you lose weight? Exercise and eat less. If it were that easy everyone would do it. In the same manner, the experts will tell you, don't watch your long-term portfolio every day. Again, if it were that easy everyone would do it. So what's person to do. Counter-balance the urge to watch and manage your portfolio on a daily basis. In my life I have found the following two techniques to be quite effective:
  1. Find somethings investing related that will pacify that need to watch and manage your portfolio on a daily basis. For me, I direct this energy into two primary pursuits 1.) financial blogging and 2.) stock analysis. Both give me the feeling I am doing something to help my portfolio, without me having to sell and buy stocks. Neither may be suited for you. You might prefer reading about stocks and investing, discussing it online, etc.
  2. Invest in good solid dividend stocks. Day-to-day movements in dividend stocks have never bothered me. Whenever a dividend stock drops without a change in its fundamentals, I get excited because as price drops, yield goes up! It may seem odd, but I have actually been disappointed when a price rose and the yield dropped below my target level.
Experiment with the above and I am sure you will find ways to curb those desires for daily portfolio monitoring and management. If you'll excuse me, I need to go for a run so I'll quit thinking about that pizza in the fridge.

Full Disclosure: No position in the aforementioned securities. See a list of all my dividend growth holdings here.

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