Do you think investing is boring? GOOD! You’re probably doing something right…assuming you’re doing something.
Investing isn’t supposed to be, and doesn’t need to be, fun. That’s not the purpose. I’d even argue that if it is fun for you, you’re going to spend too much time dwelling on it and mess it up.
I think I’ve been there. In my various periods of different techniques, I’ve enjoyed it. I think trading stock options, for me, was particularly fun. It is somewhat mathematically challenging. And there is the potential for relatively big, quick gains is there, although it’s not terribly likely. This is probably a topic for another article, but I really think with stock options, it’s easy to get overly excited about your successes and not realize that overall, you’re losing. Unless you really measure.
The goal of investing is to build wealth for you and your family, with a reasonable amount of safety, over the long haul.
The industry wants to make this exciting. They want you engaged. They want you to watch tickers, pore over the scary or thrilling news every day. They want you to believe that you have to do something complicated. They want you to discuss things at cocktail parties, get new ideas, and sell your old stocks and get new ones. They want you to trade as often as possible, because they want that commission revenue. That’s how they make their money: when you trade often. Even better: hire someone to do this for you. They really like that!
I once heard on a radio show that unclaimed funds that were held by people who have passed away and no one’s found an heir for the account, typically perform very well. Because no one is trading. It’s left alone to grow. Costs are very low because there’s no transaction fee’s, and taxes are minimized. Also, there’s no problem with selling low.
If you’re looking for a style of investing that is fun, exciting, and intellectually stimulating, low cost index investing is probably not it. You should care! You can, for the most part, set it up and not think about it most of the time, and spend your time doing something useful. A once a year balance is probably pretty adequate, as well as making sure you continue to contribute adequate amounts to your 401k for example.
On the other hand, don’t let the fact that it’s boring prevent you from moving forward and investing. You owe it to yourself and your family to store away some nuts for winter.
Chevreau, Jonathan. 6/28/2011. Investing is boring: If you want excitement, go to Vegas. Financial Post. http://www.nationalpost.com/Investing+boring+want+excitement+Vegas/5017520/story.html
Gordon, Whitson. 6/28/15. “Good Investing Is Usually Quite Boring.” Lifehacker. https://lifehacker.com/good-investing-is-usually-quite-boring-1714188969