When we keep track of something it tends to grow. Building up investment experience is no different. That’s why every investor needs to track their investment decisions. This is going back to basics but it’s crucial to becoming better investors. This can be done by creating a simple table or spreadsheet like the following, and updating it over time. You can think of this like an investment journal. 🙂 I will demonstrate using the 2 new companies I blogged about purchasing earlier this year.
|Reasons for decision
|Buy 100 shares
|Hold into retirement
|Buy 190 units
|Hold into retirement
Here are some additional columns we can add to track our investment decisions even more closely:
- Timeline horizon (how long we plan to hold something)
- Current market value of said investment
- How to measure the success or failure of our decision
- Any concerns that go against our final decision
- Does the original reason for buying a stock still apply in the present day
- What process did we use to evaluate the investment, eg: P/E ratio, Graham formula, or analyst predictions
You can also use online tools to track your portfolio performance and make things easier. 🙂 For example, many Canadians use Wealthica to track their assets. It consolidates all your accounts so you can see all your investments conveniently in one place. Fellow blogger Genymoney wrote a detailed review of Wealthica if you want to learn more.
No matter how good we are at evaluating investments, we’re eventually going to be wrong. Sometimes we may be wrong due to unpreventable reasons. But there are many factors that we can control, such as our own psychology and behavior.
Keeping a detailed investment journal of our decisions is the best way to remind us in the future of the feelings we had at that time to avoid making the same mistakes again. We’ll understand why we made the choices we did, whether or not it was worth it, the process behind our decisions, which strategies worked and which didn’t, and do our best to hopefully replicate past successes. 🙂 Hindsight is 20/20, but only if we remember how we thought and what we did in the past that lead to the current moment.
Tracking Buffett’s performance
Billionaire investor Warren Buffett recently celebrated his 88th birthday and told CNBC in an interview that he thinks stocks are still more attractive than bonds or real estate. In fact his company Berkshire Hathaway recently picked up some more shares of Apple Inc (AAPL) making it the largest position in the holding company.
The value of BRK.A shares increased by an astonishing 1,000,000% between December 1964 and December 2015. Meanwhile the S&P 500 market index increased by only 2,300% during that time. This is a testament to the will and dedication by Buffett & his team to create wealth for shareholders. I suppose you can say that if Berkshire has a will, Berkshire Hathaway. 😎
In order to be an outstanding investor like Buffett we have to learn from our mistakes. Tracking our financial goals and progress can help us with that. One thing to remember when investing is to keep it simple. You don’t have to be a genius to be good at it. 🙂
Random Useless Fact:
What it’s like having a motorcycle.