Keeping an eye on our money and ensuring that our money is working for us is often touted by financial experts and those within the financial industry and media. However, getting overzealous and watching our money too closely can actually backfire at times. I've experienced this first hand. And through such experiences, I've learned that sometimes it actually pays to ignore my money.
The oracle of the stock market
My grandfather wasn't what you might call a stock market guru. He was always piddling with his stocks -- buying, selling, looking for penny stock investments, and generally interfering in things best left alone.
Ironically enough, probably his biggest stock gain came after he passed away. Several years after his death, we received a notification regarding a forgotten account in the state in which he had lived years prior. There were shares of stock in a tech company in which I can only imagine he bought by chance when it was just a startup. The account was over a decade old and had remained untouched, growing through dividend reinvestment to a sizeable amount. I found it ironic, but telling that the stock in which he did best with was the one he'd completely forgotten about and just left alone.
Impatience led to huge losses
Following in my grandfather's footsteps, I had a stock experience of my own in which impatience led to loss. As a young professional just starting out, I diverted a portion of my bi-weekly paycheck to buying stock in the company for which I worked. Over several years' time, I built up a number of shares, got impatient, and decided it was time to take some profits. I sold my stock, pulling in about $4 a share profit. While this sounds great, had I waited to sell about another four years, when the company was bought out, I would have recognized closer to a $35 per share return.
Everything that glitters isn't gold…or silver
As silver prices started to tumble from price ranges in the mid-$30 per ounce down to around $30, I thought it might be the time to buy a little for the kids and a bit for myself -- nothing major mind you, just a little to tuck away in the old safe deposit box. Therefore, I watched silver prices for about a month, did my research, studied up about the best ways to purchase physical silver, read all those articles and websites touting silver and gold as safeguard or hedge investments, and bought when I thought prices had bottomed. Three months later, prices are struggling to stay above $20 an ounce.
Such experiences taught me that sometimes it's just better to tune out the pundits, ignore the internet articles, and turn off CNBC for a little while and just let my money do it's thing, uninterrupted and not interfered with by me.
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The author is not a licensed financial professional. The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute advice of any kind. Any action taken by the reader due to the information provided in this article is solely at the reader's discretion.
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