In 2000, I left the world of pension fund investment management for semi-retirement, teaching part time and managing my own money. Life became more leisurely and more carefree. I even coached some athletic teams. But my heart was still in the markets. There was a problem however. I was slowly losing track of the markets. I was talking to someone about investing in bonds, and I was asked what the yield was on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note and how it compared to the yield on the 2-year issue. I didn't know what these yields were. I was dumbfounded. There was a time when you could wake me in the middle of the night and I could rattle off the yields all along the Treasury yield curve as well as the corporate bond yields along with their respective spreads.
I needed a way to formally stay in touch with the markets. I began keeping a weekly data piece (actually 4 pages) that tracks yields, a couple of currencies, economic data and a few other things that I like to look at. I also write a short summary on the market. I update it every day--which only takes a few minutes. Sometimes, in the summary, I write down where I think stocks and/or bonds are headed or I make some other prediction.
I have found this to be a useful exercise and recommend it. I find it interesting to go back and see what I once believed. I've become convinced that investors are biased in what they think they once believed. This exercise keeps me up with the market, and it even keeps me up with making tables/cutting and pasting in Word etc.
If you are interested in the data I collect, drop me a line and I will email you the most recent piece. This is not an ongoing offer; it is intended to show you concretely what I am talking about. The data you will want to collect will obviously be different from what I collect.
Thoughts and observations for those investing on their own or contemplating doing it themselves.
If you are seeking investment help, look at the video here on my services. If you are seeking a different approach to managing your assets, you have landed at the right spot. I am a fee-only advisor registered in the State of Maryland, charge less than half the going rate for investment management, and seek to teach individuals how to manage their own assets using low-cost indexed exchange traded funds. Please call or email me if interested in further details. My website is at http://www.rwinvestmentstrategies.com. If you are new to investing, take a look at the "DIY Investor Newbie" posts here by typing "newbie" in the search box above to the left. These take you through the basics of what you need to know in getting started on doing your own investing.
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
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