I recently started working on a new project with my company. It is, in many ways, much like my previous assignment – except one. It is a remote role. The job is based out corporate headquarters in Chicago, working for the office of the CIO, and I live in Virginia. Fortunately I do not have to travel on a regular basis. I can do 90% of my work from home. This means no commuting. No rush-hour traffic jams. No parking or transit fees. Zero, Zilch, Nada.
But this leaves me with a dilemma. I’ve never really had a truly remote, virtual, job before. Yes, I have had work from home days, but they have always been limited to just one day per week. Never all five.
I started wondering about all sorts of things, like what to wear?
Part of me is still “old school”. By that I mean, if you go to work, you actually get up, get ready (shave and dress appropriately) and “go to” work. As in leave the house.
But another part of me is tempted to just sleep late, roll out of bed whenever I feel like it, keep my PJ’s on, and live and work my daily life in slovenly, yet comfortable, luxury.
Sorry, I really can’t do that.
After all, I do have virtual meetings and video conferencing to do, but mostly because I am a creature of habit and believe in routines
Routines are good.
They help build and foster discipline. Not only in daily life but also in many other things such as investing.
This past week, we had our monthly investment club meeting. It was a little different than usual because nearly a third of the people there were new members. So we spent much of our time discussing things like what they, the new members were looking to get out of the meetup and investment experience and styles.
This led into a discussing about what goes into developing an investment routine?
Investment Routines start with:
– Setting goals and at least parameters for risk, and types of investments.
– Picking stocks which match these parameters and adding them to watch lists.
– How much time (daily, weekly) we spend watching the market.
– When to buy.
– When to sell.
Obviously we did not cover everything in its complete and varied entirety. After all, volumes of books have been written on these very topics for decades. But we did cover many of the common basics which help define routines.
So, What does my Investment Routine Look like?
For me this is what I look at and act upon with my investment routine:
- What is the overall market direction and direction of my investments and watch lists?
- Noteworthy news and events, and yes – certain chart patterns, that relate to #1 above or perhaps will generate new candidates to add to my watch list.
- Research new investment ideas.
- Review buy/sell triggers and alerts.
- For me sell triggers/alerts are usually set at 8% loss and about 20% gain. Sometimes less depending on #1 above.
- For buys or adding to a position, that can be based on 1, 2 or 4.
- Yes I sometimes have alerts set on watched stocks if they go above or below a price point.
- The key to 4 and 5 is automation.
- I automate buy/sell triggers and alerts. It takes a lot of the emotion out of the decision making process. After all who would feel good about taking more than a 10% loss on an investment or feel bad about gaining 20%?
How much time does all this take?
On a daily basis, I usually do not focus on research but rather overall direction and alerts. This takes about 10 – 20 minutes. Usually less.
On weekends, I spend more time on the 3 R’s of investing: Reviewing, Reading, and Research. This usually occupies at least an hour or two or more of my time.
So once you have a routine, that’s it right?
No. Routines should be monitored just like stocks and the stock market. Ask many of the same question you would about an investment.
– How well is it working?
– Does it help you meet your goals?
– Does it need “tweaking”?
– Or does it need to change because of changes in your life, finances or even within the market?
The most important thing is to have a routine that you are comfortable with and meets your goals. Routines go a long way towards keeping you focused. Routines also allow you to be more efficient with your time and energy. This will allow you to have more time and energy to spend on other important things, such as friends and family.
And writing blog posts . . .