When I worked as a stockbroker / financial planner, my employer sent me lots of economic news. Each day, we received a list of relevant headlines (with links to the articles). We also received updates on key facts and figures, such as interest rates, commodity prices and exchange rates. We also received a daily opinion newsletter which referred to news and current events.
When I left my job, I missed the daily updates. I set up my own headline roundup (using Twitter and Flipboard for iPhone) and it works well, but I’ve found that I don’t use it very much anymore. I seem to have lost interest, not in investing or managing my money, but in keeping up with the latest news stories.
The reason is probably just that I don’t invest based on headlines. I don’t get my buy ideas from headlines, and I don’t get my (panicky) sell ideas from headlines. I figure that by the time the story is in the newspaper, everyone else already knows about it and the easy money has been made.
Rather, I take a look at my portfolio each week. I compare my holdings to their targets. I also search for stocks that appear undervalued or that present some sort of opportunity. I look at economic indicators each week and try to determine whether or not the outlook suggests a change of course.
Keeping up with economic headlines, when I’m already paying attention to the indicators that are important to my strategy, is distracting and takes time away from other things I could be doing, whether or not they have to do with investing. So I rarely read economic news and instead rely on my own observations to form my own opinions. So far, so good.