My wife tells me I am a procrastinator. She is usually referring to things like cleaning the bathroom or putting my glass in the dishwasher. I know I also procrastinate on other things, but I never procrastinate in two areas of my life. First, is when it comes to my kids. If they need my attention now, then they get it now. Same goes for my wife, except when it comes to housework. Second, is at my job. I used to procrastinate much more early in my career but have found much greater success (and way less stress) by tackling stuff when it hits me.[ad#tdg-embedded]
I do procrastinate when it comes to managing my investments. As a dividend investor writing a blog about investing, you probably think that is a crazy thing to say! Let me explain.
I have found that my inaction when it comes to my portfolio has actually saved me money. For example, a while back I was going to sell some of my RBC Royal Bank shares, which have more than doubled since I first bought them a number of years ago. This was during the crisis and I felt way too exposed on the financial sector. However, I did not act and procrastinated on moving and I am now more ahead on these shares than ever. Procrastinating paid off.
It is important to note however, that I was doing some “active procrastinating“. I did not just go on a gut feel that Royal Bank shares were still solid. I did my research and determined that the issues facing RBC were not the same as the U.S. banks. RBC was getting sucked down by the market and has since recovered. Selling would have been a big mistake.
The same example can be said for with the passive part of my portfolio. I use index funds to build my core portfolio and with index funds they practically rely on procrastination. Just let them sit there are do their jobs! However, this does not mean that you “set it and forget it”. You have to monitor things like asset allocation and fee creep. Be an active procrastinator and over time you can do just fine.
The moral of the story: It is ok to wait and not take action in investing – procrastinate to your heart’s content. It is not ok just to be lazy and do absolutely nothing. There are simple quick things you can do to manage your portfolio. Figure out what those are and do them today!