The following from Pension Partners in August of 2014 has all-too-often been my observation of the individual investor's -- left to his/her own devices -- relationship to the stock market:
This is not open to debate - studies have shown that the more frequent an investor checks their account balances, the more time they dramatically underperform nearly every single part of the investable landscape.
The reason? The more frequently one checks his or her portfolio, the more noise that individual will see in returns. That noise results in panic buying or selling when the reality is that much of the day to day movement in markets is random.
Those who check their account balances less frequently have been proven to generate better performance than those who check often because they don't see volatility noise which ultimately causes poor decisions.