5.1 Keeping track

What this topic covers:

  1. Why keep track?
  2. Keeping track and monitoring external market factors
  3. Tools to help you track market news
  4. How to identify trends with charts

Keeping track of your investments and being aware of external market impacts

Like any goal you’re aiming for, whether it’s learning a language or doing an online degree, you can’t know how you’re doing unless you’re tracking your progress. With a portfolio, this involves two elements: watching over your investments and staying abreast of wider influences. Here are some ways to help you keep track of your investments.

  • Write down how often you plan to review your portfolio
  • Put reminders in your diary for general monitoring
  • Perform a regular check-in to see if your portfolio needs rebalancing
  • Monitor the market
  • Put a plan in place to manage market volatility

  • “We think mistakenly, that success is the result of the amount of time we put in at work, instead of the quality of time we put in.”

    - Arianna Huffington (Co-founder of The Huffington Post, founder and CEO of Thrive Global, and the author of fifteen books.)

    Watch the markets

    As an investor, it's important to keep an eye on what the markets are doing so you can respond to major or specific events that could impact your investments. That doesn’t mean you have to be an expert on the ASX or the Aussie dollar – CommSec Market Analysts do that for you! Just be aware of what is happening and have a plan in place. Here are some things to consider:

    • If the market rises or falls by a particular percentage, how does that affect your investment?
    • Will you sell certain investments?
    • Will you do nothing and just wait?

    Preparing for these events is like having a good fire escape plan. You might never need it, but if you do smell smoke one day, you’ll be more likely to keep a cool head as you’ll know what to do.

    Tools to help you keep on top of market news

    There are a range of resources for you to stay in touch with the markets, both from CommSec and external sources.

    As we showed you in topic 4.2, CommSec industry experts provide market commentary and economic news across a range of platforms, including a live Twitter feed for instant updates.

    There’s also CommSec TV, available on the CommSec platform and on YouTube. This provides regular session reports in the morning and afternoon – during the Australian trading days.

    Whichever way you prefer to get your financial news, these updates provide you with unrivalled insights into the wider economic world – all invaluable information in helping you make well informed investment decisions.

    Identifying trends in charts

    Many investors use charts to gain a better overall picture of the performance of a stock. Indeed, professional traders look out for patterns that could identify short-term trends in a share price direction. In topic 4.2 we showed you how charts are a useful way of monitoring the performance of a company. They can also help you identify trends which could contribute to your investment decision. Some of the trends our charts can help you identify, include:

    • Whether a stock is appreciating or depreciating in value over time
    • How can you use this to your advantage?

    • Whether investors are buying up or selling out
    • How does this affect your decision to invest or not?

    • If a stock is trading at unusually high volumes
    • Has the company made a significant announcement?

    • If a stock is suddenly heading up or heading down
    • Is this a potential turning point?

    • If a stock fluctuates within a certain range
    • Can you locate points of support (at the bottom) or resistance (at the top)?



    As you can see, charts are an incredibly useful, data-packed resource.

    For more on charts check out ‘Stock Charts Explained’.

    Next Topic: 5.2 Benchmarking your progress


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