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An hour a day to invest or eavesdrop?

An hour a day to invest

An investor using an hour a day can manage most investment portfolios

Investing Can Be Fun But Not Fast

Learning to invest well is fun, interesting and manageable. It just can’t be fast. It does take time. There is just no one thing you need to know or do to select investments and manage a portfolio well. An hour a day can check and oversee the portfolios for most do-it-yourself investors.

This post is the last post, Part 3 of the White Top View Series, Basic TimeLinks to all three parts of this very basic series on time requirements for investors, the White Top View Series, Basic Time are at the end of this post.

Set And Forget Loses Money And Opportunity

Anyone offering you an easy set and forget approach gets very well paid…with your money! That approach can work and be legitimate, although there are many cons, scams and self-serving advisors out there. Deciding to learn yourself will put considerably more returns in your own pocket. It is very doable.

Reviewing a portfolio of 5 to 30 stocks can take some time. But you can do it anywhere.  An hour a day to invest covers the needs of most portfolios. Start by putting an hour a day to good and interesting use by learning to select and manage your portfolio well.

Start Where You Are

Our one screen, digital world lets you do it when and where it works for you. So sit in a tree or at your desk and just start. Just enjoy the process and start by beginning to learn about the companies you own. After all you own them because they are making your wealth grow.

Start by learning to know where you are financially. Then you can decide if there is a better place or investment for you.

An hour a day to invest is ample time to learn and actively manage most investments. It means your choice of strategy does not include making investments that need close or constant monitoring. That leaves many 10’s of thousands of choices!

Learn Investing One Company At A Time

As suggested in the last post in this series, using Google to find the website of each investment is a good first step. Once at the website, read about the company. Look for an investor tab, link or area. Review the most recent investor presentation.

If available, listen to any news conference or webinar covering the last quarter. Often corporate websites have recordings of quarterly report presentations. Quarterly report conferences follow a regular pattern. This can be like eavesdropping on the people who are making you money!

Investor Presentation And Quarterly Conference Calls

Conference calls have a regular pattern. First the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) presents the just released financial numbers. The numbers form the core of the quarterly and annual reports. They are usually released the day or sometimes mere hours before. Sometimes the financial report release can happen just as the scheduled conference begins.

No matter, after experiences a few calls you will understand the pattern.

As we can already have the numbers in front of us this first 15 or so minutes of CFO presentation is like listening to someone read their homework! You can imagine the drama; accountants reading numbers!

Investors that put in more time and effort produce better returns

Investors that put in more time and effort produce better returns

Snore…eavesdropping boredom!

CEOs Deliver The Good Stuff

Conference calls soon gets far more interesting. Following the CFO, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) reports on the past quarter. That’s the boss who normally touches on all the positive highlights in a 10 to 20 minute presentation.

Typically we get a fact filled presentation and importantly some feeling for the person who leads our company. Frequently we get a clear idea of where the company direction and any challenges they face.

Questions, The Best Part For Investors

Finally the presentation gets to the best part, questions and answers. Q & A takes the rest of the hour, which is the length of a typical quarterly conference call.

In large companies, only analysts ask questions. Analysts are professional employees of brokerage houses that often have a financing business relationship with the reporting company. Analysts tracking a company are well-informed about it, the industry and economy. Their typical questions are well prepared, sharp and right on target.

If there are issues, the analysts will be poking into such matters.

Seldom are any significant issues overlooked. Analysts seek clarification and challenge should there be any sign of significant or material changes. At times discussions get very involved and revealing. Routinely they interesting to people who enjoy business or making money.

In smaller firms or those without any or many analysts covering them, an individual investor can ask questions. Even when you can not ask questions, listening to quarterly report conferences is like sitting in on a friendly and informative meeting. You will enjoy it.

Do Your Homework To Profit

Your homework assignment: look at your portfolio and start the process of learning about each holding. At an hour a day, that will take you a week or month depending on the number of your holdings.

Investing more time will significantly improve your returns. Do keep in mind, for the best results consistently follow the quarterly reports. To enjoy your research, set an easy comfortable pace.

Just commit a routine, comfortable amount of time to doing it. Then do it. Investors that put in more time and effort produce better returns. But an hour a day is enough time to do it well. Just do it regularly.

But don’t overdo it in an enthusiastic fit! If it becomes a chore you will not keep it up or be willing to pay attention when you should.

Give Your Wealth Time Or Give It To An Advisor

If you are not going to regularly spend a small amount of the time learning about and managing your investments, do not manage your own account. Use a professional adviser. Even if you do spend the time and learn, make sure you will do the work in a timely fashion before you ever consider doing it for yourself. Be ready to make decisions and to act when the need happens. Otherwise do not consider doing it yourself.

The more time you invest, the better you will do. However, depending on your interest and skill, it may take much more time. Anyone willing to put in more time and effort can significantly increase their overall returns.

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Your comments and questions are welcome here. Or email me at Bite-sized White Top View posts are lessons to help non-investors on the way to becoming knowledgeable, comfortable, confident investors. By demystifying investing and giving you a better understanding of markets, one small step at a time, you can become the master of your financial security and independence. The White Top Views email list will never be shared or sold.

Have a prosperous day!


White Top Investor
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These discussions and information intend to help you better understand markets and investing. I am not a financial or investment advisor; opinions are for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended as investment advice. For syndication of the site or blog, please contact

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Links to the White Top View Series, Basic Time

Part 1: Time to invest or time or an advisor

Part 2: More time in equals more money out!

Part 3: An hour a day to invest or eavesdrop

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