How to monitor stock performance

Knowing how your stocks are doing can help you make better investment decisions and stay on track to meeting your financial goals.

1. Review your account statements

Review all records and accountAccount An agreement you make with a financial institution to handle your money. You can set up an account for depositing and withdrawing, earning interest, borrowing, investing, etc.+ read full definition statements you receive to see how your investments are doing and keep track of the costs you’re paying. Then compare the performance of your stocks against your goals and the guidelines set out in your investment policy statement, if you have one.

2. Check stock tables

You can find stockStock An investment that gives you part ownership or shares in a company. Often provides voting rights in some business decisions.+ read full definition tables in the business section of most newspapers and online. Tables can give you useful information about changes in a stock’s value and trading activity.

3. Compare against benchmarks

A benchmarkBenchmark A yardstick that you can use to measure the performance of an investment. Example: a stock market index may be a benchmark you can use to compare how well your own stocks are doing.+ read full definition is a market or sectorSector A part of the economy where businesses provide the same or related products or services. May also refer to a group.+ read full definition indexIndex A benchmark or yardstick that lets you measure the performance of a stock market, part of a stock market or a single investment. Examples: S&P/TSX, S&P/TSX Canadian Bond Index.+ read full definition. Examples: S&P/TSX indices. Compare a stock’s performance to an appropriate benchmark to see how it has performed compared to the market or sector in general. If a stock consistently underperforms its index, it may be a warning sign.

4. Get current news on the companies you’re invested in

Keep up to date on company news, including any corporate changes. Read recent disclosure documents and any other timely information that comes from the company, like news releases. You can also get information from many third-party sources like newspapers, trading sites and analyst reports. Learn more about how to get information on a company.

5. Use indicators to re-assess investment decisions

Review the indicators you used to assess the stock before you bought it. They can help you decide whether to hold or sell a stock.

6. Consult your advisor

If you have an advisor, ask them to explain why prices have suddenly fallen or risen — and what that means for your stock portfolioPortfolio All the different investments that an individual or organization holds. May include stocks, bonds and mutual funds.+ read full definition.

7. Follow stock market news

Are we in a bear marketBear market A weak market where stock prices fall and investor confidence fades. Often happens when an economy is in recession and unemployment is high, with rising prices.+ read full definition? A bull marketBull market A strong market where stock prices rise and investor confidence grows. Often tied to economic recovery or an economic boom, as well as investor optimism.+ read full definition? Is the market up or down in general? Stock prices are affected by what’s happening in the market, not just at an individual company. You can find lots of information at the Toronto Stock Exchange.

8. Keep up with general economic news

Read the business sections of major newspapers to find out what’s happening in the economy. Are interest rates going up? What’s the inflation rate? How is the Canadian dollar doing against other currencies? Learn more about how economic factors can affect stock prices.

Key point

Keep track of how your stocks are doing. You’ll be able to make more informed decisions about when to buy, hold or sell a stock.

5 quick steps to get started

  1. Review your account statements
  2. Compare performance against benchmarks
  3. Keep up to date on company news
  4. Review stock indicators
  5. Follow market and economic news
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