The Motley Fool

Daily Stock Prices Are Completely Irrelevant

“I never attempt to make money on the stock market. I buy on the assumption that they could close the market the next day and not reopen it for five years.”

— Warren Buffett

Most investors have heard or seen this quote from the great Warren Buffett, but very few actually listen and heed his advice.

The availability of daily stock prices has drastically changed with the introduction of the Internet. What once was available mainly via newspapers has now become an inescapable and always-present reminder of one’s fluctuating portfolio.

Investors check stock quotes on everything from their online brokerages account to their jam-packed Twitter feeds. We’ve reached a point where one almost has to go out of his or her way not to see how their favourite stock or the market in general performed on a certain day.

To highlight the insignificance that daily fluctuations have on a long-term holding, let’s take a look two stocks that did very well in 2012, and two that didn’t.

Gildan Activewear (TSX:GIL,NYSE:GIL) climbed 89.6% in calendar 2012 but if all you saw was the chart below, you probably wouldn’t guess that such a big return was achieved.  Gildan’s stock was only up on 55% of the trading days in 2012.  Get ready to see this pattern repeated in all of our examples.








Thanks to a return of 63.4% in 2012, Catamaran (TSX:SXC) shareholders had a good year.  However, if they would have been watching Catamaran on a day to day basis, they would have seen the shares only go up 52.4% of the time.








Penn West (TSX:PWT) shares fell 46.5% in 2012, which is somewhat remarkable given the stock was only down on 52% of the trading days.








And finally, Enerplus (TSX:ERF) fell 50.1% in 2012 although in terms of day to day trading, the stock was up nearly as often as it was down.








Eye-catching headlines and daily gyrations are fun to follow, but that’s about it.  To rise above the noise, when you’re making an investment, think like Buffet and assume you won’t be able to sell it for five years.  You’re likely to think differently about making that investment if it’s framed in this context.

We have created a special FREE report that profiles 3 companies that you can buy today and never have to worry about selling.  Simply click here and we’ll send you “3 U.S. Stocks Every Canadian Should Own” – FREE!

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for the latest in Foolish investing.

The Motley Fool has no positions in the stocks mentioned above.

A version of this article, authored by David Hanson, originally appeared on

Just Released! 5 Stocks Under $49 (FREE REPORT)

Motley Fool Canada's market-beating team has just released a brand-new FREE report revealing 5 "dirt cheap" stocks that you can buy today for under $49 a share.
Our team thinks these 5 stocks are critically undervalued, but more importantly, could potentially make Canadian investors who act quickly a fortune.
Don't miss out! Simply click the link below to grab your free copy and discover all 5 of these stocks now.

Claim your FREE 5-stock report now!

Two New Stock Picks Every Month!

Not to alarm you, but you’re about to miss an important event.

Iain Butler and the Stock Advisor Canada team only publish their new “buy alerts” twice a month, and only to an exclusively small group.

This is your chance to get in early on what could prove to be very special investment advice.

Enter your email address below to get started now, and join the other thousands of Canadians who have already signed up for their chance to get the market-beating advice from Stock Advisor Canada.