Less Chainsaw, More Scalpel


After talking to a few people about my last calculator update, I found that perhaps I wasn’t clear enough about my motivation.  I also realized that I cut unnecessarily deep with the changes, which probably added to the confusion.  So allow me to offer both an explanation and a few improvements.

I’ve been spending a lot of time lately really diving into the source data and learning about general best practices from other people who blog about investing.   One thing I’ve learned is the importance of respecting data ownership.  Being meticulous about what I show and what I do not should allow me to continue doing what I enjoy — remixing portfolio data in creative new ways and sharing the results with all of you — without stepping on any toes.  All of the underlying data is compiled from public information, so please go directly to the source for the annual returns of a specific index and then come back here for all the portfolio analysis you can handle!

That said, I admit in retrospect that I addressed the issue too simplistically by limiting all information for annual returns in a few calculators.  That hid not only the underlying data but also valuable information about different portfolios.  To fix that, I’ve reverted back to the original tools and implemented a much more surgical approach.

The Heat Map and Rolling Returns calculators now behave exactly like they did before and hide the annual returns only when you do not allocate at least 10% to two different assets.  Likewise, the Benchmark calculator has the “annual returns difference” chart back and hides the results only if you do not use both asset allocations.  I believe that strikes a reasonable balance between providing as much information as possible for portfolios while remaining respectful of the asset sources.

Thanks to everyone who provided feedback on this.  As always, if you have any questions or suggestions please feel free to contact me.