Find a Portfolio to Love

Beginner, Psychology, Theory

Growth is a wonderful thing. We all start somewhere and do the best we can, and over the years people learn, mature, and evolve into something even better. That applies to lots of things like relationships, careers, asset allocations, and even hobbies like this little Portfolio Charts endeavor. So in honor of the 4-year anniversary of the site I’ve decided to launch a new logo and tagline that I think celebrates its growth as a resource and captures its spirit and mission looking forward.

Find a portfolio to love

You see, the pages here may contain a lot of data and visualizations but the design intent goes so much deeper than that. Strip away the methods and focus on the goal, and there’s really one singular mission I have in mind — I want you to be a happy investor! It’s such a simple concept but it’s amazing how difficult it is for so many people to grasp, so let’s forget everything we think we know about investing and start from scratch.

What does it mean to love your portfolio?

You deserve better than to live in fear

The amount of fear that is naturally embedded into any discussion of investing never ceases to amaze me. The most obvious examples are market pundits who warn of impending financial catastrophe, but even rational and measured investors who easily turn off the TV often fall prey in more subtle ways. Maybe you’re the analytical type obsessed with stock valuations who believes “this time is different” and fears that any data that doesn’t align with your pessimistic outlook must surely be influenced by some sort of inherent bias. Or perhaps you’ve read so many defenses of certain high-risk investing styles that you’ve been gaslighted into believing that learning to tolerate great pain is the only way to achieve decent returns.

Sound familiar? It doesn’t have to be that way! Proper portfolio analysis and wise asset allocation can solve many of those issues so that you can trust your choices and invest with confidence. Select the right portfolio that protects and grows your money no matter what happens in individual markets, and fear will become a distant memory. Trust me — you’ll be far happier knowing that your portfolio has got your back.

Your portfolio is a partner in your important life goals

Having your back means a lot more than simply helping you sleep at night. The asset allocation you choose will play a hugely critical role in some of your most important life events like funding the down payment on a home, sending your child to college, and supporting a well-deserved retirement. But contrary to standard thought, the role of your portfolio really isn’t as simple as earning the highest possible average return.

Like falling for a pretty face it’s easy to get infatuated with maximizing returns, but the real test of a relationship is when the honeymoon period is over and you hit a real rough patch. How will it feel when markets don’t cooperate, your concentrated portfolio crashes, and you no longer have the money when you need it for the home, college, and retirement you planned for all these years? The idea that high returns will eventually be there if you wait long enough is no solace when the cost of reaching them is sacrificing or substantially delaying the very life goals that drove your desire to save at all!

So just like picking a partner in life, it’s important to select a portfolio built on trust that it will be there when you need it most. Find a portfolio that reliably supports your personal life goals, and that’s a partnership that can last a lifetime.

True love means never wanting to leave

While finding a long-term portfolio partner sounds like a great goal, it’s often easier said than done. Selecting a portfolio is no easy task, and it often takes a lot of time, research, and good old-fashioned learn-the-hard-way experience to get right. I imagine the prolonged learning process is how many active money managers get and retain clients, as their value proposition is the expertise to compensate for your own lack of confidence. I can also see how shifting levels of envy and fear can cause investors to occasionally get caught up in things like optimizing separate portfolios for different goals while planning elaborate glide paths to change strategies over time. Now neither of those solutions are inherently bad and there’s a time and place for both, but I’d argue the underlying needs share the same root cause — many people are instinctively insecure with their investments and are constantly looking for something better.

In my experience, finding a portfolio you love changes things. Reaching that point requires a pretty deep understanding of how an asset allocation works, and that knowledge provides a sense of security that no outside advice can match. And once you truly find a portfolio that resonates with you intellectually, accommodates your emotional needs even in the bad times, and supports your important life goals, the idea of switching it out for something completely different later in life actually sounds kinda crazy. Why mess with a good thing? Spoiler alert — you probably won’t, and in the long run you’ll be a lot happier and wealthier than those who constantly change strategies and repeatedly lose money in the process.

Don’t settle. Take action!

Be honest. Do you really love your portfolio or are you just going through the motions while fearing the next market crash, staring green with envy at other options, or blissfully ignoring it altogether and simply hoping it all works out? Don’t feel bad — we’ve all been there. I first created many of the tools you find here in order to study my own portfolio and sort out those same issues for myself, and it wasn’t until I saw things like the Heat Map, Drawdowns, and Withdrawal Rates for various portfolios that I really understood how asset allocation worked and why it matters. Personally, I found what I learned to be extremely eye-opening and it completely changed how I think about investing. Portfolio Charts is my effort to share that knowledge so that other people can kick the same insecurity and feel equally empowered to take charge of their financial future.

So stop settling for a portfolio you only tolerate. Find a portfolio to love, and all of that mental energy you currently waste worrying about investments can finally be channeled back into far more productive things like earning more at work, spending more efficiently, and just plain being happy. Combine that proactive mindset with a diversified portfolio partner to grow and protect your money so you don’t have to, and that’s the sustainable recipe for financial success you’ve been looking for!

Leave fear, envy, and insecurity in the past and seek out the asset allocation you deserve.

Find a portfolio to love

Did this make you a happier investor?