With the volatile financial markets of 2022 mercifully in the history books, I think we’re all looking forward to a fresh start. To truly appreciate the way forward, however, sometimes it helps to fully understand the past. That’s why January is always a fun month here at Portfolio Charts — it’s time for new returns numbers! For investors like me who want to know not just the best times or even the average times but the truly painful times to invest in a given portfolio, this new data drop should be particularly educational.
Updating the underlying data always takes a bit of effort, so I bundled in a few more overall improvements in the process. Here are all the changes you’ll see around the site.
Have you ever started a relatively small task only to have it quickly spiral out of control?
A few weeks ago I decided that I’d really like to add a Portfolio Charts hat to the product lineup, mostly because I just wanted one for myself. I quickly found that the logo didn’t really lend itself to that type of application.
“No problem! I’ll just make a new logo.”
Well, as Boromir might say, one does not simply make a new logo.
Over the past few weeks I was hit with a double whammy of bad news. First, the company that manages my online store stopped paying all creators for an extended period of time. Then on the morning I expected to see my most recent long-overdue payment, I instead learned that the same company also paused all digital download sales without warning. So pretty much overnight, the Portfolio Charts store that I’ve spent years thinking about and months getting up and running went up in smoke.
How has your week been? Because mine has been something else.
One of the important lessons I learned early on as a young engineer is that it’s important to pay attention to the small things. Your assembly design may indeed be truly impressive, but if the seams between parts don’t properly align it will give the impression of poor craftsmanship. Is it sculpted perfectly for the hands? Nice! But if it’s made with flimsy materials it will still feel cheap. Details matter.
That trained fixation on the small things can also have its downsides. For example, where I spend hours experimenting with just the right layout for a spreadsheet, I also understand that when something complicated is done really well the end result can sometimes be so transparent that it occasionally goes unnoticed. From the well-executed finish of a part to the dew drops on a dandelion, just because something is beautiful doesn’t mean it’s obvious to everyone.
So after spending quite a bit of time working on several relatively small site features, I thought it might be helpful to bring them to everyone’s attention. They may be minor but they’re still useful!
I love it when small ideas take root and grow.
February is upon us, which generally means two things — it’s cold outside, and final December data has finally arrived. On top of a few extra numbers, however, I’ve been particularly busy the last few weeks and have a flurry of site updates to keep you warm. So pour a cup of coffee and settle in for a comfy day.
The holiday season may be over, but before you settle back into old routines there’s one last gift left to unwrap. The portfolio data for 2021 has arrived! Every chart now has an extra year of information to survey, and there are also a few data tweaks that should improve the quality of the entire history.
While most of us are thinking about Halloween costumes this time of year, retailers are frantically planning for the holiday shopping season. Looming supply chain issues may be the topics making headlines, but retail never sleeps and both manufacturers and merchants alike are busy creating display strategies for each available item.
Every company wants to show their product in the best light to help potential customers choose it over other options. From compelling specs that stand out in the crowd to a well-organized display that keeps people engaged, marketing teams have lots of tried-and-true techniques to capture customer attention. No matter whether we’re talking toys, jewelry, or perfectly pressed shirts, presentation really does make a difference.
In that same merchandising mindset, I just completed an overhaul of the Portfolios section with a focus on presentation. The goal is to offer much more information in an organized way so that portfolio shoppers can better understand each option and navigate their way to one that best meets their needs. So without further ado, let’s go through an example to see what the new portfolio profiles can do for you.
Drip. Drip. Drip.
Do you hear that?
No, it’s not the old bathroom faucet driving you crazy by breaking the nighttime silence. If only it was that simple! One inexpensive gasket would fix that right up, but this is something much more insidious.
Drip. Drip. Drip.
It’s the sound of your portfolio leaking thousands of dollars a year.
It’s hard to believe that Portfolio Charts just turned six years old! It seems like only yesterday that I was first toying with a few personal spreadsheets and experimenting with ways to share them online, and I never imagined that those humble beginnings would eventually grow to everything you see today. Time really flies when you’re in the flow.
For lots of bloggers, the greatest challenge to sustained success is the finite number of good ideas worth writing about. I consider myself lucky, as portfolio theory is an under-served space with tons of avenues to explore, new data to uncover, and a constantly-evolving market for inspiration. If anything, I occasionally have a bit of the opposite problem where my pile of investing thoughts may be interesting as a whole but individual ideas don’t always rise to a post-worthy level.
To address that situation, I’ve decided to finally get with the times and try my hand at Instagram. It’s a nice medium for this kind of thing, as I’ve always felt that a simple chart or image along with a clearly articulated thought can be more impactful than a wall of numbers or words. So if you’re looking for something educational to add to your feed, I’d really appreciate the follow!