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Portfolio as Art
Old 08-03-2017, 01:32 PM   #1
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Portfolio as Art

Is your portfolio beautiful? When you get a statement that shows you have a cozy stash that will see you through your post-paycheck years, do you just like to look at it?

Over the years, DW and I have done a lot of home improvement projects. Some of them have turned out surprisingly well, and combine function with aesthetic appeal. When we complete a floor replacement, with every tile level and straight and square, I like to look at it and marvel at its symmetry. "Good job, Mrs. Mdlerth," I'll say. "Let's toast this accomplishment."

Similarly, I wonder how many of us view our retirement portfolio as a thing of beauty? Most of us put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into building it. Do we get the same satisfaction from looking at our IRAs and TSPs and stock accounts, recalling how much effort it took to make them into something?
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Old 08-03-2017, 05:21 PM   #2
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It sounds like this would lead to an emotional attachment, and you shouldn't invest emotionally. You should buy, liquidate and exchange investments based on sound financial fundamentals.

Besides, with transaction costs so low, it should be simple to build the portfolio you want within the settlement time. There may be some tax consequences that could have you hold an investment, but otherwise it should not be a project to build.

If you're just talking about the account values, sure, I get a lot of satisfaction from that, and the statement can be a nice reflection.
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Old 08-03-2017, 05:27 PM   #3
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With the exception of a small amount in individual Google stock (soon to be sold), my entire portfolio is in 3 index funds. Very little work went into creating it, and even less into maintaining it.

I do like looking at the total amount though. Those numbers are really quite attractive to gaze at
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Old 08-03-2017, 05:28 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Mdlerth View Post
Is your portfolio beautiful? When you get a statement that shows you have a cozy stash that will see you through your post-paycheck years, do you just like to look at it?

Over the years, DW and I have done a lot of home improvement projects. Some of them have turned out surprisingly well, and combine function with aesthetic appeal. When we complete a floor replacement, with every tile level and straight and square, I like to look at it and marvel at its symmetry. "Good job, Mrs. Mdlerth," I'll say. "Let's toast this accomplishment."

Similarly, I wonder how many of us view our retirement portfolio as a thing of beauty? Most of us put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into building it. Do we get the same satisfaction from looking at our IRAs and TSPs and stock accounts, recalling how much effort it took to make them into something?
I admire my statements lately. They were, at one time, an eye sore.
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Old 08-03-2017, 05:39 PM   #5
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I look at them briefly then open the binder and replace the last months with the new one.
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Old 08-03-2017, 06:16 PM   #6
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I have a page in one of my spreadsheets that I take some pride in tending to. By tending, I mean re-balancing. So the actual percent of the asset class is plotted over time, and it's supposed to be between the upper and lower bounds. I consider it someone artfully crafted if, after I re-balance, the lines go to the center of the corridors.
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Old 08-03-2017, 06:55 PM   #7
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You could sprinkle a few $1000 bills on the counter top and pour some clear epoxy over it!
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Old 08-03-2017, 07:30 PM   #8
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I never thought of it as "art" nor is it "beautiful" in and of itself. But my port does allow me to do some really beautiful things (live in Paradise, help those in need, keep my DW happy, live without want, etc.) YMMV
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Old 08-04-2017, 06:22 AM   #9
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I never thought of it as "art" nor is it "beautiful" in and of itself. But my port does allow me to do some really beautiful things (live in Paradise, keep my DW happy, live without want, etc.)
+1. I would add travel, and buy all the photography equipment that I reasonably need. I don't feel like I can share it with anyone else except DW, but I do get a lot of satisfaction from our NW.
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Old 08-04-2017, 06:46 AM   #10
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If you're just talking about the account values, sure, I get a lot of satisfaction from that, and the statement can be a nice reflection.
But not as art.
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Old 08-04-2017, 07:15 AM   #11
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I view my portfolio as an engine.

A machine that requires occasional monitoring and minor adjustments along the way but overall it hums along and supplies my needs.

But I do like to watch all the machinations, all the levers and wheels going around quietly and efficiently.
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Old 08-04-2017, 07:47 AM   #12
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1/3 my portfolio is silver and gold bullion, it's pretty nice to look at, much better than a bunch of digits on paper or the computer screen
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Old 08-04-2017, 01:41 PM   #13
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A machine that requires occasional monitoring and minor adjustments along the way but overall it hums along and supplies my needs.
Sounds like Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.
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Old 08-04-2017, 03:18 PM   #14
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Sounds like Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.
This is kind of the engine (steam) that I had in mind:
http://mi.eng.cam.ac.uk/IALego/steam_files/steam_1.jpg
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Old 08-04-2017, 05:03 PM   #15
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This thread topic is something you won't see in a bear market.
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Old 08-04-2017, 05:19 PM   #16
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This thread topic is something you won't see in a bear market.
Oh, I don't know. Some folks smear bodily fluids on canvas and call it art, but YMMV.
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Old 08-04-2017, 07:41 PM   #17
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This thread topic is something you won't see in a bear market.
That is when my engine slows down enough for me to make adjustments, replace parts and get ready for the next rev-up.
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Old 08-04-2017, 08:39 PM   #18
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That is when my engine slows down enough for me to make adjustments, replace parts and get ready for the next rev-up.
At my age I am more concerned about the possibility that the next up turn would be too long in coming i.e. a bear market that is very long term. But we're getting a bit ahead of this current happy story. And I do admit to enjoying the ride.
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Old 08-04-2017, 09:17 PM   #19
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This thread topic is something you won't see in a bear market.
Well observed.

And on the very same day I come across this:

Jim Paulsen: "The Bull Market Could Continue Forever"

I was gonna get my shoes shined tomorrow, but I think I'll pass....

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Old 08-05-2017, 02:37 PM   #20
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Over the years, DW and I have done a lot of home improvement projects. Some of them have turned out surprisingly well, and combine function with aesthetic appeal.
Slightly off topic, but congratulations on holding your marriage together while collaborating on HI projects. Well done!
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