What’s a Portfolio?

Bob Rinear, February 20 2019

... even if people just did the basics that can get them through a month or two of a really bad time, it would be a blessing.

The dictionary defines a portfolio two ways:  1.a large, thin, flat case for loose sheets of paper such as drawings or maps. 2. a range of investments held by a person or organization.

As you might imagine, when we’re talking about portfolio, we’re generally speaking about “investments.” But let me ask you this, what is an investment?  Again, let’s look: 
in·vest·ment Dictionary result for investment
/inˈves(t)mənt/ noun
...the action or process of investing money for profit or material result.

Now there’s the interesting part. Notice it’s for “profit” OR… material result. Therefore, you can have an investment of your time, if it produces a material result, or in education, etc.

To me, a portfolio is a range of investments, but those investments aren’t always for a monetary profit. It can be “material” also. As I wrote a while ago, few people take the time to “invest” in themselves.

I bring this up, because we have been creating a portfolio, featuring the absolute minimum risk, with what could be called outsized returns. Yet in the end, it’s simply ‘money.”. Now, don’t get me wrong, money is good and we all need it. But as the old saying goes, money doesn’t buy everything.

A friend of mine’s brother just came back from doing a news report in Venezuela. The stories he had to share with us, were quite eye opening. The lack of food, the lack of medicine, the lack of work, the lack of clean water, was all too real.

I got a chance to ask him if it was real or was it staged, those photo’s of people rummaging around in garbage cans looking for food. His answer was about what I’d expect. He said yes, depending on your economic status. In other words, people that had “money” could still find real food, but at stupid high prices. People that don’t have money are the ones you see scavenging for food.

The notion of the US ever becoming like Venezuela, is so foreign to people, they’d more easily envision a turd in a punch bowl. It just can’t happen. It’s impossible. We’re too rich, we have too many backstops, we have too many social systems in place, etc. Well, Venezuela was the richest country in South America not long ago. It also sits on one of the largest petroleum deposits on earth. How did it go so wrong?

Politics. Coup’s. Corruption. Socialism, bad deals, and a host of other ills, has brought Venezuela to its knees. When I asked Roger, what was the most important thing in Venezuela right now, he didn...

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