Portfolio Sustainability

by | May 10, 2004 | Archives

Last Friday’s message looked at how spending should affect our portfolio decisions. Now let’s review how our lifestyles should get in the act.

For example I travel and I get so absorbed in writing and course projects that I have little time to look at my portfolio. Thus I do not make investments (beyond my business) that require daily or even weekly attention.

Though the portfolio is unique to my style of living, I do not consider the portfolio mine. Merri and I are both reliant on this portfolio’s results. Then our children have an interest and the essence of these factors change over time.

When our children were young Merri and I had different concerns than now. Today our five children are well-educated, independent adults. They’ll be able to handle an inheritance if it's left, but won’t miss it if not.

Before and during their education we had different concerns.

Mothers are often blamed for suffering the empty nest syndrome when their children leave home, but my observation has been that many men who manage family portfolios suffer a more subtle form of this imbalance.

They fail to let their strategies and portfolio goals evolve with change. When children leave home instead of releasing the portfolio from the responsibilities of raising, protecting and educating children, they simply shift the same burden to new words called “building an inheritance”.

My experience is that inheritances alienate more families than they unite!

However Merri and I feel that our portfolio has a responsibility to a larger family. We do not feel that we own our investments at all. All of humanity is connected and every turn we make has an effect on others. So though we as a society have this concept of owning assets, we view holding more money as responsibilities.

So we being our portfolio thinking with one core word that defines the essence of our portfolio goals. That word is “sustainability”.

Sustainablity defined is “Enough for everybody, forever.

This means that part of our lifestyle-portfolio relationship is aimed at assuring that we do not run out of money. But there is more and before I provide my opinion on what this is, I would like yours.

Before next message, please tell me…When you invest, who do you feel responsibility to?

Until then, good investing,