I've always loved trees. Growing up in Fort Worth, Texas, there were weeping willows, maples, mulberries, pecan trees, and many, many more. Some were stunted and never got very big, like the sweet gum tree next to my driveway. The silver maple in my backyard stretched high above the power lines that skirted the edge of my back yard. We had oak trees, too.
North America has more species of Oak trees than any other continent. We have over 250 species between the United States and Mexico. I'd like to think that Oak trees are a good mascot for investing, because of their toughness. Oak wood is dense and resistent to both fungus and insects. Your investments need durability, and you need to believe they are durable. If you don't believe that there will come a time in which your investments are tested, then you have a shock coming.
The internet creates words faster than a babbling two-year-old, and there are several slang uses of OAK, but I've decided to adopt "One-of-A-Kind". Technology is pushing personal investing toward more and more uniformity. There is nothing necessarily wrong with that, but I've kind of fallen in love with the variety of investments out there. There are over 4000 stocks actively traded on the major exchanges just in the US, along with another 15,000 or so much more thinly traded. There are around 10,000 mutual funds and over 1700 exchange-traded funds(ETF's) just in the US.
So much of the investment world is geared toward getting you to change your investments. That can be a good thing, even a critical thing. But I worry that sometimes we are letting go of portfolios and funds that can at least partially have a role in a sound overall financial strategy. Sometimes funds that look ugly over the last five years are poised to outperform over the next five. Now that is not necessarily true, but I'm thinking that we need to at least give them a chance. With the great aggregation technology available now, it is not even necessary that you put all your funds at the same brokerage. You can just link them all up online and fit them into an overall strategy.
One-of-a-kind, durable investments will be the subject of this blog. There are so many amazing choices for investors today, and the tools to execute an investment strategy are better than ever. This blog is dedicated to all the creative money managers, index designers, ETF crafters, and CEO's who have built real value for investors.