Lessons learned. So what did I learn from my plight? First, that I took a big risk when I created a portfolio that was wildly different from Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index. That was especially problematic in 2014, when hardly anyone beat the index. Magnifying the problem was my decision to put too much money into my favorite ideas. I totally bought into the notion that it was foolish to invest in my 60th-best idea. What I overlooked was how bad things could get if I was wrong about my second-best, third-best and fifth-best ideas at the same time. So now I plan to invest a chunk of the family portfolio in index funds—oh, the horror!—and put most of the rest into companies that should do at least okay no matter how the world changes. In other words, I’m buying the kinds of companies owned by Warren Buffett, who has long recommended owning stocks you’d be happy to hold even if the markets were closed for five years. But, as wise as that advice is, I generally ignored it because it would keep me out of stocks that could double in two years. No longer. My wife is elated that I’m quitting, which should clue you in to the impact she thought lagging the market was having on my life. I’m looking forward to not following the market every day and finishing my second novel. Investing doesn’t have to make you rich, but it shouldn’t make you miserable. Read? Portfolio Management Concentrate (Verb) or Concentrate (Noun)
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