Friday, August 12, 2016

What Is a Portfolio?

A nice, fundamental question, “What is a “Portfolio’?”.
The dictionary meaning of the word is in two parts as follows:
  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 organisation.
The second meaning, derived from the first actually, is relevant for us. It is a bouquet of various investments. You can a portfolio comprising of various types of investments like stocks, bonds, gold, currencies, etc. In some cases it may be separate for a single class of assets like equity shares. The ‘Portfolio 2K15’ which I use for teaching purposes comprises only of equity shares listed on the Indian stock exchanges.
Your stock broker usually will display on the website how your portfolio is faring. You can monitor the growth or decline in the market value of the portfolio, which in turn is the sum of the growth or decline in the market value of the constituents.
The most important lesson you must learn while investing is that in the short term, you should not be alarmed by the decline in the market value of your portfolio or unduly elated by its growth. Only after a very long time, say over 20–50 years, after the law of ‘Miracle of Compounding’ had an opportunity to do its job, you will be pleasantly surprised to find that your portfolio has grown enormously and you have become a very rich man.

Happy Investing!

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