Is Your Portfolio’s Performance Satisfactory?

What’s your investment portfolio’s performance? Do you know? Just 57% of U.S. adults are “financially literate,” according to a study from Standard & Poor’s titled the “2015 Global Financial Literacy Survey.” Another study by a large insurance company found that people are more frightened by planning their finances than dying. What’s wrong?

Part of the problem is structural: Fewer than half of all U.S. states require high school students to enroll in a personal finance course.

(Audio) Portfolio Report Card on a $4 Million Account for T.R.

The other problem is psychological: People are fearful when it comes to saving and investing money.

Once a person has overcome these obstacles and gotten started with their investment plan, how can they know if their investment portfolio is making progress?

The Case for Benchmarking

The concept of “benchmarking” boils down to measuring the performance of your investments against relevant yardsticks. “Relevant” is key, because measuring performance against irrelevant yardsticks will inevitably lead to irrelevant results.

For example, racing a collie against a field of greyhounds could lead observers to incorrectly assume collies are slow. On the other hand, racing each dog against its corresponding breed will result in a more accurate view of canine speed. If your collie is able to easily outrun a field of competing collies, you have a fast dog. And if he/she can’t outrun a pack of greyhounds, it’s mainly because he/she isn’t a greyhound.

Beyond choosing relevant yardsticks, the exercise of measuring investment performance should become a consistent routine for all investors. Why? Because failing to periodically measure your portfolio’s performance, either by choice or by ignorance, leads to a distorted view of satisfactory results. Moreover, just because you’re comfortable with portfolio’s results doesn’t necessarily make the results satisfactory.

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Disclosure: None

Disclaimer: Ron DeLegge has analyzed and graded more than $125 million with his Portfolio ...

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