Playing off of my last post on mutual funds, I wanted to say something about diversification. Wall Street, FA’s, and basically anyone involved with finance has increasingly banged into us the idea of diversification. It’s the old theory of “don’t put all your eggs in one basket”. While this is a great way to reduce risk, it’s also a great way to put a ceiling on returns. Take a minute to think about some of the richest people in the world, many of which happen to be in finance. Bill Gates–Microsoft. Carlos Slim–Mexican Telecoms. Warren Buffett–Berkshire Hathaway. The list is long as fuck, but you get the idea. All these guys were/are FAR from diversified. They focused on one area, and crushed it. While diversification is good for someone who can’t afford to lose, it’s not very useful for those looking to really make some money.
Why do you invest your savings? Not to have the smallest losses, but to have the biggest returns. If you hand your money off to a broker who is WILD good at trading options, why would you want him to invest some of your money in commodities? This isn’t to say you shouldn’t keep some money invested in safe assets, such as Treasuries/gold/low-volatility currencies, but if you think the tech industry is going to skyrocket, what’s the point of having 50% exposure to tech stocks and 50% exposure to say, utility stocks? Like life in general, you should stick to what you’re good at with investing. You can’t allow emotions to dictate your trades, and you can’t be good at every strategy. Speaking of which, just handed in some homework for an econ class, part of which was a problem about diversification. If I split my exposure to half China and half US, my expected utility is greater than just investing in the US! Dope! I think Jing Zhang woulda been pissed if I wrote “fuck that” as my answer.