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What My Twins Taught Me About Investment Portfolios Thumbnail

What My Twins Taught Me About Investment Portfolios

Twins offer an unparalleled opportunity to study human behavior. After having our twins nearly 15 years ago, my wife joined the local Mothers of Multiples group, where she befriended other twin (and more) moms. Through our conversations with these other parents of multiples, we’ve learned no matter how identical a set of twins may be physically, they are all unique mentally and emotionally.  

Our twins, both boys but not identical, were raised the same way – after all, they were our first kids and we didn’t know any better – but are nearly night and day different.

One is taller with short hair, the other is shorter with long hair.

One is all sports, all the time, the other would rather do anything to avoid sitting through another game. (He actually told me “literally anything” and then said any of the parts of the Weird Al classic “One More Minute” would be preferable.)

One has built useful furniture for our house, the other sometimes struggles to build a peanut butter sandwich.

One couldn’t sit still even if you paid him, the other is more than happy to sit and read for hours at a time.

One would love to be a Lego designer when he grows up, the other has his sights set on being a Detroit Tiger.

Many financial services companies, though, would categorize my twins the same way and place them in the same “one-size-fits-all” investment portfolio because they would check the same boxes for:

  • Age
  • Gender  
  • Marital status
  • Net worth
  • Income
  • Time to retirement

Other than possibly a slight difference in risk tolerance, they’re essentially the same person – on paper.

Of course, people don’t live on paper. People are complex, multi-dimensional creatures. No matter how similar they may appear to be after filling out a checklist, each has their own hopes, dreams, and goals.

Some of the tools I have at my disposal – like MoneyGuidePro, Riskalyze, and RedTail – help me learn about and construct portfolios to take in account all the ways you’re unique.

There is nobody just like you – even if you share parents and a birthday – and your investment portfolio should reflect that fact.