A portfolio is generally understood as a collection of valuables; whether artistic drawings, important papers, or financial investments. It reflects the talents and treasures of the owner, and is generally carefully cultivated and added to over a period of time. But to increase the treasures in your portfolio, you must first focus on increasing your talents.
A recent issue of Forbes Magazine featured The Best Investment Advice of All Time, which profiled insider tips from some of the financial industry’s best known thought leaders. These were financial gurus such as T. Rowe Price, Jr., George Soros, Sir John Templeton, David Tepper, Sam Zell and Warren Buffett who built their professional expertise and personal portfolios based on their intellect and abilities. They had to invest in their talent before building their treasure.
These talents or skillsets include knowledge, wisdom, abilities, experiences and interests. And most of all they include your innate gifts, those characteristics endowed upon you from birth that attract you and compel your learning decisions. Properly applied they develop and produce treasures.
Your Talents Form A Foundation For Your Treasures
Building and investing in a portfolio of talents is equally important as your portfolio of treasures. Here are several great examples.
Several decades ago when Jeff Maggioncalda was newly married, he created a simulation engine to model the results of one million Monopoly games to generate the probabilities and payoffs for its various properties, and used this as a cheat sheet to beat his wife at the game. Later, Jeff used his ability to develop simulations to found Financial Engines, a company which provides financial advice to almost 800,000 employees at 553 large employers. Because Jeff invested in himself first he was able to transform his ideas and skills into a lucrative business, and build his portfolio.
Floyd Mayweather, Jr. is the world’s highest paid athlete with $105 million earned in the boxing ring over the past year. According to Wikipedia, he is currently undefeated as a professional and is a five-division world champion, having won ten world titles and the lineal championship in four different weight classes. His father, a boxer and trainer, started taking him to the gym as soon as he could walk, and fitted him for his first pair of boxing gloves at the age of seven. Floyd developed his skill by investing years of practice in the gym, but it was fueled by an innate love for the sport. This propelled him to his current position atop the list of highest paid athletes, with a portfolio to match.
Sarah Ketterer was born into the investment world. Her father, John Hotchkis, founded several successful asset management companies where she worked during the summers; but she didn’t initially pursue a career there. After several educational and professional shifts, Sarah eventually became interested in understanding and organizing the data used to make investment decisions, and joined her father’s firm to start a new international equity arm. From there, she and a partner developed a new model of money management, and in 2001 started their own international asset management business. Their unique approach which combines quantitative computer program probability predictions with fundamental analysis of stocks has paid off, and in the past 18 months their assets have more than doubled to $33 billion.
Leave a Legacy
The typical result of building a successful portfolio of treasures is to bestow it upon your heirs, or to donate it to a worthy cause. Some have amassed family fortunes in a trust for generations to come. Others have joined Bill Gates’ and Warren Buffett’s Giving Pledge, a commitment by the world’s wealthiest individuals and families to dedicate the majority of their wealth to philanthropy. Whether your portfolio is valued at $10,000 or $10 million or $10 billion, if properly managed its value may outlive you.
Similarly, a successful portfolio of talents can add value to others and provide benefits for those around you and for future generations. Inventors and innovators like Steve Jobs, George Washington Carver, and Thomas Edison have proven this already.
So what’s in your portfolio of talents, and how will that transfer to your portfolio of treasures? What assets do you have in terms of your skillsets, abilities, interests, and experiences? Whether you’re just holding a job, or in the midst of a successful career, it’s important to hone in on those elements upon which your success has been or can be built. Doing so will not only drive the right decisions to maximize your future personal development and professional career choices, but will enable you to provide lasting benefit to others in their growth and development.
Priscilla Archangel, Ph.D. is a seasoned leadership consultant, executive coach, author, speaker, and teacher. She has a passion for developing leaders, and motivating individuals and organizations to align their values, behaviors and goals with their purpose. Visit priscillaarchangel.com.
Copyright 2014 Priscilla Archangel