investment purpose matrix

One of my advisors suggested I list the reasons why Sarita and I wanted to put money into the various investments we had already purchased or that we were thinking we wanted to buy. “Maybe create a matrix that indicates your purposes for each asset,” he suggested.

I followed his counsel and found the exercise helpful and eye-opening.

On the one hand, the exercise helped me to specify the values we were expressing—or wanted to express—in our investment portfolio. Beforehand, these values and purposes had been implicit at best. Now they were explicit. Their very explicitness permitted me to evaluate what I had written: Did I really believe and value these things? Was I making an excuse? Was I hiding something from myself?

The fact that I now owned an explicit, written list of values also made it possible for me to evaluate my investments: Did the investments we own match our stated values? Would they help us achieve our deepest stated interests?

Some of the things we had purchased clearly did not align with our values. So the matrix helped us focus better. We got rid of those investments.

At the top of today’s post, I’ve reproduced a screenshot of a small portion of Sarita’s and my investment purpose matrix as it looks today. The dark black X’s are primary purposes. Gray X’s are secondary.

And here is the “Key” to the matrix:

I International
CE Clean Energy
CA Clean Agriculture
SG Social Good
ROI Return on Investment
CF Cash Flow
CM Cash Management
INS Insurance
SR Systemic Risk
CZ Citizenship
SP Speculation
R Rarities
MA Moving Away from this investment/vehicle
PA Passion project

Obviously, these values or purposes are unique to me and to Sarita. You may hold some similar values. And you may reject some of the values we have expressed, preferring others.

What might your investment purposes look like?