About

Definition: Picture-Perfect (adjective: NORTH AMERICAN)
Meaning: lacking in defects or flaws; ideal.
“a picture-perfect summer day” or “a picture-perfect portfolio

Nomadic Samuel taking photos in Peru
Nomadic Samuel taking photos in Peru

PICTURE PERFECT PORTFOLIOS

Welcome to Picture Perfect Portfolios!

I’m Nomadic Samuel, better known as a travel blogger and YouTuber, humbly turning my newest passion of investing into a side-project of sorts.

The adage ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ perfectly sums up my newfound interest of pursuing a perfect portfolio.

Nomadic Samuel taking photos in Vietnam
Nomadic Samuel taking photos in Vietnam

Firstly, I’m a videographer/photographer/content creator by trade so seeing the world behind a lens is what I do as my full-time job.

Secondly, I’ve always been obsessed with strategy games tracing back to my childhood indulgence in fantasy sports, stratego and the incredible Civilization computer series.

Combing my love for travel, food, sports and being behind the lens with investing is a dream come true for me.

This site is a representation of my pursuit of becoming a better investor; hence, putting together the perfect portfolio.

Portfolio Pie Chart - What is the perfect portfolio?
Portfolio Pie Chart – What is the perfect portfolio?

What is the Perfect Portfolio?

What is the perfect portfolio for DIY investors?

These is no one specific answer.

Every individual has a unique life situation, risk tolerance and knowledge base when it comes to investing.

Personally, I’ve been devouring books, podcasts, videos and white-papers over the past few years trying to soak as much information as I possibly can.

I’m all eyes, ears and ideas when it comes to investing.

Life Changing Events = How I Became Interested in Investing

In fact, it is really only by chance that I stumbled upon this new hobbie.

During the pandemic my travel career came to a screeching halt.

A press trip to Quebec City I was planning to attend on Monday was cancelled. My trip to Georgia (the country) a week later was put on halt.

I went from an around the world nomad to a basement dweller overnight.

At first, I found it extremely difficult to cope with not being able to pursue my career.

However, as time went by I became more used to being at home and with extra time at my disposal I decided to read more about investing: hook, line and sinker.

I knew immediately that learning more about investing would be a hobby that might turn into a borderline obsession.

Index funds. Market-cap weighted. EAFE cafe. Emerging markets. The Bogleheads. Value. Momentum. Mid-cap. Risk aversion. Recency bias. Diversification. Factors. Alternatives. Trend following. Risk parity. 60/40. All Weather Portfolios. Leverage. Convexity.

These words/phrases now compete for space in my brain.

I’m almost a bit embarrassed to admit I often think more about portfolio design and optimization than I do planning new trips around the world.

I wouldn’t have been able to imagine this pre-2020.

Lightbulb moment investing philosphy
Lightbulb moment investing philosphy

My Investing Philosophy

Here is where I’ve arrived in terms of my investing philosophy (a work in progress):

PTSDĀ = Patience + Time + Strategy + Discipline

Before I discuss what has now become my ‘picture perfect portfolio’

I’d like to spend a bit of time explaining my PTSD strategy for better long-term investing.

No protocol, perfect portfolio or immaculate asset allocation strategy can survive human error and a tendency to muck things up that are better left alone.

No other endeavour (investing) rewards an individual for doing absolutely nothing.

House on fire; put it out. Being chased on safari by one of the big 5; run like heck.

Experiencing swash buckets amounts of stomach acid during a drastic downturn; best to leave the *fill in the blank* portfolio alone.

Patience isn’t optional – it’s everything when it comes to investing.

The best plans and intentions are cast-aside by many investors as the latest and greatest shining star seems ever so bright.

When it comes to asset allocation the discipline to stay the course, experience potential tracking error and come through the other side is what sets the Pros from the Joes.

And by Pros and Joes I’m not referring to amateurs versus professionals.

The DIY investors actually enjoys certain benefits over professionals. I’ll write an entire post on that someday.

Finally, time is the greatest variable of all. Without it the miracle of compounding seems excruciatingly slow.

The ability to think long-term – 3, 5, 10, 20 year – time horizons is what the secret sauce of investing is all about.

Finally, we’ve moved onto the last word ‘strategy’ for what this site is mostly about.

Oddly enough it is the strategy that may be the least important; albeit the most interesting for those who like to dig deep into the subject.

Without discipline, patience and time the best strategy in the world turns from the perfect portfolio into a train-wreck.

But this ‘icing on the cake’ is what can turn average returns into something extraordinary.

Investing is like growing money like a plant
Investing is like growing money like a plant

My Investing Interests Of Late

Currently, my interests as an investor are mainly as follows:

1) Equity Optimization

Research supported factors and multi-factor portfolios such as value, momentum, size and quality (profitability) that break the link between market-cap weighted indexes such as the S&P 500.

2) Diversification

Having a portfolio that is maximally diversified by asset class, geography and multi-strategy.

3) Leverage

How the application of a modest amount of leverage can improve risk adjusted returns, drawdowns, sharpe ratios and CAGR when combining uncorrelated assets in a strategic portfolio compared to a 100% equities portfolio or the classic 60/40

4) Contrarianism

How the most successful investors skate to where the puck is going while daring to be different. They don’t follow the herd. They’re not just invested in merely another milquetoast portfolio of index market-cap weights stocks and aggregate bonds.

5) Alternative Investments

Moving beyond the 60/40 orthodoxy of just stocks and bonds while exploring how trend following, macro, long-short, hedging, market neutral, crypto, gold, real assets and reits – to name a few – can help improve the diversification and overall portfolio performance both from a short-term and long-term perspective.

If any of this sounds interesting to you I hope you’ll dig a little deeper around this site. I plan to write about investing strategies, diy portfolios (with and without leverage) and other topics of interest related to strategy and mindset.

Nomadic Samuel visiting the German Alps
Nomadic Samuel visiting the German Alps

Investing Advice from a Freakin’ Travel Blogger???

If you take what I’m saying with anything more than a grain of salt please remember this. This is merely for entertainment purpose only. If you take investing advice from a travel blogger seriously you need to have your head examined. I’m here to learn myself and I know for certain I’ll fumble the bag from time to time. When it comes to making investing decisions related to your portfolio do your own due diligence, consult with a financial advisor and come up with a plan that you feel comfortable with in terms of reaching your goals while not overextending your risk tolerance.

Well that’s over a 1000 words! I think we can wrap this up. Thanks for checking out my investing blog and let’s all learn a bit more together.