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What Makes the Perfect Investment Portfolio?

Finance , Gabelli100 | Apr 20, 2022 |

Investors looking to build their portfolios might look to today’s industry titans for answers but, in fact, the search for the “perfect portfolio” has been in question for centuries, dating back to Aristotle and his hand in ancient Greece’s olive oil trade.

In this webinar co-sponsored with the CFA Society New York, the Gabelli Center for Global Security Analysis, and the Museum of American Finance, Stephen Foerster, PhD, a finance professor at Western University’s Ivey Business School, discussed the insights of investment luminaries—the subject of his book, In Pursuit of the Perfect Portfolio: The Stories, Voices, and Key Insights of the Pioneers Who Shaped the Way We Invest.

Mutual funds gained popularity in the 1970s as a strategy to diversify portfolios, Foerster said, however, they trace back to 1774 when a broker in Amsterdam created the first mutual fund during an early financial crisis. The example illustrates that modern investing has deep roots in history.

“This predates investors like Ben Graham and Warren Buffett, so value investing has actually been around for centuries,” he said. “The key takeaway is that not all of what we think of as modern investment innovations are truly new.”

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