From Coffee Futures To Bulk Buying: A Year Of Adventurous Investing | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio
Filed Under:

From Coffee Futures To Bulk Buying: A Year Of Adventurous Investing

Play associated audio

A year ago, NPR's Uri Berliner decided to take his money out of a savings account that was losing value to inflation and turn it loose in an investing adventure. A series of stories in 2013 described his newly acquired assets and sought to shed light on how the markets for them worked.

I had up to $5,000 of savings I was willing to risk. I ended up investing around $3,600. (For a breakdown of the investments, click here.) I separated the investments into two distinct categories:

  1. Plain vanilla, which were the kind of low-cost, diversified funds we ought to have in our retirement accounts.
  2. More flavorful assets that I chose primarily (OK, exclusively) for their storytelling potential, like buying a painting online, making a bulk haul at Costco as a hedge against inflation, and betting on coffee futures.

A number of my colleagues have said, "Hey, whatever happened to your investments, Mr. Business Editor?"

So here's the scorecard.

Fair warning 1: My idiosyncratic portfolio was assembled for a reporting adventure. It's not meant to be investment advice. Far from it. This in no way, shape or form resembles how I've invested for retirement. Do not copy my investments. It could be an epic mistake. You've been forewarned.

Fair warning 2: All strong returns were entirely the result of luck and/or fortuitous timing. As they say on Wall Street, past performance is no guarantee of future results. All disappointing results were well worth it in pursuit of a good story.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Sarah Koenig On Serial: 'I Think Something Went Wrong With This Case'

Serial, the hugely popular (and sometimes controversial) podcast spun off from This American Life, wraps up its first season today. Audie Cornish speaks with Serial creator Sarah Koenig.
NPR

What The Change In U.S.-Cuba Relations Might Mean For Food

The decision to normalize relations is driving all kinds of speculation about American food companies opening up shop in Cuba. But analysts say: Don't expect to see McDonald's there anytime soon.
NPR

In List Of Changes For Secret Service, A New Fence Comes First

In independent review panel calls for changes ranging from a better fence at the White House to a new approach to training and leadership within the Secret Service.
NPR

White House Says Any Response To Sony Attack Needs To Be 'Proportional'

The White House won't confirm North Korea is behind the attack, citing an ongoing investigation. Nevertheless, it is mulling over its options.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.