Brian Portnoy – From Complex to Simple (EP.57)

Brian Portnoy – From Complex to Simple (EP.57)

Brian Portnoy is the Director of Investment Education at $100 billion investment solutions provider Virtus Investment Partners, where he strives to simplify the complex world of money in an effort to help investors make better decisions and lead a joyful life. For the past two decades, he has held senior investment, research, and strategy roles in the hedge fund and mutual fund industries at Chicago Equity Partners, Mesirow Financial, and Morningstar.

Brian is the author of The Investor’s Paradox, a book about manager selection rooted in choice theory.  His second book, The Geometry of Wealth hits electronic and physical bookstores this week.

Our conversation covers Brian’s experience in manager research and lessons learned, choice theory and managing expectations, differences between institutional investment and private wealth management, distinction between seeking wealth and trying to get rich, his terrific new book, and why volatility is risk. Brian’s insightful take on investing and his journey from the complex to the simple is full of investment nuggets of gold.

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Show Notes  

2:24 – Brian’s start in the business  

5:18 – The useful skills he developed during his tenure at Morningstar 

6:37 – The hard questions he would ask  

7:15 – Why he left Morningstar 

8:53 – What he learned at Mesirow that made him so detail oriented 

10:57 – Leaving Mesirow 

12:08 – What led Brian to writing The Investor’s Paradox: The Power of Simplicity in a World of Overwhelming Choice 

14:51 – The Art of Choosing 

16:58 – What is the investors paradox 

17:04 – The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less 

19:29 – Reaction to the book  

24:10 – Difference between his views on the asset management side vs the wealth management side 

27:11 – The concept behind The Geometry of Wealth: How To Shape A Life Of Money And Meaning 

30:58 – The shapes used to take people from confusion to comfort with money and investments, starting with the circle 

36:00 – Moving on to the triangle in this formula 

41:03 – The second triangle, focused on behavior 

43:36 – The big blue square 

49:29 – Hopes for the book  

52:46 – Closing questions