Many observers have discussed how the Kindle will change the way we read. But I've heard another, seemingly less vital, concern: The Kindle challenges snobbery, and stifles our human curiosity and connection-seeking.
Here's how the argument goes: We often broadcast who we are by what we're seen reading (The Economist vs. USA Today, or Proust vs. The DaVinci Code), and we also gather information about others by what we see in their hands and on their bookshelves. In a recent issue of Vanity Fair, James Wolcott addressed this issue head on, asking, "How can I impress strangers with the gem-like flame of my literary passion if it's a digital slate I'm carrying around, trying not to get it all thumbprinty?"
Your portfolio's snob appeal
The same thing goes for our portfolios. No one really sees them except us. Just as, unbeknownst to us, a Kindle carried by a seemingly sophisticated reader might be chock full of florid romance novels, a seemingly sophisticated and successful investor might actually have a portfolio full of long-shot penny stocks.
Now, I'm fairly comfortable with my portfolio, and I'd suspect you are with yours as well. But still, the fact that they're private means that we may do things that we wouldn't do if everyone could see the actions we took.
For instance, I recently ran across MEMC Electronic Materials
So think about what your portfolio would look like if your stock holdings were published in the newspaper or posted on your front door. Perhaps you'd want to own some solid dividend growers, such as Automatic Data Processing
Your portfolio, in other words, would look respectable to others -- and to you. It would be balanced, with fast and slow growers, big and small companies, domestic and international enterprises. It would have snob appeal, and wouldn't embarrass you -- just like the excellent biography of Benjamin Franklin I've been reading, with its hard cover revealed for all the world to see.
For more insights and investing ideas:
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Longtime Fool contributor Selena Maranjian owns shares of Apple. Apple, AFLAC, and Amazon.com are Motley Fool Stock Advisor picks. Automatic Data Processing is a Motley Fool Income Investor selection. Try our investing newsletters free for 30 days. The Motley Fool is Fools writing for Fools.