Is this the best investing quote of 2016?

As much fun as books are, I’m still a sucker for a great investing quote.

A great quote packs a certain punch. A great quote sticks in minds. And, most endearingly, a great quote is actionable.

One of the best quotes I’ve heard this year comes from The Motley Fool co-founder David Gardner via his weekly podcast ‘Rule Breaker Investing’.

Gardner was discussing the advice he had given to past interns working at The Motley Fool U.S. and his one-liner came in response to a question on a common investing conundrum. When faced with the prospect of several great companies to invest in, how should we choose one? His suggestion:

Make your portfolio reflect your best vision for our future

I thought it was a brilliant line; navigating the decision-making challenge on a personal level and forcing us to think of where we see the world heading.

It doesn’t mean you have to go out and buy a bunch of loss-making tech stocks. Well established companies like Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX: TLS) or BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) might fit your view of the world better than a company like XERO FPO NZX (ASX: XRO), but that’s the important thing about investing – it is so deeply personal.

Building a portfolio of companies inevitably becomes a reflection of ourselves; our perception of risk or value, and our beliefs about the future. It must be true, otherwise why not simply choose to invest in an index fund representing the entire S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX: XJO) and be done with it?

Your vision will be unique and can be the deciding factor when tossing up whether to invest in a particular company. For example you might believe that healthcare is going to be an increasingly important focus as populations age and sway towards high-margin healthcare companies.

Or you might think that food producers like Webster Limited (ASX: WBA) will be able to capitalise more on growing global demand.

Regardless, when it comes to choosing a company to buy, sell or hang on to, your decision should be driven at least in part by how you see the world changing in time.

For a single quote, that packs a lot of punch.

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Motley Fool contributor Regan Pearson owns shares of Xero. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of Xero. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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