When I was 23, I could remember everything about 100 companies at a time. And I mean everything… their revenue, profit growth, latest product offerings, margins, return on capital, free cash flow and how much the CEO made from stock options.
The one thing I didn’t have to remember was how much I invested. As a graduate student in London, I was far too poor to make investments. And I was too busy improving my Russian (so I could analyze the latest speeches of Russia’s President Leonid Brezhnev).
Some 45 years later, I can barely remember the last company I’ve added to the First Stage Investor portfolio. Okay, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration. But it would be a challenge to keep track of 15 startups, never mind the nearly 50 companies in the First Stage Investor portfolio.
In order to be a successful startup investor, we recommend that you invest in at least 15 companies. But the more, the better. I like 30 as a nice round and realistic number to aim for. With an average of $500 per investment, that’s $15,000 dedicated to startups. Another way to look at it is about 10% or less of your total investible savings should be in startups.
But having a robust number of startups in your portfolio creates a new problem: How do you keep track of them all?
Until a few days ago, there was no good answer to that question. But now, thanks to KingsCrowd’s cool new portfolio management tool, you can keep track of all your startup investments in a single place on your computer. It’s free to use. All you have to do is click right here to get started.
KingsCrowd has been working on this project for several months. It was one of the things that I really liked about KingsCrowd (and ultimately convinced the Early Investing team to partner with it). It’s creating some amazing tools to make crowd investing easier and more data-driven. This is just the beginning.
You can create as many portfolios as you want. Let me offer some suggestions with the caveat that you should feel free to do it the way that you feel helps you the most.
If you’ve invested in a lot of startups (more than 10), you might want to subdivide your portfolios. So let’s say you have 15 crowdfunded (CF) holdings and five are in healthcare… another five are in food and beverage… and the remaining five are spread over a few other industries. I’d have three CF portfolios – one for healthcare, one for food and beverage, and one for miscellaneous or other.
Here’s another suggestion. Let’s say you’re invested in 10 startups. Three of those are startups you discovered. And seven were startups recommended by First Stage Investor. You could use the KingsCrowd portfolio tool to make two portfolios – one containing the startups recommended by us and the other containing the startups you found.
Really, the ways you can take advantage of KingsCrowd’s cool new tool are almost unlimited. You could create portfolios by portal… by geographical location… by sex (a female founder startup portfolio perhaps)… or by year. Or how about this one: by your own level of conviction. The 10s in one portfolio, the 8s and 9s in another, and the below 8s in a third.
There’s no right or wrong here. Whatever works for you, try it. You can always switch things around down the road.
As for the tool itself, KingsCrowd CEO Chris Lustrino told me what you’re seeing now is the tool’s first iteration, but certainly not the last. Future iterations will have features based on your feedback. So I’d like you to email firstname.lastname@example.org with your suggestions. You’d be doing KingsCrowd a huge favor.
I don’t have to tell you that keeping track of your investments is extremely important. You can’t know how well you’re doing if you don’t know when and what you’ve invested in.
I suspect many of you have been forced to create your own system to help you do this. For you and everybody else, this tool gives you an easy-to-use option to perform this vital task. I’ll tell you what I told Chis… It’s about goddamn time.