Weekend Reading: The Return on Hassle Spectrum

This article appears as part of Casey Weade's Weekend Reading for Retirees series. Every Friday, Casey highlights four hand-picked articles on trending retirement topics and delivers them straight to your email inbox. Get on the list here.
Weekend reading return on hassle spectrum Weekend reading return on hassle spectrum
Weekend Reading

Your investments come with tradeoffs, whether that be time, money, effort or mental work. These factors help pinpoint where an investment falls on the “Return on Hassle Spectrum,” which also takes into consideration your expected annual return.


What’s it worth? By understanding the difficulty grade of an investment, you can determine what works best in your portfolio, while considering the tradeoffs and hassles you’re willing to accept. For example, real estate investments may involve more effort and risk compared to traditional investments like stocks and bonds, but they come with less volatility and favorable tax treatment. On the other end of the spectrum, investments like T-Bills and U.S. Bonds are considered less difficult, but also offer lower expected returns.

You have to balance your investment allocations in large part on the hassle that they create in your life. I believe this becomes more important as you accumulate greater wealth, as well as age. For instance, you may have built up “hassle equity” over the years, but at this point in life, it could be time to exchange some Return on Investment for a greater Return on Life.