Our Story

This is the story about how we got started with investing and why we decided to build Donatello for ourselves.

The Early Days

Like most people, we started our investing journey trying to be investors not realizing that the right word for what we were doing was probably “trading” and not “investing”
We would get hot tips on stocks, or a hunch and would try to buy low and sell high.

It took us some time but eventually we figured out that this was a losing game as we were playing a zero sum game against Wall Street’s best sharks, and we were on the losing side.

Becoming Long Term Investors

So we started reading blogs and found out about John Boggle, we really liked his idea about putting our money in the market in the form of low cost ETFs that track market indexes.

In fact we still use that strategy today for a major slice in our portfolio.
However, as our portfolio grew in size, we started to feel that it wasn’t enough and we couldn’t really do it with all of our money.
There are systemic risks involved and we wanted to have some money set aside for other goals like saving for an apartment.
Furthermore, we wanted to diversify to protect against systemic risks, and that’s how we got familiar with Factor Investing .

Our Portfolio Is Getting Complicated

We started splitting our portfolio into slices and wanted to maintain the percentage of each slice, e.g (and this is not a recommendation but simply an illustration): 40% Index ETFs, 30% Cash Equivalent, 20% Real Estate, 10% commodities.
Well, that’s where managing our portfolio became difficult and time consuming:

  1. Our portfolio was divided between our bank account, an IRA, and a brokerage account but we wanted to treat it as “One Portfolio”
  2. Every system on its own would simply present us with a list of assets and some data about them and we needed to track their place in our “one portfolio” in order to know if we are on track with our investment plan
  3. As paychecks, dividends and other income would flow in, we would constantly need to figure out what investment vehicle is the right place to put that income in accordance with our plan.

The Spreadsheet

So, like many others, we’ve built an elaborate spreadsheet that would track all of the above, but unfortunately, once more, it was hard to maintain.
Every now and then, we would find ourselves inputting all of the data back into it from the different systems in order to get a grip on where we are at with regards to our investment plan and which steps we should take.

It was a pain

We simply wanted something simple that would help us with a simple problem:

  1. We have have some money laying around
  2. We want to find the right place to put it in accordance with our predetermined investment plan
  3. After we place that money onto one of the predetermined buckets, the balance changes a bit
  4. After a while, the changes in value of our existing investments change our balance with regards to a plan
  5. Back to square 1 (We have some money laying around) and so on ⤴️

Our Solution

So We’ve built Donatello to finally rid ourselves of our spreadsheet and make tracking our portfolio painless and even fun, but along the way we figured out we have more questions that we want answered without having to work for them:

  1. What is our total net worth right now?
  2. How is each segment in our portfolio doing over time?
  3. Are there other ways to view my current holdings and get insights on my investments?
  4. What is my dividend income flow and what is my expense ratio per slice in my portfolio and as a whole?

So we integrated solutions for them in Donatello!
This is an ongoing journey, as we go down the rabbithole we keep evolving Donatello to better manage our portfolio.

We believe that having a tool for all of the questions above, makes us more powerful and aware long term investors.
We don’t need to look at our portfolio everyday, but when we do, it is now easy for us to make decisions,
Not just for allocating funds, but with everything that has anything to do with our financials.

We hope you find Donatello as useful as we have!

Please note that the above is provided for informational purposes only and uses examples and illustrations, it does not constitute financial advice.