I first encountered this concept of the knowledge portfolio in the book The Pragmatic Programmer.
The concept can be said to loosely be:
Looking at the collection of knowledge you posess as a portfolio akin to the ones we find in investment.
This can potentially have the power to serve as a partial heuristic for making good career and knowledge decisions.
From this perspective the things you know are assets that:
- are invested in now for benefits to be had down the line and/or now
- that might grow and shrink in value/relevance over time
- potentially compound in and of themselves
- carry intrinsic risk
- could/should be managed
Some of these are commonly thought of; 1 applies very well to the commonly held value of school, university and studies.
1 is about knowledge generating external currency, 3 is about the potential compounding growth of the skill itself.
Risk and management
The interesting part is the one about the risk and the way we manage that risk; choose both high and low risk endevours in order to be somewhat safe.
This way you’re setting yourself up for a future you don’t know what holds.