One of our favourite writers, John Mauldin, says that investment portfolios have two functions; they have to simultaneously participate in growth and protect investors from possible loss. Mauldin connects this thought the art of building piles of sand and investigating at what point the pile will topple and collapse. He says that like a pile of sand reaching its tipping point, the more comfortable we get with a given condition or trend, the longer it will persist, and then when the trend fails, the more dramatic the correction. In the financial context, he writes, the collapse of the pile of sand could take years. To read more, click here.