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Baking Bread in a Dog Bowl: The Success of a Financial Portfolio 🥖

Updated: May 1

I am a decidedly terrible cook. I feel like I come by it honestly, as my mom’s signature Thanksgiving dish was a can of mushrooms mixed with a can of peas in a bowl. But recently one of my friends suggested I try some recipes from Half Baked Harvest’s “Super Simple” cookbook – she apparently had more confidence in my cooking abilities than I did (or just didn’t know me well enough!!).


So on a rainy evening a few days later, I noticed an old can of beer in the fridge and decided to try my hand at the 5-ingredient “No Bake Beer Bread”. I started with the flour, then added whatever yeast we had in the pantry (turned out it was Active Dry, when the recipe called for Instant), added the salt (again, we only had Iodized when the recipe called for ‘Kosher’ – apparently they are chemically different!). When I went to add the beer, I discovered that my husband had seen it out on the counter and decided to drink half of it, so I just added what was left. Then the olive oil (thank goodness we actually had that!).

But what next? This was ‘no knead’ bread, but certainly it needed some mixing? I said ‘screw it’ and kneaded it by hand anyway. I covered it with plastic wrap to let it start rising, and of course only then read the next part of the recipe, which said to “warm the dutch oven in the (actual) oven and then add the bread dough”. Of course not being a cook, I have no dutch oven. So I frantically start opening cabinets looking to see if I have ANY pot that can go in the oven, and of course the answer is no.


But then I noticed an old dog water bowl up on a shelf – fully metal, probably would survive 450 degrees – BINGO! I washed it out, lined it with parchment paper, and off we went. 3 hours later, out came the bread – and shockingly, it looked like an actual loaf of bread! 🍞



I’ll admit, it wasn’t the best bread I’ve ever tasted, but it was edible. And I’m sure by now you are wondering what in the world this sad bread baking story has to do with investments, but for me, this is a metaphor of building my financial portfolio.


I started investing without really knowing what I was doing – I used some of the wrong ingredients and got my timing wrong a few (many) times, but my dough kept rising and eventually came out like a regular loaf of bread. The goal is to NOT make any FATAL errors. If I had forgotten the flour or yeast, or never put the bread in the oven, I wouldn’t have any bread at all. But as long as you stay diversified in your investments, and don’t put all of your money in one failed investment, your ‘bread’ can tolerate some imperfect steps along the way, and you can still achieve financial security.


Do I wish I had made the ‘perfect’ loaf of bread? Sure. But I’ll take my sad dog-bowl beer bread and continue to move forward on the journey. 😊

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