We live in an investment world full of choices. There are now thousands of ETFs, mutual funds and individual securities from which we can choose. To say nothing of all of the active managers out there who are trying to combine these components into winning portfolios. Net-net a this choice is a great thing for investors. For example we now have the ability to build super-low cost, globally diversified portfolios using only ETFs.

However with all these options comes the challenge of putting together portfolios. One reaction to all this choice is paralysis. This is one reason why so many investors can get stuck in cash for long periods of time. One way to deal with the plethora of choices is to simply cross certain investments off of your list. For example some investors now no longer pick individual stocks and rely on sector ETFs to gain certain exposures.

The folks at Morningstar recently asked their readers for investments that are on their “investment blacklist.” An explanation from their post:

Many investors have an investment blacklist–a type of investment they won’t touch for any number of reasons. Maybe they were burned in the past (such as those who have sworn off financial stocks in the wake of the financial crisis). Perhaps the industry is just too competitive or the financial statements too opaque. Even Warren Buffett once said he has three mailboxes in his office: “In,” “Out,” and “Too Hard.”

Reading through the answers is interesting. One distinction we should make is between investments that get on the list for personal reasons and others for more practical reasons. Personal reasons may simply be prior poor experiences with an investment that may simply be for bad timing or bad luck. More practical reasons may include avoiding any high fee financial products.

So, what is on your personal investment blacklist?

Update: One advantage of putting things on your investment blacklist is that it frees up some our attention for other things, investment-related or not. This point was driven home in a recent Rick Ferri post on the importance of reducing “investment noise.”

This content, which contains security-related opinions and/or information, is provided for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon in any manner as professional advice, or an endorsement of any practices, products or services. There can be no guarantees or assurances that the views expressed here will be applicable for any particular facts or circumstances, and should not be relied upon in any manner. You should consult your own advisers as to legal, business, tax, and other related matters concerning any investment.

The commentary in this “post” (including any related blog, podcasts, videos, and social media) reflects the personal opinions, viewpoints, and analyses of the Ritholtz Wealth Management employees providing such comments, and should not be regarded the views of Ritholtz Wealth Management LLC. or its respective affiliates or as a description of advisory services provided by Ritholtz Wealth Management or performance returns of any Ritholtz Wealth Management Investments client.

References to any securities or digital assets, or performance data, are for illustrative purposes only and do not constitute an investment recommendation or offer to provide investment advisory services. Charts and graphs provided within are for informational purposes solely and should not be relied upon when making any investment decision. Past performance is not indicative of future results. The content speaks only as of the date indicated. Any projections, estimates, forecasts, targets, prospects, and/or opinions expressed in these materials are subject to change without notice and may differ or be contrary to opinions expressed by others.

Please see disclosures here.

Please see the Terms & Conditions page for a full disclaimer.