Here are some other style boxes I missed

Silly BandzPhoto courtesy of Brittany Randolph

Well, shoot. In my research for the post on style boxes, I noticed something I had never quite noticed before: there are other style boxes other than the one for mutual funds.


So let’s talk about the style boxes I missed. And then some.

Mutual fund style box (stocks)

The style box that I focused on in the last post was the stock mutual fund style box. This has one axis showing market capitalization and the other axis showing aggressiveness or volatility. It’s divided into a 3×3 square, so there are nine possible options.

Here’s an example:

Style box: large blend

Mutual fund style box (bonds)

But this is only a relevant delineation if we’re dealing with mutual funds which primarily deal in stocks.

When dealing in bonds, it’s a whole different square, because bonds have very different investment criteria. On one axis, there is duration (time to maturity), and on the other axis, there is credit quality (high, medium, low).

For example, for the Vanguard Inflation-Protected Securities Fund:

Or the Vanguard Core Bond Fund:

Other style boxes

But this got me thinking. While this general categorization (which I previously likened to astrological signs or Meyers-Briggs personality types) is useful in a basic way, there’s no reason why we need to stop with mutual funds.

In fact, if you start thinking about it, you can do a style box with anything.

So, for example, here is the ice cream style box:

Or travel style box:


Related to that, the sleeping style box:


While we’re at it, here’s the mattress preferences style box:

Or even the relationship structure style box:

All these could be very important for knowing who to invest in, if you know what I mean.

Have a style box of your own? Let me know in the comments below.

Mike Pumphrey

Mike Pumphrey

I'm the founder and author of Unlikely Radical, a site to help people succeed with money, achieve their goals, and live intentionally.

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Mike Pumphrey
Posted on December 14, 2017