From Italian portafoglio; cognate with the French portefeuille ("folder, wallet"), from the Latin verb portare ("to carry") and folium ("sheet"). The meaning "collection of responsibilities" came by extension in the 1930s.
portfolio (plural portfolios)
- A case for carrying papers, drawings, photographs, maps and other flat documents.
- The collection of such documents, especially the works of an artist or photographer.
- (politics) The post and the responsibilities of a cabinet minister or other head of a government department.
- The group of investments and other assets held by an investor.
2013 June 22, “Engineers of a different kind”, The Economist, volume 407, number 8841, page 70:
- Private-equity nabobs bristle at being dubbed mere financiers. […] Much of their pleading is public-relations bluster. Clever financial ploys are what have made billionaires of the industry’s veterans. “Operational improvement” in a portfolio company has often meant little more than promising colossal bonuses to sitting chief executives if they meet ambitious growth targets. That model is still prevalent today.
- (business) A collection of assets generally.
- I would like to introduce you to our portfolio of services.
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