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What is a portfolio?

So you’re interested in the world of finance, or more specifically investing. Your interest has probably led you to literature or online text that has utilized terms specific to investing, one undoubtedly being portfolio. A portfolio can be defined as a collection of valued items, but if we narrow this definition down, investing it is a bit more intricate.


Specifically, an investment portfolio is likely referencing long term savings an individual or company owns. As an investor, your portfolio could be in any of these three categories: stocks, bonds or mutual funds. A critical part of any portfolio is that it should be properly diversified to meet your personal needs and goals. In order to have the best investment portfolio for your needs, whether you’re just starting to invest or are interested in adjusting your portfolio, you want to make sure to evaluate all three categories for their appropriateness but also try to explore options within those categories, such as large vs small cap stocks and U.S. vs foreign bonds; you want to ensure your investment portfolio is not so concentrated in just one or two areas.

Now that you know what a portfolio is, you can exercise discernment when building your own when you're ready. Remember to take time to identify your goals and then research more than one type of stock, bond or mutual fund to invest in that will match your needs.