title:Useful Investment Strategies author:John Mussi source_url:http://www.articlecity.com/articles/business_and_finance/article_5005.shtml date_saved:2007-07-25 12:30:07 category:business_and_finance article:

When deciding to invest, be it in the stock market or in other types of investment, it might seem a bit intimidating at first. How do you know that you’re getting the most out of your money? How do you know what to invest in? Should you invest all that you have into one or two solid investments, or should you spread it out over several investments?
If you’ve worried about any of these questions, read on; you may find the answers that you’re looking for, or you might even get ideas that you hadn’t thought of yet.
Making Smart Investments
In order to get the most out of your investments, it’s important to take a little bit of time to research your potential investments and make investments based upon the facts and information instead of what seems trendy or self-important. Look at the past history of potential investments, seeing how they’ve performed both recently and over the past year or so.
An investment that has grown slowly over a longer period of time is usually better than one that has spiked in value recently; the chances are that the investment that gained a lot of value suddenly will drop in value just as suddenly.
Multiple Investments vs. Few Investments
Many people worry about whether they should make just a few good investments, or if they should invest smaller amounts into several investments. This largely depends upon what the person is looking for in their investments? someone who’s just wanting to build up some additional money for retirement or some other point down the road might be better served to put a lot of money into a few stocks that have been increasing steadily over time, whereas someone who’s trying to build an investment portfolio and trying to make money in general might do better dividing up their investment money among several different investments.
Determine your investment goals, then choose whether or not to divide up your potential investment into several different investments.
Stocks, Bonds, and Indexes
While there are a lot of different types of investments that you might be able to make, stocks, bonds, and indexes are generally the most common types. Stocks are basically portions of ownership in companies, and their values go up and down depending upon the performance, profits, and public reaction to the company and it’s business ventures.
Bonds are traded in the same manner as stocks, but are generally government-issued and increase or decrease depending upon interest rates and the value that the bonds are based upon.
An index is similar to stock shares, but instead of being a specific company its value is based upon an average of a certain market or industry.
Diversification
One of the major factors that can influence how successful your investments are is diversification. Basically, diversification is the process of investing in several different types of investments, and in several different types of industry. A diverse investment portfolio might contain stocks, bonds, and indexes, and will have money invested in several different sectors and industries instead of just one. This allows your investment portfolio to stay relatively level, regardless of the periodic dips in value that companies and sectors tend to take.
Even though one specific stock or one area of your portfolio might be down in value, chances are another part of your portfolio will be up? this helps you to secure your investments slightly against the fluctuations of the market, and can also open you up to opportunities that you otherwise might have overlooked.

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