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Saving and Investing Wisely
The first step in investing is to secure a strong financial foundation.
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Building on Your Foundation
Before you invest money, you should spend time setting your personal goals and considering your time horizon, risk tolerance, and liquidity needs.
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Types of Investments: Stocks
When you buy a company's stock, you're purchasing a share of ownership in that business. You become one of the company's stockholders or shareholders. Your percentage of ownership in a company also represents your share of the risks taken and profits generated by the company. If the company does well, your share of its earnings will be proportionate to how much of the company' s stock you own. The flip side, of course, is that your share of any loss will be similarly proportionate to your percentage of ownership.
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Types of Investments: Bonds
When you buy a bond, you're basically buying an IOU. Bonds, sometimes called fixed-income securities, are essentially loans to a corporation or governmental body. The borrower (the bond issuer) typically promises to pay the lender, or bondholder, regular interest payments until a certain date. At that point, the bond is said to have matured. When it reaches that maturity date, the full amount of the loan (the principal or face value) must be repaid.
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Types of Investments: Cash
In daily life, cash is all around you, as currency, bank balances, negotiable money orders, and checks. However, in investing, "cash" is also used to refer to so-called cash alternatives: investments that are considered safe and can be converted to cash quickly. Common cash alternatives include savings accounts, money market deposit accounts, money market funds, certificates of deposit, guaranteed investment contracts (GICs), government savings bonds, U.S. Treasury bills, Eurodollar certificates of deposit, commercial paper, and face amount certificates.
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Investing Through Mutual Funds and ETFs
You can invest in all three major asset classes through mutual funds, which pool your money with that of other investors. Each fund's manager selects specific securities to buy based on a stated investment strategy.
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Asset Allocation
The combination of investments you choose can be as important as your specific investments. The mix of various asset classes, such as stocks, bonds, and cash alternatives, account for most of the ups and downs of a portfolio's returns.
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Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc. does not provide investment, tax, or legal advice. The information presented here is not specific to any individual's personal circumstances. To the extent that this material concerns tax matters, it is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by a taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed by law. Each taxpayer should seek independent advice from a tax professional based on his or her individual circumstances. These materials are provided for general information and educational purposes based upon publicly available information from sources believed to be reliable—we cannot assure the accuracy or completeness of these materials. The information in these materials may change at any time and without notice.