In the early 1900s, purchasers of stocks, bonds, and other securities were described in media, academia, and commerce as speculators. Since the Wall Street crash of 1929, and particularly by the 1950s, the term investment had come to denote the more conservative end of the securities spectrum, while speculation was applied by financial brokers and their advertising agencies to higher risk securities much in vogue at that time. Since the last half of the 20th century, the terms speculation and speculator have specifically referred to higher risk ventures.
Furthermore, as most successful investors will tell you, diversification is king. A diversified portfolio not only reduces unwanted risk, but also contributes to a winning portfolio. And having a well-diversified portfolio doesn't necessarily mean just buying more than one stock; branching out into other areas of investment could be a viable alternative. Read on and learn about 25 investments that Investopedia feels every investor should know.
The nuts and bolts of an annuity boils down to some very basic contracting. You, as the investor, pay a lump sum amount to the annuity issuer, typically an insurance company. At a pre-defined period, typically your retirement, the annuity would mature and start paying you a fixed amount every month. The advantage of an annuity is that you will not have to pay taxes until the annuity payments actually start accruing to you. Although considered low risk, annuity provides charge high fees and their success is largely dependent on the reputation and stability of the insurance company underwriting the annuity.
Under the broad umbrella of bonds, we cover both savings bonds (Treasury Bonds) offered by the US government and corporate bonds issued by private corporations. The US Treasury is the largest issuer of savings bonds and normally these are very secure investment vehicles, given that they are backed by the United States Government — Uncle Sam. These savings bonds are easily sold at most banks and can also be directly purchased from the Treasury Department online. As investments, the savings bonds are safe and stand by their promise of providing fixed interest rates.
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