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The action or process of investing money for profit or material result.

Business Glossary provided by


Investment refers to the allocation of resources, typically money, with the expectation of generating an income or profit. This can involve purchasing financial assets like stocks, bonds, or real estate, or putting capital into ventures such as startups or business expansions.

Context of Use:

Investment is a crucial aspect of both personal finance and business operations. It's used by individuals to grow wealth and by companies to fund new projects, expand operations, or improve infrastructure. In economic terms, investment is a primary component in driving economic growth and job creation.


The primary purpose of investing is to build wealth over the long term, providing financial security and funds for future needs such as retirement, education, or business expansion. For businesses, investments are made to enhance productivity, gain competitive advantages, and increase market share.


An individual investor buys shares in a technology company, anticipating growth due to innovative product releases. Over time, as the company's value increases, so does the value of the shares, resulting in a profit for the investor when sold. Similarly, a company might invest in new machinery which increases production capacity and reduces operational costs, leading to higher profitability.

Related Terms:

Capital Appreciation: The increase in value of an asset over time.
Dividend: A portion of a company's earnings distributed to shareholders.
Portfolio: A collection of investments held by an individual or institution.
Risk Tolerance: An investor's ability or willingness to endure market volatility and the potential to lose money.
Return on Investment (ROI): A measure of the profitability of an investment.


What are the different types of investment?
A: Investments can be classified into various types such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds, real estate, and commodities, each with different risk profiles and potential returns.

How can one start investing?
A: To begin investing, one should assess their financial situation, define their investment goals, understand their risk tolerance, and then choose appropriate investment vehicles. Consulting with a financial advisor is also recommended.

What are the risks associated with investing?
A: Investments are subject to several risks including market risk, credit risk, liquidity risk, and interest rate risk. Diversification is a common strategy used to manage and mitigate these risks.

Is it better to invest in real estate or stocks?
A: The choice between investing in real estate or stocks depends on individual financial goals, risk tolerance, and market conditions. Each has its advantages and potential downsides.

What is the impact of economic downturns on investments?
A: Economic downturns can negatively affect most investment types, leading to reduced asset values. However, diversification and selecting recession-resistant investments, like certain bonds or stocks in essential industries, can mitigate these effects.

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