This is Section/Lesson 5 covering some Parting Thoughts. It's intended for someone who has read the preceding four chapters. To start at the beginning, please go here. A glossary of investment terms is here.

If you’re younger, you can withstand more risk in your portfolio than if you’re 5 years away from planned retirement. Therefore, diversity will depend upon the markets, your age, your risk appetite, your need for income and other factors. If the amount of money you have for investing is large – say, millions of dollars – then you should diversify even beyond the United States. Some analysts believe that because of growth opportunities in other countries, such as China and India, investments in companies there offer greater potential for profits (along, of course, with greater risk).

I make a strong case for the real estate investments presented here, but diversification is more important. Depending on your situation and goals, a portfolio that includes stocks, bonds and real estate should be considered. If you need income go with all three. If you don't need income, go with stocks and real estate. And you choose how much to put in each class.

The money you invest and the money that you could lose is yours. Don’t be overly influenced by others (including me!). Invest for the long haul. Investing can be risky – that’s how money is made. However, by educating yourself you’ll find that investing isn’t all that scary and you can minimize the risks.

One final thought is that your investing should never keep you from getting a good night’s sleep every night. That’s why you don’t invest until you’ve paid off all your credit cards and put away a tidy rainy-day sum, and that’s why you diversify your portfolio so ups and downs are no sweat.

In prior sections we've covered basic investment concepts for stocks, bonds and real estate. You may click on one of the buttons below to return to one of these sections.

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1 This was updated in Oct. 2019. The views expressed here are mine and at times may depart from the norm. In preparing this article I first read several articles, and ideas or phrases from those articles may have unintentionally crept into mine; I am happy to remove any plagiarism if alerted.