Personal Financial Planning

Your Choices

When you make an investment, you are giving your money to a company or an enterprise, hoping that it will be successful and pay you back with even more money.

Some investments make money, and some don't. You can potentially make money in an investment if:
  • The company performs better than its competitors.
  • Other investors recognize it's a good company, so that when it comes time to sell your investment, others want to buy it.
  • The company makes profits, meaning they make enough money to pay you interest for your bond, or maybe dividends on your stock.
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You can lose money if:
  • The company's competitors are better than it is.
  • Consumers don't want to buy the company's products or services.
  • The company's officers fail at managing the business well, they spend too much money, and their expenses are larger than their profits.
  • Other investors that you would need to sell to think the company's stock is too expensive given its performance and future outlook.
  • The people running the company are dishonest. They use your money to buy homes, clothes, and vacations, instead of using your money on the business.
  • They lie about any aspect of the business: claim past or future profits that do not exist, claim it has contracts to sell its products when it doesn't, or make up fake numbers on their finances to dupe investors.
  • The brokers who sell the company's stock manipulate the price so that it doesn't reflect the true value of the company. After they pump up the price, these brokers dump the stock, the price falls, and investors lose their money.
  • For whatever reason, you have to sell your investment when the market is down.
The most popular choices are:
Stocks and bonds
Mutual funds