2 By going to school today, you give up your time now so that you will be prepared for a career in the future.If a firm builds a new plant, it spends money today for the sake of earning more money in the future.A government may spend money today to build a dam to ensure that people will have a source of water and electricity in the future.These actions represent investments.
3 Definition of Investment In its most general sense, investment is the act of redirecting resources from being consumed today so that they may create benefits for the future.In more narrow, economic terms, investment is the use of assets to earn income or profit.
4 Common Types of Investments Savings Account: short-term interest bearing account.Certificate of Deposit (CD): fixed-term interest bearing deposit.Government or Corporate Bond: fixed-term interest bearing loan.Stock: proportional ownership in a corporation.Mutual Fund: fund that pools the savings of many individuals and invests the money in a variety of stocks, bonds, or other financial assets.
5 Investing and Free Enterprise Investing is an essential part of the free enterprise system by promoting economic growth.For example:Business builds new plantBusiness expands and creates jobsSavings DepositLoan to business
6 The Financial SystemIn order for investment to take place, an economy must have some sort of financial system that allows the transfer of money between savers and borrowers.
7 Savers and borrowers are usually linked together through a financial intermediary. These intermediaries may be Banks, Savings and Loan Associations, Credit Unions, Finance Companies, Life Insurance Companies or Pension Funds.
8 Services provided by Financial Intermediaries Sharing RiskDiversification is the spreading out of investments to reduce risk. Financial intermediaries help individual savers diversify their investments.Providing InformationFinancial intermediaries reduce the costs in time and money that lenders and borrowers would pay if they had to search out investment information on their own.Providing LiquidityFinancial intermediaries allow savers to easily convert their assets into cash.
9 Investment Information How does an investor research how well a potential investment has performed?This and other legal information is published in a report called a prospectus.The company offering the investment provides this.
10 Investment Information When savers make an investment, they receive some sort of document.These documents are known as financial assets or securities, and they represent a claim on the property or income of a borrower.
11 Return, liquidity and Risk Return is the money an investor receives above and beyond the sum of money initially invested.Return and LiquiditySavings accounts have greater liquidity, but in general have a lower rate of return.Certificates of deposit usually have a little greater return but liquidity is reduced.Return and RiskInvesting in a friend’s Internet company could double your money, but there is the risk of the company failing.In general, the higher potential return of the investment, the greater the risk involved.