The Categories of Investments

Last Updated on July 26, 2022

Categories of Investments

There are several places you as an investor can invest your money. It’s critical to thoroughly consider different investment types. Ownership investments, lending investments, and cash equivalents are the three main categories into which investments are typically divided. Within each category, there are numerous distinct kinds of investments.

Many people find investing intimidating because there are so many options available and it can be challenging to choose which investments are best for your account.

Due to overuse, the word “investment” has become confusing. An investment could be a stock or a bond. Nowadays, people are urged to spend money on things like flat-screen TVs, vehicles, and higher education. All of these items could make good financial sense, but they aren’t investments in the traditional sense.

Despite what the advertisements may claim, there are only three fundamental types of investment. They are goods that are bought with the hope that they would bring in money, make a profit, or both.

Finding a financial advisor to serve as your guide and assist you in determining which investments will best help you achieve your financial objectives may make sense if you are serious about investing.

Defining The 3 Types Of Investments

1. Ownership Investments

Investments in ownership are the riskiest and most lucrative category. Here are some instances.


An investment in a certain business is called a stock. A share, or a small portion of the profits and assets of a firm, is what you are buying when you buy a stock. To raise money, companies offer stock in their companies, which investors can then buy and trade amongst themselves. In addition to having a higher risk than other investments, stocks can occasionally offer big rewards. Businesses may lose value or cease operations.

When the value of the stocks they own increases and they can sell those stocks for a profit, stock investors profit. Some stocks also offer dividends, which are periodical payments made to investors from a company’s profits.


An investment is made when funds are used to launch and maintain a firm. Due to the fact that it involves more than just money, entrepreneurship is one of the most difficult investments to make. Entrepreneurs can amass enormous personal fortunes by developing a product or service and selling it to those who are interested in it. One of the richest persons in the world and the founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates, is a good example.

Real Estate

Investments include buying homes and apartments to rent out or sell later.

Your home may serve a variety of functions. It meets a demand for protection. Depending on the state of the market, it can lose value over time or gain value over time. In essence, your home not only fulfils your basic needs but also has the potential to generate revenue if you decide to sell it for a profit.

Many people made the mistake of buying homes they couldn’t afford because they thought they would soon be sold for much more money.

Precious Objects and Collectibles

If the item was purchased with the goal to resell it for a profit, then it can be regarded an ownership investment, just like gold and precious stones, Impressionist paintings, and autographed LeBron James jerseys.

Like other assets, their value could increase or decrease over time. Art and collectibles preferences might change. Gold and diamonds have varying market values. They also incur expenses in the investor’s cold, hard eyes. To maintain their value, they must be insured and preserved in excellent shape.

2. Lending Investments

One type of investing is lending. Because the risks are typically smaller than those of many investments, the benefits are frequently modest.

A corporation or the government will pay a predetermined amount of interest over a predetermined time period on a bond it issues. The only real danger is that the business or government will declare bankruptcy, in which case the bondholder may receive little or nothing in return for their investment.


In essence, you are lending money to an organisation when you purchase a bond. Typically, this would be a company or a government agency. Municipal bonds are issued by local governments, whereas corporate bonds are issued by businesses. Investors can purchase Treasury bonds, notes, and bills, which are all debt securities issued by the US Treasury.

The lender receives interest payments while the loan is being made. You get your principal back when the bond matures, which means you’ve held it for the time period specified in the contract.

Bonds normally have a lower rate of return than stocks, but they also often carry less risk. Of course, there is still some danger involved. Both the government and the corporation from which you purchase bonds are subject to failure. But Treasury bonds, notes, and bills are regarded as very secure assets.

Savings Accounts

An investment is something you put money into regularly. In essence, the investor is lending money to the bank. The bank will give the account holder interest while making a profit by lending the remaining funds to businesses at a higher interest rate. Savings account returns are now fairly modest, but the danger is almost nonexistent.

3. Cash Equivalents

These assets may be rapidly and easily changed back into cash because they are “as good as cash.”

Money Market Funds

Money market funds, which resemble savings accounts, are available at all banks. The distinction is that the investor agrees to leave the money alone for a specified amount of time in exchange for a little higher interest rate. The duration can be as little as three months and as long as a year.

Because money market funds are more liquid than other investments, you can use them to write checks exactly like a checking account. However, a large portion of its value as an investment is lost the moment you begin writing checks against it.

Things That Are Not Investments


Education is frequently referred to be an investment, and it can undoubtedly offer long-term benefits including a greater income. It may be claimed that in exchange for a reliable paycheck, we sell our education as though it were a small business service.

By this reasoning, every time we purchase a stress ball or a cup of coffee, we are investing. These products have advantages, but they are not investments.

Consumer Purchases

Investments are not things like beds, vehicles, mobile phones, TVs, or anything else that loses value over time and with use. Even if you spend more to get something with a better intrinsic value, used products are still used goods. The worst thing would be to take loans to buy these items. The leave yo unprofitably indebted.

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