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Basic Concepts

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(Harvard University - Harvard Taiwan Student Association)


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The growing number and complexity of asset classes, disruptive worldwide economic and regulatory environments, emerging technologies, and shifts in investor behaviors and preferences make it challenging to keep knowledge and skills current. Investment strategies and portfolio management addresses all of these concerns.  

- Asset Classes

An asset class is a grouping of investments that exhibit similar characteristics and are subject to the same laws and regulations. Investment assets include both tangible and intangible instruments which investors buy and sell for the purposes of generating additional income on either a short- or a long-term basis.

Historically, the three main asset classes have been equities (stocks), fixed income (bonds) and cash equivalent or money market instruments. Currently, most investment professionals include real estate, commodities, futures, other financial derivatives and even cryptocurrencies to the asset class mix. 

Each asset class is expected to reflect different risk and return investment characteristics and perform differently in any given market environment. Investors interested in maximizing return often do so by reducing portfolio risk through asset class diversification.


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