A portfolio is a collection of investments held by an institution or a private individual. In building up an investment portfolio, a financial institution will typically conduct its own investment analysis, whilst a private individual may make use of the services of a financial advisor or a financial institution that offers portfolio management services.
Holding a portfolio is part of an investment and risk-limiting strategy called diversification. By owning several assets, certain types of risk (in particular specific risk) can be reduced. The assets in the portfolio could include stocks, bonds, options, warrants, gold certificates, real estate, futures contracts or any other item that is expected to retain its value.
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