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What is an investment strategy?

Investment strategy 101: a beginner's guide to building a winning investment plan

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The process of investing involves putting your money or capital into something with the aim of earning more money and making a profit. Investment strategies are sets of principles, rules, and approaches that an investor follows to manage their investment portfolio. A sound investment strategy can help an investor achieve their financial goals, manage risk, and maximize returns.

In this article, we will provide a beginner's guide to investment strategies, including its definition, benefits, types, and key principles. We will also discuss various investment terms and jargon that a new investor should know.

What are investment strategies? 

Investment strategies are plans of action that an investor follows to manage their investment portfolio. It involves selecting investments that align with their financial goals, risk tolerance, and time horizon. Good investment strategies takes into account market conditions, diversification, and risk management techniques. 

The primary goal of investment strategies is to help investors maximize their returns while minimizing potential losses. These strategies can be created by the investor themselves or by a financial advisor and used across varying markets, from the stock market to the crypto market.

The benefits of having an investment strategy

Having an investment strategy can help you achieve various financial goals, whether they be generating income, building wealth, or funding retirement. It also helps you manage risk, reduce potential losses, and maximize returns. Strong investment strategies consider each investor's specific investment objectives, time horizon, risk tolerance, and market conditions.

Various types of investment strategies

There are several types of investment strategies that investors can implement during the investing process depending on their unique circumstances (risk tolerance, capital, financial goals, etc.). From value investing to income investing, we cover the most popular investment strategies below.

Value investing

Value investing is a strategy that involves buying stocks that are undervalued compared to their intrinsic value. This approach seeks to identify companies that are trading on the stock market at a discount price and have strong fundamentals.

Growth investing

The growth investment strategy is one of the best investment strategies as it focuses on investing in companies with high growth potential, even if they are currently trading at a premium. This growth investing strategy is designed around identifying companies with strong earnings growth, innovative products, or dominant market positions. Growth stocks will typically encompass both mature and emerging companies.

Income investing

The income investing strategy focuses on generating regular income from investments, such as dividend stocks, bonds, or real estate investment trusts (REITs). Here the aim is to provide a steady stream of income for investors, especially those who are retired or seeking passive income.

Index investing

Index investing is also one of the more common investment strategies that seeks to replicate the performance of a particular market index, such as the S&P 500 or the NASDAQ. This approach offers investors broad exposure to the market at a low cost.

Momentum investing

Momentum investing is a strategy that involves buying stocks that have shown strong performance in the past and continue to outperform the market. The aim here is to capitalize on the trend of rising prices and momentum in the market.

Contrarian investing

Contrarian investing is a stock market focused strategy that involves buying stocks that are out of favor with the market or have fallen out of favor. This strategy centers around identifying companies that are undervalued by the market and have the potential for a turnaround.

Active investing 

Active investing is a strategy that involves actively managing a portfolio, often through the frequent buying and selling of assets. This strategy generates higher returns than passive investing but requires more time, research, and expertise.

The key principles of investment strategies

Regardless of which of the different investment strategies one chooses, here are some key principles that every investor should follow.

Set investment goals

Before you start investing, you should have clear investment goals and a plan to achieve them. Your investment goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.

Diversify your portfolio

Diversification is the process of spreading your investments across different asset classes, sectors, and regions. Diversification helps reduce risk by minimizing the impact of any single investment or market event on your portfolio.

Manage risk

Remember that all investments carry some level of risk, and it is important to manage risk to avoid potential losses. You should assess your risk tolerance and invest accordingly. You can also use risk management techniques, such as stop-loss orders, to limit your potential losses.

The long-term investment strategy

Investing is a long-term game, and you should be patient and disciplined in your investment approach. Playing the long game and investing in long term investments is more likely to deliver financial independence.

Control your emotions

Emotions can cloud your judgment and lead to irrational investment decisions. It is important to control your emotions and stick to your investment strategy, even during market downturns or volatility.

Focus on fundamentals

When selecting investments, it is crucial to focus on the fundamentals of the underlying companies or assets. This includes factors such as revenue growth, earnings, valuation, and competitive advantage.

Stay informed

The investment landscape is constantly changing so ensure that you stay informed about market trends, economic indicators, and company news. This can help you make more informed investment decisions and adjust your strategy as needed.

Investment terms that every investor should know

As a new investor, you may encounter various investment terms and jargon that can be confusing. Here are some of the most common investment terms and their definitions:

Stock: A stock represents ownership in a company and gives the holder a claim on a portion of its assets and earnings.

Bond: A bond is a debt security that represents a loan made by an investor to a borrower, typically a corporation or government.

Mutual funds: mutual funds are a type of investment vehicle that pools money from multiple investors to invest in a diversified portfolio of stocks, bonds, or other assets.

ETF: An ETF, or exchange-traded funds, tracks a particular market index and can be bought and sold on an exchange like a stock.

Asset allocation: Asset allocation is the process of dividing your portfolio among different asset classes, such as stocks, bonds, and cash, to achieve your investment goals and manage risk.

Market capitalization: Market capitalization refers to the total value of a company's outstanding shares of stock, calculated by multiplying the number of shares by the current market price.

Dividend: A dividend is a distribution of a portion of a company's earnings to its shareholders, typically paid out in cash or additional shares of stock.

Expense ratio: The expense ratio is the annual fee charged by a mutual fund or ETF to cover its operating expenses, expressed as a percentage of the fund's assets.

P/E ratio: The price-to-earnings ratio compares a company's current stock price to its earnings per share, indicating how much investors are willing to pay for each dollar of earnings.

Yield: Yield refers to the income generated by an investment, typically expressed as a percentage of its price or face value.

Market order: A market order is an instruction to buy or sell a security at the current market price, regardless of the price level.

Limit order: A limit order is an instruction to buy or sell a security at a specific price level or better.

Stop-loss order: A stop-loss order is an instruction to sell a security if its price falls below a specified level, designed to limit potential losses.

Bull market: A bull market is a period of rising stock prices and optimistic investor sentiment.

Bear market: A bear market is a period of declining stock prices and pessimistic investor sentiment.


Investing can be a complex and challenging endeavor, but having a sound investment strategy can help you achieve your financial goals and manage risk. By understanding the different types of investment strategies, key principles, and investment terms, you can become a more informed and confident investor. 

Remember to set clear investment goals, diversify your portfolio, manage risk, invest for the long term, control your emotions, focus on fundamentals, and stay informed. With these principles in mind, you can develop an investment strategy that suits your needs and helps you achieve financial success.


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