1. Risk Vs Reward
Any kind of investment would involve a certain degree of risk. What’s important is that you take on calculated risk and stick to a risk/reward ratio suitable for your risk appetite. A risk/reward ratio compare the expected returns of an investment to the amount of risk undertaken to invest in that asset.
This ratio is calculated by dividing the amount the investor stands to lose if the price moves in the unexpected direction (the risk) by the amount of profit one expects to have made when the investment is closed out.
2. Individual Risk Appetite
One man’s food is another man’s poison – the same goes for investment. What works for your friend may not be the best investment choice for you. The main reason could be you have a different risk tolerance, which may lead you to sell off the investment during volatile periods.
Think about this, if an investor has bought stocks of company A, which he was sure to be fundamentally and financially sound and there is a sudden overnight drop of 10% due to news adversely affecting the country’s outlook, should he sell or hold on to the stocks?
3. Investment Capital
The amount is investment capital you have can also affect your choice of investment. There is a clear difference between what you can invest in with $10,000 compared to $100,000. However, this does not mean that you are severely limited if you do not have a huge amount of spare cash. It is not rare for investors to invest in leveraged products or use loans to give them the gearing they need.
In fact, taking on a mortgage loan is a rather common way to make use of leverage since most of us will not be able to pay down the entire amount needed to buy a property.
4. Time Horizon
One of the key distinctions between trading and investing is that the latter usually takes on a longer time horizon. The investment horizon determines the investor’s income requirements and desired risk exposure, which then helps in choosing the appropriate investment product.
For certain investment, there is a risk of loss if you close out before the expected investment horizon, especially when it comes to fixed-income assets. Another reason is that given a longer time horizon, the relative volatility of the investment is smoothed out over the entire period and can effectively temper huge potential losses during certain volatile months.