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Sprint or stroll, depending on your goals

Different investors have different goals. Use short-term investments for short-term goals, such as current income. Savings accounts and money market funds are generally considered short-term—they pay interest or dividends on the money you contribute, and the risk of losing money is low.

Use long-term investments for long-term goals, such as saving for retirement. Stocks and bonds— and the mutual funds that invest in them—are considered long-term and intermediate-term investments, respectively. Generally, stocks are more volatile than bonds, which in turn are more volatile than savings accounts and money market funds. That said, stocks also have a history of providing higher returns than bonds and other short-term investments over time.

In the real world, investors have both short and long-term goals. That’s why choosing a variety of investment options can help you meet your various goals while lowering your risk exposure. This process is called diversification, and it can help you in your race to financial security.

Diversification: a smart choice

Stock mutual funds can provide growth, but they generally don’t produce much income. Bond funds are the opposite. They produce income and may also provide some growth over time. A well-diversified portfolio usually includes a mix of stock and bond investments, because stocks and bonds often react differently to the same economic and market conditions.

Bonds respond more directly to changes in interest rates while stocks are usually affected by specific market or industry news, as well as developments within the company that issued the stock. By blending a variety of different investments with various characteristics, investors can reduce their overall risk while increasing their potential for greater long-term results.

A Tale of Two Hypothetical Portfolios

* The returns in the above chart are hypothetical and do not reflect the actual returns of any of the Funds in Ariel Investment Trust or any other investment product.


Past performance does not guarantee future results. © Ariel Investments, LLC. This website and all of its content is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be considered to be investment advice or a recommendation to buy or sell any particular security. The mutual funds offered by Ariel Investment Trust are distributed by Ariel Distributors, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ariel Investments, LLC. Use of this website is subject to our Terms & Conditions. The Ariel mutual funds referred to in this site may be offered only to persons in the United States. This web site should not be considered a solicitation or offering of any investment products, funds or services to ineligible investors, investors for whom such products, funds or services are not suitable, or investors outside the United States.

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