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The Unwritten Laws of Finance and Investment by Robert Cole

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There are five broad classes of investment asset: cash, bonds, property, shares and so-called ‘alternative’ assets. They are listed here in ascending order of risk.

Cash is easy to see and easy to use — it is, to employ the jargon, liquid. Investors hold cash to pay for the everyday costs of living and as an emergency fund to meet the cost of unexpected events. They keep a reserve of cash to draw on to take advantage of investment opportunities when they arise.

It is important to recognise that deposits are not risk-free — a fact appreciated, in particular, by those who invested with the Icelandic banks before the crash of 2008. ...

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