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Investing 101

A crash course in building your personal portfolio

This story appears in the January 1996 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

"For herein Fortune shows herself more kind than is her custom; it is still her use To let wretched man outlive his wealth To view with hollow eye and wrinkled brow An age of poverty."

In The Merchant of Venice, Shakespeare aptly described one reason we invest-so we don't outlive our wealth. (Note that a person who is 65 today is expected to live to 84, if male, and 88, if female.) Without an investment plan that's sensitive to both immediate and long-term goals, as well as to the level of risk to be taken to achieve those goals, personal investment success becomes difficult, if not impossible, to achieve.

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