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The 4 Top Business Investments Right Now Green energy and high-tech industries are best bets for savvy entrepreneurs looking to diversify.

By Katherine Keller Edited by Dan Bova

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Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Sylvain Sonne | Getty Images

Our world has become the global village. Ideas are being produced rapidly around the world, and most of them have the potential to change life as we know it for future generations. Already, we've witnessed amazing ideas and technologies that have sahped the way we think, interact and build businesses.

You can focus solely on growing your own empire, or you can plan to invest in some of the best business options in 2017. Investments aren't just about becoming a part of something revolutionary. They can give way to opportunities for success for your business idea as well. If a single idea can promote such a positive change, then a combination of them can do multiple wonders -- not only for the business industry but for people around the world.

Here are some of the top business-investment moves you can make in the next 12 to 18 months.

1. Virtual reality.

Entrepreneurship has strong roots in the virtual-reality industry. Despite being around for a few years now, virtual reality gained better momentum in 2016. Experts believe the industry most likely will continue this positive trajectory in the near future -- with projected revenue of roughly $4.6 billion in 2017. Virtual reality still is greatly under research, and this provides ample opportunities for new ideas.

Related: 12 Amazing Uses of Virtual Reality

2. Translation and interpretation.

The United States always has been home to multiple cultures and languages. The Census Bureau reports Americans speak more than 350 languages in their homes. On the other hand, businesses have become global. This highly increases the need for both understanding and awareness of more languages. Giants such as Google and Skype have enhanced and expanded their translation capabilities. This allows them to encompass a target market whose customers want a more personalized service. As companies embrace more languages and cultures, employment in areas supporting this industry are projected to increase by 30 percent by 2024.

Related: This New Translation Tech Will Smash the Language Barrier to Doing Business Globally

3. Drone technology.

Drone technology is meeting the diverse needs of multiple industries, including infrastructure, mining and transport. The developing drone market is estimated to be valued at $127 billion. If you decide to invest in this sector, consider choosing a publicly traded company. It's worth mentioning that big, public drone companies such as Go Pro recently have experienced difficult times on the stock market. Instead of selecting popular manufacturers, weigh the benefits of putting your dollars in drone technology and components. One such example is Ambarella, which specializes in producing the video chip sets used in drone cameras.

Related: The iPhone of Drones Is Being Built by This Teenager

4. Green energy.

Civilians and big-business names both are becoming increasingly conscious about their carbon footprints. Businesses have a much larger role to play as they set example for green practices. If trends in environmentally friendly business methods are any indication, this is a good place for investment.

Wind power, in particular, is gaining momentum. It's inexpensive, and the amount of electricity generated has increased fourfold since 2000. At present, America is the world's top wind-energy producer.

According to Wunder Capital CEO Bryan Birsic, solar also is experiencing strong tailwinds, "with the cost of a solar system down by 50 percent in the last five years and installed solar in the U.S. up a remarkable 95 percent in 2016." Solar is becoming a significant job engine, too. A Department of Energy report reveals there are twice as many workers building solar as there are employed at coal, oil, and natural gas power plants.

Related: The Future Is Green and Growing Fast

How to get started in the next 12 to 18 months

As an entrepreneur, your connections with other idea-generators are among your biggest strengths. Work to reinforce these relationships and learn which kinds of decisions your peers are making in 2017. Choose investments that are geared to not only make a profit in the long run but also increase the value of your personal venture. Investing in certain emerging technologies can give you the opportunity to make your existing platform better. Moreover, it may open up more ideas for the future.

Experts generally agree that you'll ultimately benefit from being a bit defensive about your investments for the remainder of this year. The current bull market has been the second longest in history. While it doesn't indicate falling stocks, some market watchers do expect a correction or recession -- but the "when" is unpredictable. Incorporating some defensive investments could help cushion the impact (and certainly won't harm your portfolio). For example, you might consider an index fund that invests in dividend growth stocks, which are supposed to perform better during recessions.

Related: 5 Worthwhile Investment Lessons I Learned From Warren Buffett

Keep your options open when it comes to big-business names. Some of these stock buys will be the best investment decisions you can make in the coming months. Consider Amazon, which rapidly is moving from its major online-retailer function toward cloud computing, video content and artificial intelligence. Stock buys of Medspace, a huge name in the biotech industry, are expected to hit more than $35 over the coming months.

Finally, banks are expected to perform better in the near future. The 2016 election was a game-changer in the business world, and markets still are fluctuating not yet a full year into President Donald Trump's administration. Such an environment leaves plenty of unforeseen elements. Financial stocks could be a wise play against this backdrop. Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase fared well under the Trump rally. Rumors of a coming increase in interest rates and paring down of regulations also should make it easier to do business with banks.

Katherine Keller

President of Katherine Keller International LLC

Katherine Keller is the president of Katherine Keller International, an online marketing, branding, copywriting and graphic design agency. She also works with small business entrepreneurs, building their success mindset and overcoming fears.  

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