In finance, a portfolio is a collection of investments held by an investment company, hedge fund, financial institution or individual. A portfolio may contain a number of asset classes, the main ones being cash, fixed income and equities. Within these asset classes, the retail investor can purchase individual securities such as common shares or bonds, or opt for products that package many such securities together such as mutual funds (including index funds) and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Portfolios are best constructed based on asset allocation principles. A portfolio can be seen as the contents of a specific investment account, but if an individual investor controls several such accounts, it is best to view all the accounts together as a single portfolio.
- Investopedia, Portfolio definition and explanation, Retrieved July 2011