In finance, a portfolio is a collection of investments held by an investment company, hedge fund, financial institution or individual.
The term “portfolio” refers to any combination of financial assets such as stocks, bonds and cash. Portfolios may be held by individual investors or managed by financial professionals, hedge funds, banks and other financial institutions. It is a generally accepted principle that a portfolio is designed according to the investor's risk tolerance, time frame and investment objectives. The monetary value of each asset may influence the risk/reward ratio of the portfolio.
When determining asset allocation, the aim is to maximise the expected return and minimise the risk. This is an example of a multi-objective optimization problem: many efficient solutions are available and the preferred solution must be selected by considering a tradeoff between risk and return. In particular, a portfolio A is dominated by another portfolio A' if A' has a greater expected gain and a lesser risk than A.