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In finance and business, an investment is an asset purchased for profit, whether via income, or capital appreciation, or some combination. The entity making the investment is an investor. The opposite of making an investment, or selling the asset, is divestment. Investment has a connotation of a long-term holding period, in contrast to speculation, which is the purchase of assets seeking profit from short-term price movements. In practice, no precise definition distinguishes between investment and speculation. The expected return on investment, or expected ROI, is a measure of the attractiveness of an investment, whether anticipated or realized. In economics, investment represents capital expenditure by companies in an economy or economic model. In this context, investment is distinct from consumer expenditure, government expenditure, and net exports.

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