Finance refers to activities regarding the management, creation, and study of money and investments. Specifically, how an individual, company or government acquires capital and how they spend or invest that capital. Finance can be divided broadly into three distinct categories: public finance, corporate finance, and personal finance.
A major focus within finance is thus investment management – called money management for individuals, and asset management for institutions – and finance then includes the associated activities of securities trading and stock broking, investment banking, financial engineering, and risk management. Fundamental to these areas is the valuation of assets such as stocks, bonds, loans, but also, by extension, entire companies. Asset allocation, the mix of investments in the portfolio, is also fundamental here.