Editor's note: Ali Velshi is CNN's chief business correspondent and author of the new book "Gimme My Money Back: Your Guide to Beating the Financial Crisis," published by Sterling & Ross. Below is an excerpt from the book.
Ali Velshi says you need to know yourself to know how much risk you want to take with your investments.
It's time to meet the star of this book: you.
Everything you've read is just a prelude to the main story: building the investment portfolio that's going to take you where you want to go. What will it look like? What will be in it? It's completely your call. And to help you make it, I'm going to walk you through the steps you need to consider before you start to buy assets.
We've seen that there are smart ways to invest in any asset class. And we know that combining asset classes is the best way to ensure a steady return on your investments. Watch Ali explain why this is his favorite chapter »
Further, we've learned that even volatile assets do well over time (in fact, they perform best over time). Send Velshi your questions
So the strategy you follow should be a function of your investment time horizon -- how many years you'll be contributing to your portfolio before you start taking money out of it -- and your ability to tolerate volatility. Quiz: Are you a risk taker?
After all, you've got to be comfortable with the decisions you make. If you had money in the market in stocks in fall 2008 and you were able to sleep soundly every night, you probably have a good tolerance for volatility. If you woke up and paced the floor at 3 each morning, you might not.