You've heard the old investment adage, "Don't put all your eggs in one basket." It's good advice. A diversified portfolio should be at the core of any well-planned investment strategy. While a worthy goal at any age, it's especially desirable as your net worth grows over the years. The basic purpose of diversification is to reduce risk and volatility. It's primarily a defensive type of investment policy. Depending on your investment goals and tolerance for risk, your strategy may emphasize one type of investment over another. But overall, your investment plan should be diversified. That's because no single type of investment performs best under all economic conditions. A diversified program is capable of weathering varying economic cycles and improving the trade-off between risk and return. Of course, diversification cannot entirely eliminate the risk of investment losses. Diversification offers returns which are not directly related over time and is intended for the structure of a whole portfolio to help reduce the risk inherent in a particular security.