A potential investor who is deemed financially 'super-fit' may also want to invest in certain products, but an initial evaluation is still necessary. First, it is important to identify the individual's investment profile in terms of objectives and risk. Fidelity has translated this process into a series of questions. The first step is to list all current commitments. Fidelity says that these commitments will dictate 'how much you can afford to invest, how long you can invest and how much risk you should take on'. The questions include: Are you depending totally on the success of this one investment, or do you have others? Is your employment secure? In an emergency (for example debts that might need repaying with little warning) would you need to draw on your investment, or do you have other savings? For investors who need short-term access to their investment, Fidelity suggests they stay with low-risk funds until their investment profile changes. Others may invest in higher risk, more aggressive instruments. Once financial fitness has been ascertained, and investors have considered how an investment fits into their current financial situation, the next step is to establish the type of investor you are. Fidelity asks if your approach is likely to be conservative or aggressive. A key question is the period over which you should invest. There are different factors involved in choosing a suitable investment which will be redeemed in two years, compared with one that will last a decade. The decision depends on investors' current financial circumstances and the reason they are investing. For instance, you may want your investment to generate immediate income. Or perhaps you are setting out to build a large sum of capital for later years. Fidelity says: 'It makes no difference whether you are investing over five months or 15 years - we can help you make smart investments over any length of time. 'However, the longer you are able to leave your money invested, the greater the potential return and the more aggressive your investment strategy can be,' it says. Identifying an investor's tolerance for risk is a vital step in choosing the appropriate investment vehicle. Share values fluctuate with the mood of the stock market as well as the company's fundamentals, and not all investors can stomach the volatility in an investment top-heavy with equities. Fidelity maintains that this is a personal aspect of the investment equation: 'Some people don't mind seeing their investments fluctuate in value over the short term because they balance that volatility with what they feel is their potential over the long term. 'Ultimately, the degree of risk you're comfortable with is for you, and you alone, to decide.' While the impossible ideal is the best rate of return and the lowest risk, the reality is that high profits and growth also have the highest associated risk. 'No investment you'll be offered can promise high rewards without some risk in the short term,' Fidelity warns. The art of the investment specialist is in matching the risk profile with available investments. Other important issues for investors to determine include whether they want to invest in Asia or overseas. This will have a bearing on the risk of the portfolio, given the added danger of an unfavourable foreign exchange fluctuation. However, there is also a risk involved in investing totally in one's home market without diversifying geographically. 'To beat the high inflation inherent to most Asian countries, you may have to take on more risk for potential high returns,' Fidelity says. Another big choice for investors is deciding what type and with what level of return they will be satisfied. Investments can be chosen which deliver a certain return, or investors can choose a portfolio with unknown outcome but high growth potential. Some investors are happy with conservative investments promising modest to medium returns while others pursue high, uncertain returns at the cost of more risk. 'Regardless of your age or financial needs, we believe that given the right tools you are the one best able to make the right investment decisions,' Fidelity says.