“Total investment” can have many different meanings, depending on the context of the phrase. The broadest definition of this phrase is the total amount of financial resources that an individual or organization has in a project or must include in a project. This phrase often appears to indicate the capital needed to start a business.
In personal finance, total investment simply refers to the amount of money a person has in a certain place. The Motley Fool financial information website refers to the total investment when explaining capital gains. For example, if you invest $20 in 100 stocks, your total investment amount is $2,000 (and if you sell those stocks for $30 per share, then your proceeds are $1,000).
When starting a new business, the total investment can be the expected cost to start a business (this use often appears in franchises, where the parent company has a previous business history and a good idea of new franchise costs). After the business is established, the total investment capital is the actual amount that the owner and investors have spent to establish the joint venture.
Similar to when starting a business, the total investment capital can be the total amount invested in a project. For example, the World Bank’s website defines the use of total institutional investment as “total investment in physical assets and payments to the government” for each country the bank works with.
People use this phrase in a variety of ways and often give parameters of the statement (e.g., “My total investment in the stock market is $10,000”). People also refer to the total amount of capital – another word for money – in a business, investment or business project.