Diversification is an investment strategy that seeks to mitigate downside by allocating proceeds across a variety of assets or products. The goal of diversification is to build a portfolio of investments across unrelated markets, so a downturn in one particular market may not drastically affect the returns of the portfolio as whole. Diversification looks to create a smoothing effect, allowing the negative performance of some investments be counteracted by the positive performance of an unrelated asset. Diversification is only a strategy, however, and does not guarantee returns and does not protect against losses.
An example of employing a diversification technique would be owning a portfolio of single family homes, corporate equities, and treasury bonds. Although some inherit systematic risk may still exist, an investor would not be fully exposed to the same non-systematic risk across the entire portfolio.