This is an article I assign to my personal finance 1 students about basic personal investment strategy. It covers all key aspects, and is written for laypeople. However, I assign it only after students have read cover-to-cover Harvard Professor Elizabeth Warren's book, "All Your Worth: The Ultimate Lifetime Money Plan" (with Amelia Warren Tyagi). If you haven't read this book, you can still get a great deal out of the article, but there are some terms and concepts you may not be familiar with. I do, though, strongly recommend this inexpensive paperback to everyone. I think it is by far the best personal finance book on the market.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/richard_serlin/9/