Is or are? and why?

Here's the sentence?

"A wide range of investments are/is used..."

"Is" would be grammatically correct, but "are" sounds better. Yes?

A wide range of investments is

The black parts are only the modifiers of range.
Incho is right, range is the actual subject. However, are is also commonly used and I wouldn't object to it.
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(esp the posting by CalifJim)

A wide range of investment is available to the public. – Investment is the singular noun closest to the verb and [range] is the subject. Therefore [is] is correct.

A wide range of investments are available to the public. Since Investments (plural) is now the closest noun to the verb, I believe [are] is correct.

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1. A wide range of investments are used...
2. A wide range of investments is used...

#1 focuses on the investments themselves: #2 focuses on the range of investments.

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