Bob Brinker's Marketimer

  Tuesday November 21, 2017

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WHAT IS RISK?
Learn even more about this topic with the Encyclopedia of Personal Finance™

In the investment world, risk refers to an uncertain return on your investment. When you make an investment, you may lose your money, or at least not see any gains. Generally, people try to match their desired return with an acceptable level of risk. Some of the specific risks investors may face include the following:

Bond default risk. This is the risk that the issuer of a bond will not be able to meet its debt obligations. If a company goes bankrupt, you may lose your entire investment.

Bond horizon risk. Investors view longer-term bonds as being riskier and therefore demand higher returns. This is because the prices of long-term bonds are more sensitive to interest rate changes.

Inflation risk. When you invest in bonds, there is always the risk that inflation will lower or eliminate the purchasing power of your returns. Future inflation is always uncertain, and therefore your real rate of return is also uncertain.

Equity risk. This is the risk you undertake when you buy stocks. A stock may lose its value. If the value of a share falls below the price you paid for it, you are losing money.

Small stock risk. Market returns for small stocks are very volatile. Small-cap stocks are stocks in companies with relatively low funding, or capitalization. Small-cap companies are also more likely to go bankrupt. For these reasons, small-cap stocks are generally considered riskier than large-cap stocks.

With all these risks involved in investing, why invest? The answer lies in the concept of risk premium, which is our next topic.




LEARN EVEN MORE WITH THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF PERSONAL FINANCE. CLICK HERE!

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