Investment Risk

There are significant risks in investing in the capital markets and past performance is not a guide to, or guarantee of, future performance.

This notice cannot disclose all the risks and other significant aspects of transacting in financial instruments and the capital markets. An individual should not deal in financial instruments unless they understand their nature and the extent of the exposure to risk and that there is potential that they may lose part or all of their capital.

Market risk

The risk of investments declining in value because of economic developments or other events that affect the entire market. The main types of market risk are equity risk, interest rate risk and currency risk.

  • Equity risk –applies to an investment in shares. The market price of shares varies all the time depending on demand and supply. Equity risk is the risk of loss because of a drop in the market price of shares.
  • Interest rate risk –applies to debt investments such as  It is the risk of losing money because of a change in the interest rate. For example, if the interest rate goes up, the market value of bonds will drop.
  • Currency risk –applies when you own foreign investments. It is the risk of losing money because of a movement in the exchange rate. For example, if the U.S. dollar becomes less valuable relative to the Euro, your U.S. stocks will be worth less in Euros.

Liquidity risk

The risk of being unable to sell your investment at a fair price and get your money out when you want to. To sell the investment, you may need to accept a lower price. In some cases, it may not be possible to sell the investment at all.

Concentration risk

The risk of loss because your money is concentrated in one investment or type of investment. When you diversify your investments, you spread the risk over different types of investments, industries and geographic locations.

Credit risk

The risk that the government entity or company that issued the bond will run into financial difficulties and won’t be able to pay the interest or repay the principal at maturity. Credit risk applies to debt investments such as bonds. You can evaluate credit risk by looking at the credit rating of the bond.

Inflation risk

The risk of a loss in your purchasing power because the value of your investments does not keep up with inflation. Inflation erodes the purchasing power of money over time – the same amount of money will buy fewer goods and services. Inflation risk is particularly relevant if you own cash or debt investments like bonds. Shares offer some protection against inflation because most companies can increase the prices they charge to their customers. Share prices should therefore rise in line with inflation.

Horizon risk

The risk that your investment horizon may be shortened because of an unforeseen event, for example, the loss of your job. This may force you to sell investments that you were expecting to hold for the long term. If you must sell at a time when the markets are down, you may lose money.

Timing risk is the risk of buying the right security at the wrong time. It also refers to selling the right security at the wrong time. For example, there is the chance that a few days after you sell a stock it will go up in value. There is no sure fire way to time the market.

National and International Risks
National and world events can profoundly affect investment markets.

Economic risk is the danger that the economy as a whole will perform poorly. When the whole economy experiences a downturn, it affects stock prices, the job market, and the prices of consumer products.

Political risk is the danger that government legislation will have an adverse effect on investment. This can be in the form of high taxes, prohibitive licensing, or the appointment of individuals whose policies interfere with investment growth. Political risks include wars, changes in government leadership, and politically motivated embargoes.

Exchange rate risk is the chance that a nation's currency will lose value when exchanged for foreign currencies.

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