Risk is the potential that a chosen action or activity (including the choice of inaction) will lead to a loss (an undesirable outcome). The notion implies that a choice having an influence on the outcome sometimes exists (or existed). Potential losses themselves may also be called "risks". Any human ...

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34
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6answers
4k views

What is the best asset allocation for a retirement portfolio, and why?

Based on financial conversations I've had with trusted family members, I believe that asset allocation is one of the more critical things to "get right" during retirement savings. Based on an ...
17
votes
3answers
6k views

How do rich people guarantee the safety of their money, when savings exceed the FDIC limit?

I am curious how a millionaire would guarantee the safety of his money, given that the FDIC only insures up to $250K of an individual's deposits at a bank. If someone had $3 million that they wanted ...
11
votes
3answers
801 views

No transaction fee ETF trades - what's the catch?

I just noticed TD Ameritrade has program where you can trade from a list of ETFs with zero fees. Sounds like it could save me a bit of money, but my cynical side wonders how they make money off such ...
11
votes
1answer
572 views

How does a synthetic ETF work?

A comment on my recent ETF-related question mentioned swap/synthetic ETFs. Most of what I can find on the web glosses over the mechanics. Can someone walk through what is happening behind the scenes? ...
10
votes
2answers
678 views

What is the difference between hedging and diversification? How does each reduce risk?

Hedging and diversification are both used for reducing financial risks, but what are the exact differences between these two?
10
votes
2answers
811 views

When the market price for a stock is below a tender offer's price, is it free money (riskless) to buy shares & tender them?

For instance, on March 11, 2014, Jos A Bank (JOSB) agreed to be acquired by Men's Wearhouse for $65/share in cash. A tender offer to existing shareholders was set to expire on March 19th. On March ...
10
votes
5answers
820 views

What should I do with the stock from my Employee Stock Purchase Plan?

I've got an employee stock purchase plan program. The details are a little tricksy, but I basically get to buy about 2500 shares of company stock at something like $2.33/share... and the stock has ...
9
votes
5answers
325 views

Are long-term bonds risky assets?

I think bonds are debt/loan and fixed-income, so they are risk-free, both short term and long term. But it seems like Bodie's Investment thinks long-term bonds are risky: For example, assume that ...
9
votes
3answers
265 views

What is a “Junk Bond”?

I was reading Barbarians at the Gate and I read that junk bonds were required to do large leveraged buyouts. What is a junk bond and how does it differ from a regular bond? Why is there higher ...
9
votes
1answer
205 views

What are the risks in buying a property from a “Tax Deed” auction?

Recently, I was approached by a friend of my wife's, and she said that she and her husband were making a lot of money bidding on properties that went up for sale in our area, at auctions like this ...
8
votes
10answers
2k views

Ideal investments for a recent college grad with very high risk tolerance?

I recently graduated college and got a steady job making decent money as a software engineer/programmer. I make more than enough money to sustain myself and save up money, while still having money ...
8
votes
4answers
885 views

How risky are penny stocks?

I've recently gotten into several discussions on penny stocks, and I intuitively know that they're far more risky than large cap companies with real assets, but is there any measure of how risky they ...
8
votes
1answer
406 views

How do I minimize the risk of my investment losing value?

I am wondering what type of investment offers the least amount of overall risk. I know that Money Market accounts and CD's offer a low risk of reducing the principal. But they earn such low rates that ...
8
votes
1answer
725 views

Is there extra risk in owning an ADR vs. the underlying stock?

One of my favorite on-again-off-again recovery plays is Mittal Steel (NYSE: MT). I buy the MT ADR there (American Depositary Receipt) because I live in the US. Am I exposing myself to any extra risk ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

How to convince someone they're too risk averse or conservative with investments?

I have a friend who is very risk-averse, by self admission. By my standards he is too much risk averse for his own good. He says that his personal experience over the last 15-20 years taught him that ...
7
votes
5answers
2k views

Is there a good options strategy that has a fairly low risk?

Is there a good options strategy that has a fairly low risk? It doesn't matter if it's complicated, has several legs, and requires margin.
7
votes
4answers
809 views

How do you quantify investment risk?

It's obvious that investing in stocks and bonds is not a guaranteed return--there is some risk, and this is well known. People talk about risk averse investors or riskier ones, or that one should ...
6
votes
4answers
862 views

Investing in foreign CDs, is it worth the risk?

I heard Clark Howard talking about foreign currency CDs, and so I looked and indeed their interest rates are much higher than US rates right now (3.75% for a year in Australia). What risks are ...
6
votes
1answer
529 views

How do small cap stocks perform vs. large cap stocks (like Dow constituents) during bear trends?

Does anyone have any good information on how small cap stocks, e.g. < $500M, perform during bear trends and/or recessions in comparison to large cap stocks like the Dow Jones Industrial Average ...
6
votes
3answers
713 views

What is “beta” for an investment or a portfolio, and how do I use it?

Recently my financial adviser has been talking about my portfolio's "beta". I have also seen beta listed for some investments (for example: http://www.google.com/finance?q=goog). What is "beta" and ...
6
votes
2answers
987 views

Effect of a “Bond Bubble” Bursting?

Lately I've heard increasing talk that the next big bubble that will burst in the US is the "Bond Bubble". Consider this recent Wall Street Journal article. Excerpt: But in the same investment ...
5
votes
3answers
309 views

Do large market players using HFT make it unsafe for individual investors to be in the stock market?

Similar to this question, but with new information concerning High Frequency Trading [HFT], see articles on HPCwire and the NY Times citing that HFT accounts for 73 percent of all equity trading ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Safer investing (401k/savings) assuming there will be another banking crisis?

Assuming one or more of the big investment banks incurs unsustainable investment losses leading to another banking crisis, what is the safest place to invest my 401k?
5
votes
4answers
150 views

Is there a term for the risk of investing in an asset with a positive but inferior return?

For example, say I invest in a 5-year certificate of deposit at 3% annually. Let's assume the bank delivers on time (no defaults). However, a month after I buy it, another bank offered a 4% 5-year ...
5
votes
1answer
258 views

Should my retirement portfolio's asset allocation become more conservative over time?

It seems to be common advice that a retirement portfolio should be invested aggressively when one is young, and conservatively when one is older and closer to retirement. Is this good advice? ...
5
votes
2answers
106 views

Bond prices: Why is a high yield sometimes too good to be true?

Thank you for taking the time to explain me this. I'm looking at bonds prices at Yahoo Finance (see attached image) And it seems to good to be true: A-rated bonds at YTM rates of 11% and more. ...
5
votes
1answer
272 views

What are the risks associated with leveraged trading accounts?

What is a leveraged account and why is it mandatory on some trading platforms to operate through leverage? Also, what are the associated risks? Could I end up losing more money than I invested?
5
votes
3answers
234 views

Strategies for saving and investing in multiple foreign currencies

My wife and I are both expatriates and our financial situation is complicated by having accounts in different currencies. A frequent topic between the two of us which accounts are the best for keeping ...
5
votes
2answers
558 views

Is there a return-on-investment vs risk graph anywhere?

Is there anywhere a graph of "return-on-investment" vs "risk" for various different investments? On this graph would appear several data points, like: "Short-term deposit in dollars", 1% ...
5
votes
2answers
112 views

Does long term asset growth really converge to that derived from compound interest formula?

Many websites/experts claim that the longer you hold your assets, the likelier your asset's return is closer to that predicted by the compound interest formula. However, some other experts claim ...
4
votes
1answer
351 views

Is socialtrend.com or/and feelthetrend.com legitimate?

I'm not particularly literate about finance and market. One of my friend invited me in a 1-hour meeting about this Social Trend marketing of TheTrendSocial.com. Apparently buying one of their "kit" ...
4
votes
1answer
299 views

Should I be more aggressive in a Roth IRA, 401k, or taxable account?

I presently have a mix of Vanguard funds spread throughout taxable and non-taxable accounts. Some advisors claim it's better to take risk in the taxable accounts while placing bonds in the IRA. ...
4
votes
2answers
551 views

Options for risk-free investment or savings over one and two years?

I converted my IRAs to Roths last year, and with the extension of the tax cuts*, I've decided to split the tax burden over 2011 and 2012, even though I can afford to pay them for 2010. Given that I ...
4
votes
3answers
100 views

What's the difference between buying bonds and buying bond funds for the long-term?

I know that if I buy a bond and hold to maturity, I will get the value plus the coupon. If rates go up, the resale value of my bond will go down, and vice versa. However, what happens if I buy into ...
4
votes
3answers
130 views

Is there any reason to diversify your investments across accounts at multiple/different brokers?

I have a few retirement accounts at Vanguard. I am considering opening a regular non-retirement investment account there. Is there any reason to diversify and open the new account with a different ...
4
votes
1answer
324 views

What are useful indexes for rapid evaluation of country investment risk?

The World Economic Forum released their Global Competitiveness Report yesterday and it offers a comprehensive view of individual country risk/reward. There has been an explosion of these types of ...
3
votes
6answers
2k views

For a mortgage down-payment, what percentage is sensible?

In Australia, even after the global financial crisis, it's still common to only have 5-10% and some people even use other assets as collateral to borrow all 100%. I hear historically this has not been ...
3
votes
3answers
125 views

What is the theory behind Rick Van Ness's risk calculation in the video about diversification?

In the video, Rick Van Ness states the following scenario: Stock A has a 7% return with +/- 1% risk Stock B has a 3.5% return with +/- 0.5% risk Stock A and B are perfectly negatively correlated. ...
3
votes
5answers
1k views

Investing in dividend-yielding stocks with money borrowed from margin account?

I am getting ready to invest some of my savings in a stock brokerage account. The well-known brokerages, e.g. ETrade, Ameritrade, etc, have relatively high margin interest rates for the level I am ...
3
votes
2answers
250 views

What's the least risky investment for people in Europe?

I have a few thousand euros in a bank deposit and I was wondering where I should invest them, considering that I won't want to take much risk? I am ready to accept the lower ROI than investing the ...
3
votes
2answers
286 views

How to analyze risk of a bond?

If given the screen below as an example, how would you analyze the risk of a bond? I am not sure what to look for to know if this is a good investment. What risk factors should be considered when ...
3
votes
4answers
291 views

Standard Deviation with Asset Prices?

I am looking for risk measures such as standard deviation for asset prices such as stock prices and index fund prices. It would be a trivial task if I had the data but since I do not have the data I ...
3
votes
2answers
163 views

What risk of a diversified portfolio can be specifically offset by options?

I have been reading articles on portfolios and options. It seems options are used to hedge portfolios for multiple risk factors. I would like to know why options, and why not futures? What is the ...
3
votes
1answer
231 views

Are short-term bond funds subject to the same risk as long-term bond funds?

So much in the news about inflation, and interest appreciation dooming long-term bond funds. Are short-term bond funds affected by the same risk? Does this make investing a portion of your portfolio ...
3
votes
1answer
81 views

How prevalent are futures in the agricultural industry?

I realize that many agricultural companies sell their crops or livestock via futures contracts to manage the risks inherent to their industry. It seems to me that this kind of activity would be ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

What are the risks of associating your PayPal account to your bank account?

What are the risks of associating your PayPal account to your bank account?
3
votes
1answer
85 views

Can I get a dumbed down explanation of risk measures used for evaluating stocks?

Hoping this will be a good reference question for the site. Can someone explain in a way that doesn't require a lot of math/statistics background what the following terms mean when analyzing the ...
3
votes
1answer
258 views

Is there difference in risk between physical or synthetic replication of an index by an ETF?

I understand that there are different ways to manage an ETF. Some use physical replication where they seem to buy the actual stock to track the index it is following. Others use synthetic replication ...
3
votes
1answer
465 views

Return vs. Risk Graphing web site alternatives to RiskGrades, which is closing?

Risk Grades' free website (riskgrades.com) is closing 6-30-11. Do you know of a similar site that allows the user to enter several ticker symbols (funds or stocks) and obtain a graph showing relative ...
2
votes
3answers
142 views