Investment Risks to Lookout for on your Financial Journey – Part 1  - RegInsights

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Investing requires a keen understanding of potential pitfalls and a strategic approach to managing risks. In this article, we will unpack the multifaceted landscape of investment risks, by taking a closer look at market risk, inflation risk and interest rate risk, exploring the intricacies of each and providing insights into effective risk management strategies. We will continue our discussion on investment risks in next week’s article by discussing credit risk, currency risk, concentration risk and finally liquidity risk. We can only have effective strategies in place to manage and mitigate risks, when we are made aware of these risks, so therefore let us consider and inspect each.  

Market risk 

investment risks

Market risk, also known as systemic risk, is akin to the unpredictable nature of the stock market. It is the possibility that factors like economic shifts, political events, or changes in interest rates could influence the value of your investments. Imagine the stock market as a dynamic rollercoaster – when the economy faces uncertainty, the market can experience significant ups and downs. 

So, how do you navigate this financial rollercoaster? Diversification is like building a diverse portfolio similar to curating a versatile wardrobe. You would not want to wear the same outfit every day or during all kinds of weather, and similarly, you spread your investments across various assets – some shares, bonds, maybe even a bit of real estate – to balance out potential losses. 

Another way to manage market risk is by using hedging strategies which act as a financial safety helmet. They involve using tools, such as derivatives or structured product, to shield your investments from sudden market drops, a protective measure for your financial well-being. 

Defensive shares, on the other hand, are your reliable go-to items in the closet. They come from companies that tend to perform well even in economic downturns, offering stability when other investments might falter. These companies typically operate in industries that are essential to everyday life, such as healthcare, utilities, and consumer staples. Examples of local defensive shares in the market are Aspen Pharmacare and British American Tobacco.  

Market risk is an inherent aspect of investing and reflects the uncertainty and volatility associated with financial markets. While market risk cannot be eliminated entirely, investors can manage and mitigate its impact through diversification and prudent risk management strategies. 

Inflation risk 

inflation risks

Inflation risk, also known as purchasing power risk, refers to the potential loss of purchasing power due to the erosion of the real value of money over time. It is the risk that the rate of inflation will outpace the return on an investment, resulting in a decrease in the purchasing power of the investment’s future cash flows or returns. 

Inflation risk can be managed by allocating a portion of the investment portfolio to assets that have historically provided protection against inflation. These include equities, real estate and commodities (such as gold and oil). These assets have the potential to preserve purchasing power and generate real returns over the long term.  

Interest rate risk 

interest rate risks

Interest rate risk is the risk that changes in interest rates will adversely impact the value of investments, particularly fixed-income securities such as bonds. It arises from the inverse relationship between interest rates and bond prices: when interest rates rise, bond prices fall, and vice versa. Understanding interest rate risk is crucial for investors, as it can affect the performance of fixed-income portfolios and overall investment returns. 

Diversifying fixed-income holdings across bonds with different maturities, credit qualities, and issuers can help mitigate interest rate risk. By spreading investments across a range of securities, investors can reduce the impact of interest rate fluctuations on their portfolios. 

Investors can also manage interest rate risk by using interest rate derivatives such as interest rate swaps or futures contracts to hedge against interest rate risk. These instruments allow investors to lock in interest rates or protect against adverse interest rate movements, providing a measure of certainty in uncertain market conditions. 

In conclusion, effective investment decisions require mastering the art of risk management. The diverse risks inherent in the investment landscape demand a nuanced understanding and strategic deployment of risk mitigation strategies. Whether through diversification, thorough research, or thoughtful asset allocation, investors can navigate the dynamic world of investments with greater confidence. By acknowledging and proactively managing risks, investors enhance their ability to achieve sustainable financial success over the long term. In next week’s article we will take a closer look at a few further risks that investors need to be mindful off to ensure all bases are covered.  

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Charne Olivier - Articles provider for My Wealth Investment

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