4 Basic Types Of Risk While Investing

Azike Jessica

Investing is a risky proposition, but there are different types of risk necessary to note while investing. By understanding the different types of risks and how they can be mitigated, you can make informed decisions about what investments to pursue.

What are the different types of risk and how do they impact investment returns?

Risk is a key component of investing, but it can also be a source of uncertainty and anxiety. Here are three types of risk and how they impact your returns:

  • Financial Risk: This refers to the potential for loss associated with investments, such as stock prices or interest rates. It’s important to understand the risks involved in any particular investment before you make it.
  • Market Risk: This refers to the possibility that an investment will lose value due to changes in stock prices or other factors outside your control, such as geopolitical instability. Protect yourself from market risk by diversifying your portfolio across different asset types and by keeping track of prevailing market conditions.
  • Operational Risk: This refers to the risk of unauthorized access to or alteration of data or systems that support an investment, which could result in lost revenue or financial losses.

Here are four other basic types of risk while investing:

Historical Risk

Historical risk is a type of risk that investors must be aware of when making decisions about which stocks to buy or sell. It’s the potential for stock prices to decline in the past due to events that have already occurred, such as a recession.

There are two main types of historical risk:


With retrospective risk, investors are worried about whether a past event will have an impact on current stock prices


Prospective risk is concerned with whether future events might cause stock prices to drop.

Both types of risk can be mitigated by using proper investment strategies, but it’s important for investors to be aware of them so they can make informed decisions.

Behavioral Risk

Behavioral risk is the risk of losing money because you made a decision based on emotions, not facts. There are different types of behavioral risk, and they all have different effects on your investment returns.

Here are two of the most common:

  • Confidence bias: This is when you believe that something is true simply because you believe in it, without any evidence to back it up. This can lead to investing in assets that are overvalued or risky investments with high potential rewards but also high potential risks.
  • Overconfidence: This is when you overestimate your ability to predict future events or your own abilities in general. When this happens, it can lead to making mistakes with your investments, such as buying an asset at a too-high price or investing too much money in a risky venture.

Technical Risk

Technical risk is the risk associated with fluctuations in the price of an investment due to technical factors, such as supply and demand, rumors, or changes in market sentiment.

There are three main types of technical risk:

  • Liquidity risk: It’s concerns is about how easily an investment can be sold.
  • Order book volatility: The tendency for the prices of assets to move up and down rapidly on exchanges.
  • Price discovery: The process by which investors determine the fair value of an asset.

Technical risk can be mitigated by using a diversified portfolio, exercising caution when making trading decisions, and keeping track of current market conditions.

Global Risk

The global economy is constantly changing, which can affect all sorts of investments.

Here are a few types of risk to be aware of when investing:

  • Political Risk: Political risks are the potential for changes in government policies or financial instability that could adversely affect an investment. For example, if a country experiences political instability, this could lead to decreased economic growth and increased borrowing costs for companies operating there.
  • Economic Risk: Economic risks concern threats to the stability of an economy, such as inflation or unemployment rates that might exceed expectations and cause a decline in the value of an investment. This could also lead to increases in borrowing costs and decreased returns on investments.
  • Environmental Risk: Environmental risks can come from natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods, or hurricanes, as well as man-made hazards like pollution or climate change.
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