Assignment Wk 5 (Autosaved).docx

With any investment strategy its important that you

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With any investment strategy, it's important that you not only choose an asset allocation and diversify your holdings when you establish your portfolio, but also stay actively attuned to the results of your choices. A critical step in managing investment risk is keeping track of whether or not your investments, both individually and as a group, are meeting reasonable expectations. Be prepared to make adjustments when the situation calls for it. Measuring Risk You can't measure risk by putting it on a scale or lining it up against a yardstick. One way to put the risk of a particular investment into context—called the risk premium in the case of stock or the default premium in the case of bonds—is to evaluate its return in relation to the return on a risk-free investment. Is there actually a risk-free investment? The one that comes closest is the 13-week U.S. Treasury
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bill, also referred to as the 91-day bill. This investment serves as a benchmark for evaluating the risk of investing in stock for two reasons: The shortness of the term, which significantly reduces reinvestment risk. The backing of the U.S. government, which virtually eliminates default, or credit risk The long-term Treasury bond is the risk-free standard for measuring the default risk posed by a corporate bond. While both are vulnerable to inflation and market risk, the Treasury bond is considered free of default risk. Modern Portfolio Theory In big-picture terms, managing risk is about the allocation and diversification of holdings in your portfolio. So when you choose new investments, you do it with an eye to what you already own and how the new investment helps you achieve greater balance. For example, you might include some investments that may be volatile because they have the potential to increase dramatically in value, which other investments in your portfolio are unlikely to do. Whether you're aware of it or not, by approaching risk in this way—rather than always buying the safest investments—you're being influenced by what's called modern portfolio theory, or sometimes simply portfolio theory. While it's standard practice today, the concept of minimizing risk by combining volatile and price-stable investments in a single portfolio was a significant departure from traditional investing practices. In fact, modern portfolio theory, for which economists Harry Markowitz, William Sharpe, and Merton Miller shared the Nobel Prize in 1990, employs a scientific approach to measuring risk, and by extension, to choosing investments. It involves calculating projected returns of various portfolio combinations to identify those that are likely to provide the best returns at different levels of risk.
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