# explain the relationship between risk and return when investing

An investor who has a well-diversified portfolio only requires compensation for the risk suffered by their portfolio (systematic risk). 8 An investor who holds a well-diversified portfolio will only require a return for systematic risk. Virtual classroom support for learning partners, Support for students in Australia and New Zealand, The risk and return relationship – part 1, How to approach Advanced Financial Management, understand an NPV calculation from an investor’s perspective, calculate the expected return and standard deviation of an individual investment and for two asset portfolios, understand the significance of correlation in risk reduction, understand and explain the nature of risk as portfolios become larger. Investors receive their returns from shares in the form of dividends and capital gains/ losses. In this article on portfolio theory we will review the reason why investors should establish portfolios. Return refers to either gains and losses made from trading a security. However, the systematic risk will remain. See Example 4. Probability Return % In a portfolio, such random factors tend to cancel as the number of investments in the portfolio increase. Decision criteria: accept if the NPV is zero or positive. By the end of this article you should be able to: UNDERSTANDING AN NPV CALCULATION FROM AN INVESTOR’S PERSPECTIVE The decision is equally clear where an investment gives the highest expected return for a given level of risk. The return on an investment is the result that you achieve in proportion to its value. The definition of risk that is often used in finance literature is based on the variability of the actual return from the expected return. In reality, the correlation coefficient between returns on investments tends to lie between 0 and +1. Sometimes they move together, sometimes they move in opposite directions (when the return on A goes up to 30%, the return on D goes down to 10%, when the return on A goes down to 10%, the return on D also goes down to 10%). Thus their required return consists of the risk-free rate plus a systematic risk premium. Source: Fidelity: One of the core concepts in finance is the relationship between risk and return. The Barclay Capital Equity Gilt Study 2003 Section 7 presents a review of empirical tests of the model. But most of all, you need to figure out what type of investor you are! The relationship between risk and return can be observed by examining the returns actually earned by investors in various types of securities over long periods of time. The risk of receiving a lower than expected income return – for example, if you purchased shares and expected a dividend payout of 50 cents per share and you only received 10 cents per share. The table in Example 1 shows the calculation of the expected return for A plc. There’s also what are called guaranteed investments. After investing money in a project a firm wants to get some outcomes from the project. A well-diversified portfolio is very easy to obtain, all we have to do is buy a portion of a larger fund that is already well-diversified, like buying into a unit trust or a tracker fund. The current share price of A plc is 100p and the estimated returns for next year are shown. You could also define risk as the amount of volatility involved in a given investment. Therefore, systematic/market risk remains present in all portfolios. Statistical measures of variability are the variance and the standard deviation (the square root of the variance). See Example 6. The returns of A and C move in equal but opposite ways (when the return on A goes up to 30%, the return on C goes down to 10%, when the return on A goes down to 10%, the return on C goes up to 30%). Portfolio A+D – no correlation Finance professionals believe that investor expectations of the relative returns anticipated from various types of securities are heavily influenced by the returns that have been earned on these securities over long periods in the past. risk is not the only factor that needs to be considered when choosing an investment product. Thus investors have a preference to invest in different industries thus aiming to create a well- diversified portfolio, ensuring that the maximum risk reduction effect is obtained. The answer to this question will be given in the following article on the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM). To compare A plc and Z plc, the expected return and the standard deviation of the returns for Z plc will have to be calculated. They only require a return for systematic risk. Introduction to Risk and Return. The logic is that an investor who puts all of their funds into one investment risks everything on the performance of that individual investment. Let us now assume investments can be combined into a two-asset portfolio. A positive covariance indicates that the returns move in the same directions as in A and B. We shall see that it is possible to maintain returns (the good) while reducing risk (the bad). Given that the expected return is the same for both companies, investors will opt for the one that has the lowest risk, ie A plc. Calculating the risk premium is the essential component of the discount rate. Risk simply means that the future actual return may vary from the expected return. We just need to understand the conclusion of the analysis. In some cases, only the money initially invested by you, known as the principal, is guaranteed; in others, both the principal and the money you earn on the investment, known as the return, are guaranteed. Increased potential returns on investment usually go hand-in-hand with increased risk. 10 KEY POINTS TO REMEMBER. R = Rf + (Rm – Rf)bWhere, R = required rate of return of security Rf = risk free rate Rm = expected market return B = beta of the security Rm – Rf = equity market premium 56. A positive NPV opportunity is where the expected return more than compensates the investor for the perceived level of risk, ie the expected return of 20% is greater than the required return of 16%. However, as already stated, in reality the correlation coefficients between returns on investments tend to lie between 0 and +1. Suppose that we invest equal amounts in a very large portfolio. The reason for squaring the deviations is to ensure that both positive and negative deviations contribute equally to the measure of variability. Some investments carry a low risk but also generate a lower return. Section 6 presents an intuitive justification of the capital asset pricing model. Explain the relationship between risk and return. The expected return of a portfolio (Rport) is simply a weighted average of the expected returns of the individual investments. You also need to know the description of the investment, its potential return and its liquidity (possibility of withdrawing the investment quickly without a penalty). Therefore, we will need a new formula to calculate the risk (standard deviation of returns) on a two -asset portfolio. This is the utopian position, ie where the unexpected returns cancel out against each other resulting in the expected return. Think of lottery tickets, for example. The risk-free return compensates investors for inflation and consumption preference, ie the fact that they are deprived from using their funds while tied up in the investment. The returns of A and D are independent from each other. In what follows we’ll define risk and return precisely, investi-gate the nature of their relationship, and find that there are ways to limit exposure to in-vestment risk. 9 Investors who have well-diversified portfolios dominate the market. Assume the market portfolio has an expected return of 12% and a volatility of 28%. The good news is that we can construct a well-diversified portfolio, ie a portfolio that will benefit from most of the risk reduction effects of diversification by investing in just 15 different companies in different sectors of the market. Thus the market only gives a return for systematic risk. Intuitively, we probably feel that it does not matter which portfolio Joe chooses, as the standard deviation of the portfolios should be the same (because the standard deviations of the individual investments are all the same). Suppose that Joe believes that the shares in A plc are twice as risky as the market and that the use of long-term averages are valid. Each product has its own special features. The forecast actual return is the same as the expected return under normal market conditions and almost the same under boom market conditions (20 v 21.25). Risk and return: the record. However, portfolio theory shows us that it is possible to reduce risk without having a consequential reduction in return. Let us then assume that there is a choice of investing in either A plc or Z plc, which one should we choose? The meaning of return is simple. A widely used definition of investment risk, both in theory and practice, is the uncertainty that an investment will earn its expected rate of return. One of the most widely accepted theories about risk and return holds that there is a linear relationship between risk and return But there are many fallacies and misconceptions about risk. Note the only difference between the two versions is that the covariance in the second version is broken down into its constituent parts, ie. This can be proved quite easily, as a portfolio’s expected return is equal to the weighted average of the expected returns on the individual investments, whereas a portfolio’s risk is less than the weighted average of the risk of the individual investments due to the risk reduction effect of diversification caused by the correlation coefficient being less than +1. Required return = The risk-return relationship is explained in two separate back-to-back articles in this month’s issue. Portfolio A+B – perfect positive correlation The idea is that some investments will do well at times when others are not. If an investor undertakes a risky investment he needs to receive a return greater than the risk-free rate in order to compensate him. The returns of A and B move in perfect lock step, (when the return on A goes up to 30%, the return on B also goes up to 30%, when the return on A goes down to 10%, the return on B also goes down to 10%), ie they move in the same direction and by the same degree. However, this approach is not required in the exam, as the exam questions will generally contain the covariances when required. As a general rule, investments with high risk tend to have high returns and vice versa. Since these factors cause returns to move in the same direction they cannot cancel out. A fundamental idea in finance is the relationship between risk and return. In this article, you will discover how risky investing is. We are about to review the mathematical proof of this statement. Thus total risk can only be partially reduced, not eliminated. As mentioned earlier too, the asset, which gives higher returns, is generally expected to have higher levels of risk. EXPECTED is an important term here because there are no guarantees. This model provides a normative relationship between security risk and expected return. Individuals and firms in the financial sector, Fintech, Exams, probationary period, right to practise, trainers, Transparency Measures - Mining, oil and gas, Share the page by e-mail, This link will open in a new window, Share the page on Facebook, This link will open in a new window, Share the page on Twitter, This link will open in a new window, Share the page on LinkedIn, This link will open in a new window. The following table gives information about four investments: A plc, B plc, C plc, and D plc. THE STUDY OF RISK Thus if an investor had invested in shares that had the same level of risk as the market, he would have to receive an extra 5% of return to compensate for the mark et risk. Risk and Return Considerations. Required = Risk free + Risk Typically, it comes down to two big factors that you’ve probably heard of: Risk and return. return (%) deviation (%) Given that the expected return is the same for all the portfolios, Joe will opt for the portfolio that has the lowest risk as measured by the portfolio’s standard deviation. What extra return would I require to compensate for undertaking a risky investment?’ Let us try and find the answers to Joe’s questions. SYSTEMATIC AND UNSYSTEMATIC RISK money market). A wiser policy would be to spread the funds over several investments (establish a portfolio) so that the unexpected losses from one investment may be offset to some extent by the unexpected gains from another. False, if a … There is a clear (if not linear) relationship between risk and returns. Measuring covariability In investing, risk and return are highly correlated. See Example 7. Given that Joe requires a return of 16% should he invest? 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