We want to make understanding commentary and investing easier for you so we created this page to provide definitions and some more information about risks that investments of all kinds have. Remember, there are risks with all investments but understanding the different types of risk can help you create the right investment strategy for you.
When considering which investments to select for your specific goals, it's important to understand some of the differences between each because there is potential to lose money. Investments that have similar characteristics and behave similarly in the marketplace are referred to as asset classes. The following asset classes have different risks to consider.
Stock prices and returns are typically less stable than those of bonds (also known as fixed-income investments). While stocks have the potential for higher gains, those gains are not guaranteed and could also lead to loss.
Stocks of new or smaller companies have the most equity risk because they are less established compared with medium- or large-company stocks.
While fixed income securities usually contain less risk than other equity investments, they can still be impacted by interest rates and other factors. Some fixed income products, such as bonds, are investments that can't be used until they have matured. It's important to understand that interest rates and bond prices tend to move in opposite directions, so there are economic considerations with these investments as well.
International investments have additional risks to consider, including political instability and different industry practices (such as accounting standards).
Investing in real estate can also be risky since there are additional economic factors that affect real estate values.
Commodities (such as coffee or copper) have prices that fluctuate more than other assets, and can be affected by economic factors as well as weather or political developments. You can invest in these types of assets either directly or through products linked to commodity prices.
A money market fund is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any government agency. The typical goal of the fund is to preserve your investment; however, it is still possible to lose money.
These are terms that are used frequently in market updates so we thought it would be important to explain them a little further to help you better understand what they mean.
An index is a common way to measure market performance; however, it is not something you can invest in directly. All index references and performance calculations are based on information provided through Bloomberg. Bloomberg is a provider of real-time and archived financial and market data, including pricing, trading, analytics and news. Examples of different indexes include: S&P 500, MSCI EAFE, Dow Jones Industrial Average and Barclays Capital US Aggregate Bond Index. There are also indexes that measure prices of different U.S. goods. Examples of that include producer and consumer price indexes.
A Treasury note is a marketable U.S. government debt security with a fixed interest rate and a maturity between one and 10 years.
Measures the market value of all goods and services produced during a certain period of time.
Standard & Poor's, Fitch Ratings and Moody's Investor Services issue credit ratings for the debt of public and private corporations.