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Learning Center Experience
By Jerry Taylor, Full-Time Faculty, Kaplan University Published April 2016
Risk is an interesting topic; it’s actually one of those things
that’s in the eye of the beholder. Some people jump out of airplanes…many
people do not. Some people ride
motorcycles…many people do not. People
see risk very differently. Those who do not embrace risk are known as “risk
averse.” We think of this in degrees, from not at all risk averse to highly
risk averse. The highly risk averse, in a financial context, need to invest in
things that are just about risk free, like United States treasuries. Are you a
What is risk from a financial
perspective? Risk is the chance you will not
get some or all of your investment back. High
risk means it is highly likely your investment will not perform—there is a high probability that you could lose some or
all of your money.
Investopedia defines risk as “the chance that an investment's actual return
will be different than expected. Risk includes the possibility of losing some
or all of the original investment. Different versions of risk are usually
measured by calculating the standard deviation of the historical returns or
average returns of a specific investment. A high standard deviation indicates a
high degree of risk.” Wow, see how smart financial people are!
In return for taking a high
risk a savvy investor will demand a high
reward, or a high return on the risky projects. Why? A typical investment
portfolio is comprised of a number of investments with varying degrees of risk.
Assume half of the investments in a portfolio are risky. Further assume that ¾
of those investments will be successful and provide a high return. With a high
return, the winners in the portfolio may offset the losers, those risky investments
that fail to perform.
If a portfolio is not diversified, caution
must be used when selecting investments. Say to yourself, "Why is this
investment opportunity forecasting a return of 15 to 25%?" These days with
very low returns the numbers could even be 8% to 12%. The return is high
because the market has deemed it a very
risky investment. Remember what that means—chances are very good it will be
Many investors refuse to recognize that fact and look for high reward
opportunities without realizing the true nature of the risk they are taking.
Many investors have lost significant nest eggs. If it seems too good to be true,
it generally is.
Instead of thinking: "High risk, high reward," we should think "High
risk, potential high reward…but not
When it comes to financial risk, best follow an unnamed ancient
Greek philosopher who inscribed on the Temple of Apollo at Delphi: “Know Thyself.”
Financial risk can drive you insane if you are not ready for it.
Jerry Taylor is a full-time faculty member at Kaplan University. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not represent the view of Kaplan University.
By Cynthia Waddell, PhD, CPA, CFE
By Geoffrey Vanderpal, Full-Time Faculty
By Richard Carter, PhD
By Stanley W. Self, CFE
By Jerry Taylor
By Rachel Byers, Full-Time Faculty, School of Business
Accounting firms are taking advantage of some emerging trends.
Change is the name of the game in wealth management!
Most people do not realize there are a variety of jobs in this field.
According to the BLS, employment of insurance sales agents is projected to grow.
Access definitions and FAQs related to accounting.
Access definitions and FAQs related to investments and wealth management.
Access definitions and FAQs related to real estate.
Access definitions and FAQs related to risk and insurance.
Kaplan Real Estate Education's Toby Schifsky looks at the factors to consider when pursuing a real estate career.
Toby Schifsky talks about the importance of goals and action steps for achieving them.
Access preparation and practice advise from Kaplan Financial Education experts Mary Orn and Julie Ramsey.
Maylee talks about her experiences with Kaplan Financial Education and preparing for her exams.
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