Risk vs Return: The tradeoff

Risk vs Return: The tradeoff

The risk return tradeoff is a principle of investment, which means that higher the risk in the portfolio, higher is the potential return possibility. However, high returns from a risk return trade off is not always guaranteed.

To clarify the risk and return trade off and understand what is risk return trade off with an example, any investment with high risk may have a chance of high return, say, equity stocks. So, if the risk in an investment is high, then the possibility of return is also high, around 20-25% annually and may not be limited to just 6-8%. It basically means that the investment return is volatile and may fluctuate depending on market movements. However, the average return of equity would typically be 12-15% annually.

On the other hand, if the risk in any particular investment is low, for instance in a fixed bank deposit, the chances of getting 20-25% annually may never happen. The returns will be more in the 6-8% bracket. However, it also means that the return can never become lower than 6%, especially negative. This is the trade off between risk and return.

Hence, you need to take greater risks if you need a higher return on your investments. The concept of risk return trade off in finance is a widely accepted fact, but the associated risks with the portfolio are often neglected.

Risk-return trade off in finance

As far as investing is concerned, each and every investment has an associated risk with it. When you are looking to choose an investment, you need to look into its risk too so that the overall risk of the portfolio is managed accordingly.


There are multiple risks associated with an investment product. Some of these include:

1. Inflation risk reduces the purchasing power of cash reduces over time.
2. There is credit risk because credit rating of bonds/papers, etc. determine the value of the product
Liquidity risk arises when selling an investment product at the right time can be a hassle.
3. There is tax risk as governments usually make taxation changes every year.
4. Concentration risk occurs when you buy too many of a particular investment product.
5. There is market risk because equity market is volatile.

Risk levels of asset classes

To sum up

You need to find the right blend of risk and return. This is quite an important task because the return needs to be in line with your long-term financial goal. However, it is equally important that you don’t ignore the risk factor. The investment option you choose should match your risk appetite.


Disclaimer: Investments in the securities market are subject to market risks. Read all the related documents carefully before investing.


Where all can you invest?

“Make your money work so you don’t have to work all your life” – you probably hear this a lot. Everybody knows the importance of investing, but do you really know where all can you invest? Here are your investment options:   EquityAs one of the popular investment options, equity or stocks is the probably the first investment product you can think of. Issuing shares to the public is one way companies raise money to grow their business. Known to be one of the best investment options, you can either buy shares directly from a stock exchange or indirectly by investing in an equity mutual fund.Every share you buy gives you a tiny stake in the business. Share prices track company performance – they increase when the company does well and decrease when it performs poorly. Invest in companies that you expect to do well and you can profit by selling their shares in later.Who should invest in stocks?Stock prices are sensitive to market developments and don’t guarantee a minimum return or a periodic income. This makes them risky investments. They are an important investment product because they can jack up your portfolio returns. But only invest big sums if you are willing to take the extra risk.DebtBonds issued by companies and the government are called debt instruments. They are issued for a fixed term and generally pay a periodic interest, called coupon. Unlike shares, bonds do not give you an ownership stake in the issuer. Instead, they make the issuer liable to repay your money and the coupon, as per the promised schedule. This is why bonds are called debt instruments.Who should invest in bonds?Bond returns are more stable and predictable than stocks because bonds are issued for a fixed term and they pay a regular coupon. However, a fixed coupon means that bonds don’t have the growth potential of stocks. Invest in bonds if you are looking for average but stable returns, without taking much risk. Mutual FundsThese are pools of funds created by fund houses by raising money from investors like you. They are managed by professional fund managers and invested in shares, bonds, and other financial assets.A fund house floats several funds at a time and each of these has a well-defined mandate and objective. For example, a fund may have the mandate of investing only in stocks. Some funds have even narrower mandates, such as investing only in bank or IT stocks. Mutual funds also have specific maturities, payment schedules, and risk levels. This helps you pick a fund that best suits your requirements.Who should invest in mutual funds?Mutual funds are an excellent investment option if you are new to the market or can’t devote enough time to picking stocks. Since they are managed by investment professionals, they increase your chances of earning good returns.Real EstateProperty is the most favored asset for Indians. Owning land or an additional house gives more satisfaction than other assets because these are tangible. You can quickly sell the property or use it yourself in adversity. In addition, it generates stable and predictable income when you put it on rent. Who should invest in real estate?Real estate investments are ideal for those who are looking for stable, passive returns over the long term. It is also a great option if your investment objective is to secure your children’s future. The only catch is that investing in a house is not as easy as buying a stock. You’ll have to spend much more to buy a house than to buy a stock or a bond. You may even have to take a loan. Alternative AssetsETFs, derivatives, commodities, structured products, private equity, and hedge funds are some of the other products you can invest in. These are jointly called alternative assets. They are built on top of assets we discussed earlier and can, therefore, be complex to understand and invest in. Some of these also have a high minimum investment threshold. For these reasons, you need to be careful while investing in these. However, you can generate big returns by investing in these. We will discuss each of these in the detail in later chapters.Who should invest in alternative assets?Alternative assets are a good option if you are looking to diversify your portfolio. Retail investors actively invest in ETFs, commodities, and derivates. Structured products, private equity, and hedge funds are high-risk investments that are popular only among high net worth individuals. You can consider them if you are looking to invest some idle cash and don’t mind losing it if things don’t work out. ConclusionThere are so many good investment options including short term investment options and long term investment options that you probably have a favorite by now. But investing is not only about picking the asset you like the most. To make investing work, you need a well-defined strategy. Build a portfolio that has several assets, in a proportion that is attuned to your unique circumstances and investment objectives.      Disclaimer: Investments in the securities market are subject to market risks. Read all the related documents carefully before investing.

read more


Risk is not just about loss

People usually associate risk with stock markets and losses. But risk is a far deeper concept than just loss. It is a challenge to understand and managing the risks associated with investing.Risk AssessmentTo understand your risk appetite, it is important to conduct risk assessment which means to first assess your needs and financial goals. Then, you can assess the various types of associated risks. To understand what is risk assesment, let’s consider an example - you need to withdraw money from the investments you have made during an emergency. But your money is locked in. This is when you run the risk of lacking liquidity. Although there is no technical loss of money, it is still a disadvantage you stand to face at important times. This can thus be considered a risk too.Thus, to maximize your investments, understand the various types of associated risks and create a risk management plan.Type of risks in investing: Before understanding other types of risks, look at what market risk refers to: • Equity risk: This is the most obvious form of risk wherein the equity investment rises and falls. But remember, equity risk is only one of many types of risks associated with investments.• Interest rate risk: This occurs due to changing interest rates. • Currency Risk: This applies to foreign investment. Here, the value of an investment changes due to changes in the value of the currency.There are other risks too that you may not know of. But all these risks are equally important. They impact the overall risk associated with the portfolio.• Reinvestment risk: This occurs when the investor has to reinvest his investments. For example, take your bank fixed deposits, which mature from time to time. You must reinvest these upon maturity. But at the time of reinvesting the amount, the interest rate might not remain the same. This is the Reinvestment Risk. Investors must consider this when opting for renewal of investments.• Credit risk: This can arise when you invest in securities or bonds. For instance, bonds with a credit rating of AAA are lesser risky than AA ones. Even though AA bonds might have a better yield, the inherent credit risk is a consideration.• Tax risk: This refers to the risk of unnecessarily paying a higher tax. Tax riskoccurs when you ignore the tax-saving provisions laid down by the Income Tax Act. So, when opting for investments, do consider the tax efficiency of the product. This will reduce your tax risk, especially at the time of maturity.• Inflation risk: The returns on your investment may be lower than the inflation rate. This is the inflation risk. So, while planning for investments, think of the future. Think of the purchasing power of money and how it changes.• Concentration risk: This risk comes when there is a lack of portfolio diversification. You can curtail this risk with a diverse portfolio. That is, your investments must include different asset classes, horizons, and products, etc.Conclusion: People’s horizon of investment defines their risk-taking capacity. Also, risk is associated with high returns. If losses are on one side of a coin, so are the returns. Hence, the risk-return trade-off is of extreme importance and so is the need to understand types of risk management for better investing. Avoiding risk can be equally risky. For example, an investor may avoid equity to reduce his/her market risk. But this increases the risk of not beating inflation or having a concentrated portfolio.So, weigh the various risks to reduce your over portfolio’s risk and employ risk management strategies in your portfolio. If you need support, turn to IndiaNivesh which specialises in this.What next?We spoke about how avoiding market risk can affect your ability to beat inflation. This is because risk has a close relation with your returns. Let’s look at the risk-return trade off next.   Disclaimer: Investments in the securities market are subject to market risks. Read all the related documents carefully before investing.

read more

Are you Investment ready?

*All fields are mandatory

related stories view all

  • Private Equity Fund – What is Private Equity & How does it work?

    What is Private Equity?When it comes to investing, most of the investors opt for the traditional route. They invest in bonds or stocks or purchase mutual funds. While for some others, private equity is an appealing investment option. But what is private equity fund and what is the private equity fund structure? How can one invest in it?In this article, we explain private equity fund meaning in depth to give you a better understanding of the concept. What is Private Equity Fund?Private equity is a general term which describes different kinds of funds pooling money from several investors to acquire stakes in companies. Such a private equity fund may amass millions or even billions of dollars to directly invest in companies. These companies are not publically listed on the exchange or traded. So, a private equity fund either directly invests in private companies or engages in buyouts of public companies, resulting in the delisting of public equity. Private Equity Fund StructureA private equity fund comprises of Limited Partners (LP) who own 99 per cent of the shares in a fund. They have limited liability. The remaining 1 per cent is owned by General Partners (GP) who have full liability. They are responsible for executing and operating investment. Understanding What is Private EquityPrivate equity involves investing in unlisted companies at different stages of their development. This is done with the objective of creating an added value to these companies. After some years, such companies can be sold with a significant capital gain. Simply put, private equity funds are created with the intention of raising money from several investors to deploy it progressively by acquiring companies and helping them grow more profitable.Since private equity investment directly invests into a company, it requires a large capital outlay to gain a significant level of influence over the company’s operations. This is why not every investor can afford to invest in private equity. The minimum amount of capital required varies depending on the fund and the firm. Some funds have a $2,50,000 minimum investment requirement, while others can run into millions of dollars. Therefore, most of the private equity firm industry comprises of large institutional investors such as pension funds. Or, they may be funded by a group of accredited investors. How Does Private Equity Work?Private equity firms raise money from accredited investors and institutional investors to invest in companies through the following investment strategies:• Distressed FundingThis is also known as vulture financing. In this type of private equity funding, the money is invested in troubled companies with underperforming business assets or units. The funding is aimed at making necessary changes to the operations or management for a turnaround of the company. This could mean selling their assets for a profit ranging from patents to real estate and physical machinery. Mostly, companies that have filed for bankruptcy fall in this category and require this type of funding. • Leveraged BuyoutsThis type of private equity funding is the most popular investment strategy. Here, the private equity firm buys out a company completely with the objective of improving its financial and business health. Later, the company can be sold at a profit to an interested buyer or made public by conducting an Initial Public Offer. The firm uses debt as leverage to buy out the company so it does not have to spend the purchase price at once. The money from various investors can be used to improve the company’s earnings and create a higher return. • Funds of FundsAs the name suggests, this type of funding invests in other funds, typically hedge funds and mutual funds. The aim of the FOF strategy is to achieve broad diversification and minimal risk. For an investor who cannot afford the minimum capital requirements in such funds, FOF serves as a backdoor entry. • Venture CapitalVenture capital investments focus more on investing in newer companies or startups that are on the verge of developing a new technology or industry. This type of funding can be done at different stages of a company. For example, seed financing funds a company to scale an idea from its prototype stage to the development of a product or a service. Similarly, an early stage financing can assist the entrepreneur in helping his company grow. Or, Series A financing which can enable an entrepreneur to actively compete in a market or create one. Advantages of Private EquityPrivate equity offers multiple benefits to startups, businesses and companies. It provides them access to liquidity instead of having to rely on traditional forms of financial mechanisms such as listing on public markets for funding. Another huge advantage of private equity funding is that companies can operate away from the glares of public markets. They are not required to submit quarterly reports to the outside world and can undertake a long-term approach in bettering their fortunes. Certain forms of private equity financing such as venture capital funding can be ideal for early stage companies who do not wish to take high business loans. What are Some Myths Regarding Private Equity Firms?Here are some myths surrounding private equity firms which are not true.• Private Equity Firms Strip A Company’s AssetsMany analysts believe that private equity firms are able to turnaround a company by stripping it of its best assets. In reality, private equity firms have been known to create added value to a company by expanding their geographical footprint. Or, acquiring and integrating smaller competitors, and repositioning an out-of-date concept into a trendy product. • Private Equity Firms Cut CostsPrivate equity firms do cut costs, but only the unnecessary ones with a view to reinstating the money into other functions. For example, research, marketing, sales, and more. This can help support the company expansion with a lesser capital outlay.• Investor’s Money Is Blocked For 10 YearsGrowing companies can take time. Thus, investments made into private equity funds are generally seen as long-term or illiquid. However, it is not rare that a company can be sold off after a 4 or 6 year holding period. Private funds usually have a 10-year maturity, but it is possible that all the money gets invested in the first 5 to 7 years of the fund's life. Private Equity Fund v/s Other Kinds of EquityPrivate equity is not traded on public exchanges whereas equity through stocks is publically traded. In addition, private equity firms only invest in failing companies that need a turnaround or strong performing companies that can further improve margins and efficiency. For other kinds of equity, investors can invest in all types of companies. Private equity firms are attractive investment vehicles for institutions and wealthy individuals. Private equity operations at IndiaNivesh Ltd. are aimed at creating value for our investor clients seeking growth opportunities in unlisted businesses at an early stage. You may get in touch with our team of highly-knowledgeable fund managers to know more about investing.   Disclaimer: Investment in securities market / Mutual Funds are subject to market risks, read all the related documents carefully before investing.

    read more
  • Stock Market Investment - Do’s and Don’ts of Stock Market Investing for Beginners

    Do’s and Don’ts of Stock Market Investing for Beginners Making money in the stock market is an art. Often people enter in the share market and invest money without a disciplined approach. Likewise, beginners often speculate and bet on the stock hoping that the price will go up. However, this is not the right approach for stock market investment. To help the beginners with stock market investment, we suggest some of the stock market investment tips that they can follow to be successful in the market. This mini stock market investment guide will enhance your knowledge on the basics of the market and make you an informed trader or investor. Things to do in Stock Market• Learn and InvestAs a beginner, the first thing you must do is to acquire sufficient stock market education and learn more about it. Self-education is the best education here. Start with the basic concepts and information. By doing so, you will understand how to do stock market investments. • Take Small StepsAs a beginner, you must start with small investments in the stock market. When you get sufficient knowledge and confidence, gradually increase your stock market investment. This approach will make you a successful and better investor in the long run. • ResearchOne of the important stock market investment advice for beginners is to invest in shares after a good research. Beginners must research about the fundamentals, financials, management and many other areas before making any investment. • Keep a Check on EmotionsStock market investment requires a practical approach. Decisions taken on the basis of emotions can prove to be fatal. Often beginners make decisions out of panic and book losses. This must not be done and a check on emotions in the stock market is compulsory. • DiversifyAnother important stock market investment tips for the beginners is to diversify their portfolio. It is always recommended to not put all your eggs in the same basket i.e. not invest all money in a few stocks. Diversifying the portfolio protects you from loss in one sector against profit in another sector. • Invest Surplus OnlyIt is always advisable for the beginners to invest only their surplus money in the stock market. This is because the stock market is volatile, risky and returns are not guaranteed here. Therefore, only that portion of money must be invested in the market which will not affect your regular lifestyle. • Have Investment GoalsThe investor must invest in the stock market with an investment goal. It is important that the beginners must have a future plan in mind while investing. He must know what he expects out of his investment and the time period of the investment. An investment with a goal helps you in building a good portfolio and creating wealth for the future. The above-mentioned are a few things that a beginner must do in the stock market. Now let us learn about the things that a beginner must not do in the stock market. Things Not to do in Stock Market• Don’t Invest on TipsAn important stock market investment advice for beginners is that they should not buy shares on the basis on tips. Any recommendation or tips from near and dear ones must be ignored. Beginners should invest in shares only after conducting their own research and analysis about the company. • Avoid Herd MentalityNever invest in shares looking at what most of the people have purchased. It does not matter how much returns others have generated with the investment. Your investment decisions must be based on your own research rather than following what the crowd is doing. • Avoid Unnecessary RisksAs a beginner, you are learning about how to do stock market investments. You must avoid investing in high risk shares in the hope of high returns. The greed of earning quick money often forces you to put money in stocks that have lot of associated risks. • Avoid Stocks You Don’t UnderstandAnother important stock market investment tip for beginners is that they must avoid investing in stocks which they don’t understand. Beginners must take time to understand the business of the company and invest only after knowing its full profile. Investing after analysing the future performance of the company will help you in making higher returns. • Avoid Overtrading As a beginner and an investor in the stock market, your aim is to invest money for the long term. You must avoid taking intraday trades because that is for people looking for short term gains. Moreover, overtrading often results in capital erosion and huge losses. As an investor, you must analyse the company and take a long term bet. The above-mentioned points act as a stock market investment guide for beginners. If you are a beginner and want to invest money for the long term, you can open a demat account with IndiaNivesh. Our in-house professionals and experts help you in making a diversified portfolio after understanding your risk appetite and duration of the investment.Disclaimer: Investment in securities market / Mutual Funds are subject to market risks, read all the related documents carefully before investing.

    read more
  • Real Estate Investment in India

    What is real estate investment? Real estate is an alternative investment instrument, like the ones we discussed in the previous section. But it merits a separate mention because it is tangible. You can physically own a property and decide to use, rent, sell, or modify it. Other alternative investments are purely financial instruments. They pay returns in a predefined manner during their life and cannot be put to any other use.This piece will tell you all need to know about real estate investing and property investment in India.Types of real estate There are five major types of real estate investing in India:1. Residential – This is the most straightforward real estate investment in India. It includes houses and individual apartments that can be occupied by an individual or a family. It also includes apartment buildings where each unit is occupied by a separate tenant. Tenants pay you a pre-decided rent, usually each month. the duration of their stay depends on the lease agreement. These are generally made for eleven months and renewed on you and your tenant’s mutual consent.2. Commercial – This includes individual office locations, office buildings, and business parks. They usually require a significantly larger investment than residential real estate. But they also attract higher rents. Commercial properties frequently have multi-year leases, which stabilizes your cash flows and increases their predictability. The only challenge is that their rents are highly volatile. They fall more than residential real estate during downturns as businesses downsize or shut down. They increase considerably during upswings as companies hire more people. So, multi-year contracts keep you from taking in new tenants and earning more rent during upswings.3. Industrial – This includes any property that the tenant can use to produce, manufacture, assemble, store, or distribute tangible goods. Common examples are factory locations, industrial warehouses, garages, service stations, and cold storage facilities. Industrial real estate generally generates a large fee and creates opportunities to earn incremental revenue from additional services. For example, if you have rented out a car service station, you may set up a café or a convenience store on it for waiting customers. You may even offer the property on a revenue sharing basis and earn a share of the occupant’s revenues.4. Retail – This includes shopping malls and retail stores. These properties too can be let out on rent basis as wells as revenue sharing basis. In many cases, the landlord asks for a share in the tenant’s revenue, over and above a base rent.5. Mixed-use – This combines many of the above categories on a single piece of land. It is fit for investors who can invest in a large piece of land and develop its separate sections for different uses. it offers built-in diversification because your revenues are not tied to fundamentals that affect one type of real estate. This reduces risk.Income from real estate investments Most real estate investments generate income in two forms:1. Price appreciation: This refers to an increase in a property’s value when it becomes more desirable. This mostly happens because of developments in its surroundings. For example, when a new source of employment comes up in its neighbourhood or when its metro connectivity improves. Its price may also increase because of the upgrades and improvements you make to it. Price appreciation allows you to sell the property for more than you bought it, generating a profit in the process.2. Periodic cash flows: This is the rent you generate when you lease your property. To generate this, you must hold the property for some length of time after buying it.Benefits of investing in real estate 1. Convenience – real estate is not as technical as stocks, bonds, and other financial assets. Many aspects of real estate investing are intuitive.2. Tangibility – Property provides psychological comfort because it stays with you even when its price collapse. You can use it yourself or generate some bare minimum revenue by leasing it.3. Stability – Real estate does not always generate supernormal returns like stocks. But it pays stable rent that can be increased when you renew the lease.4. Insurance – Unlike financial instruments, property can be insured against damage and loss.5. Inflation hedge – Property prices and rents increase with the price level. So, inflation has a limited effect on your financial position when you invest in real estate.In conclusion Real estate is regarded as the simplest investment instrument because investing in a property is less complicated than financial assets. Knowing how to invest in real estate involves a straightforward exchange between the property owner and the tenant. However, properties are of different kinds and each kind has its unique characteristics. This makes real estate investment a skill that needs to be done with expertise in order to get the benefits of investing in real estate.     Disclaimer: Investments in the securities market are subject to market risks. Read all the related documents carefully before investing.

    read more