What Is Market Risk?

What Is Market Risk?

By Charles Joseph | Editor, Financial Affairs
Reviewed by Corey Michael | Senior Financial Analyst

Market risk, also known as systematic risk, refers to the risk of an investment’s value changing due to shifts in the entire market. It is associated with changes in the financial market, which could include anything, from stock prices and interest rates to foreign exchange rates and commodity prices. In essence, market risk is the potential for losses in investment arising from market-wide factors. Since it’s related to events that impact the overall market, this risk is generally unavoidable with traditional investments.

Related Questions

1. How do investors protect against market risk?

Investors often use diversification to protect against market risk. This strategy involves spreading investments over various asset classes to mitigate loss. They can also strategize the timing of their investments, opting to invest during periods of low volatility.

2. What is the difference between market risk and specific risk?

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Specific risk or unsystematic risk, unlike market risk, pertains to the risk associated with individual stocks or sectors. Different from market risk, specific risks can be minimized or avoided through proper diversification.

3. Can market risk be predicted?

Market risk, by its nature, arises from circumstances outside an investor’s control, making it difficult to foresee. However, investors can use indicators like market volatility, economic indicators, and geopolitical events to anticipate possible market risks.

4. What is a risk management strategy in the context of market risk?

Risk management strategy for market risk typically involves identifying the risk, measuring its potential impact, and making strategic decisions to reduce or eliminate the risk. It could incorporate a variety of financial techniques including diversification, derivative positions, or investment in risk-free assets.

5. What are the main types of market risk?

Interest rate risk, equity risk, foreign exchange risk, and commodity risk are the main types of market risk. Each of these risks has a different impact on different types of investments.