Liquidity Risk

Definition of 'Liquidity Risk'


The risk stemming from the lack of marketability of an investment that cannot be bought or sold quickly enough to prevent or minimize a loss. Liquidity risk is typically reflected in unusually wide bid-ask spreads or large price movements (especially to the downside). The rule of thumb is that the smaller the size of the security or its issuer, the larger the liquidity risk.

Investopedia explains 'Liquidity Risk'


Although liquidity risk is largely associated with micro-cap and small-cap stocks or securities, it can occasionally affect even the biggest stocks during times of crisis. The aftermath of the 9/11 attacks and the 2007-2008 global credit crisis are two relatively recent examples of times when liquidity risk rose to abnormally high levels. Rising liquidity risk often becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, since panicky investors try to sell their holdings at any price, causing widening bid-ask spreads and large price declines, which further contribute to market illiquidity and so on.



comments powered by Disqus
Hot Definitions
  1. Direct Consolidation Loan

    A loan that combines two or more federal education loans into a single loan. A Direct Consolidation Loan allows the borrower to make a single monthly payment. The loan is facilitated by the U.S. Department of Education and does not require borrowers to pay an application fee.
  2. Through Fund

    A type of target-date retirement fund whose asset allocation includes higher risk and potentially higher return investments "through" the fund's target date and beyond.
  3. Last In, First Out - LIFO

    An asset-management and valuation method that assumes that assets produced or acquired last are the ones that are used, sold or disposed of first.
  4. Variable Universal Life Insurance - VUL

    A form of cash-value life insurance that offers both a death benefit and an investment feature. The premium amount for variable universal life insurance (VUL) is flexible and may be changed by the consumer as needed, though these changes can result in a change in the coverage amount.
  5. Monetary Policy

    The actions of a central bank, currency board or other regulatory committee that determine the size and rate of growth of the money supply, which in turn affects interest rates. Monetary policy is maintained through actions such as increasing the interest rate, or changing the amount of money banks need to keep in the vault (bank reserves).
  6. Weak Shorts

    Traders or investors who hold a short position in a stock or other financial asset who will close it out at the first indication of price strength. Weak shorts are typically investors with limited financial capacity, which may preclude them from taking on too much risk on a single short position.
Trading Center