Risk Asset

AAA

DEFINITION of 'Risk Asset'

Any asset that carries a degree of risk. Risk asset generally refers to assets that have a significant degree of price volatility, such as equities, commodities, high-yield bonds, real estate and currencies. Specifically in the banking context, risk asset refers to an asset owned by a bank or financial institution whose value may fluctuate due to changes in interest rates, credit quality, repayment risk and so on. The term may also refer to equity capital in a financially stretched or near-bankrupt company, as its shareholders’ claims would rank below those of the firm’s bondholders’ and other lenders.

INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS 'Risk Asset'

Investor appetite for risk assets swings considerably over time. The period from 2003 to 2007 was one of huge risk appetite, as rampant investor demand drove up prices of most assets associated with above-average risk, including commodities, emerging markets, subprime mortgage-backed securities, as well as currencies of commodity exporters such as Canada and Australia. The global recession of 2008 to 2009 triggered massive aversion for risk assets, as capital fled to the quintessential safe-haven of U.S. Treasuries.

Since March 2009, as swings in risk appetite became more pronounced due to global macroeconomic concerns, such as European sovereign debt (in 2010 and 2011) and the U.S. fiscal cliff (in 2012), market-watchers began referring to times when investors have substantial appetite for risk assets as "risk on" periods and intervals of risk aversion as "risk off" periods.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Asset Protection

    The concept of and strategies for guarding one's wealth. Asset ...
  2. Asset Specificity

    The use of a capital good to a narrow purpose. Asset specificity ...
  3. Asset Deficiency

    A situation where a company's liabilities exceed its assets. ...
  4. Troubled Asset

    Assets for which banks have overpaid such as loans that are made ...
  5. Aged Assets

    Equipment that has outlived its useful life. Aged assets might ...
  6. Core Assets

    An essential, important or valuable property of a business without ...
Related Articles
  1. Retirement

    Build A Wall Around Your Assets

    Learn how to protect your money from lawsuits, creditors and other judgment proceedings.
  2. Insurance

    Should You Buy Banks' "Toxic" Assets?

    The Public-Private Investment Progam is part of the government's effort to fix the failing financial sector. But is it a good investment?
  3. Markets

    Intangible Assets Provide Real Value To Stocks

    Intangible assets don't appear on balance sheets, but they're crucial to judging a company's value.
  4. Options & Futures

    Bank Failure: Will Your Assets Be Protected?

    The SIPC and FDIC insure against personal financial ruin when banks or brokerages go belly up.
  5. Trading Strategies

    How can retirees protect their wealth in a bear market?

    Look at some helpful hints about how to protect your retirement nest egg when the stock market is underperforming or the economy is in recession.
  6. Investing Basics

    When is it beneficial for underwriters to sell stock below the minimum rate?

    Learn when selling stock below the minimum rate can be beneficial. Find out how the 1987 market crash affected an offering of British Petroleum shares.
  7. Investing Basics

    What is the difference between a fixed asset and a current asset?

    Discover the difference between fixed assets and current assets and the value of each to a company. Learn the category and where to record each asset.
  8. Investing Basics

    What assets are most risky and what assets are safest?

    Learn about the safest and riskiest assets to invest in. Explore savings accounts, T-bills, certificates of deposit, equities and derivatives.
  9. Investing Basics

    How do REIT managers use capitalization rate to configure their portfolios?

    Learn how REIT managers use capitalization rates to help assess risk and identify properties as potential purchase and sale candidates.
  10. Fundamental Analysis

    What are the risks associated with investing in the railroads sector?

    Learn about risks relating to investing in the railroad sector. Explore how the price of fuel, cost of labor and access to capital affects railroad companies.

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Treasury Bond - T-Bond

    A marketable, fixed-interest U.S. government debt security with a maturity of more than 10 years. Treasury bonds make interest ...
  2. Weight Of Ice, Snow Or Sleet Insurance

    Financial protection against damage caused to property by winter weather specifically, damage caused if a roof caves in because ...
  3. Weather Insurance

    A type of protection against a financial loss that may be incurred because of rain, snow, storms, wind, fog, undesirable ...
  4. Portfolio Turnover

    A measure of how frequently assets within a fund are bought and sold by the managers. Portfolio turnover is calculated by ...
  5. Commercial Paper

    An unsecured, short-term debt instrument issued by a corporation, typically for the financing of accounts receivable, inventories ...
  6. Federal Funds Rate

    The interest rate at which a depository institution lends funds maintained at the Federal Reserve to another depository institution ...
Trading Center