Risk-Free Asset

DEFINITION of 'Risk-Free Asset'

An asset which has a certain future return. Treasuries (especially T-bills) are considered to be risk-free because they are backed by the U.S. government.

BREAKING DOWN 'Risk-Free Asset'

Because they are so safe, the return on risk-free assets is very close to the current interest rate.
Many academics say that there is no such thing as a risk-free asset because all financial assets carry some degree of risk. Technically, this may be correct. However, the level of risk is so small that, for the average investor, it is OK to consider U.S. Treasuries or Treasuries from stable Western governments to be risk-free.

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