Risk and Asset Allocation II: Risk Categories

Understanding risk appetite and the importance of asset allocation

Can you sleep like a baby at night knowing your investment went down 25%?

Photo by Peter Oslanec on Unsplash

Yes or No?

Different investors have different limits to the risk they are willing to take. The higher the ability of an individual to take risk, the higher the person’s risk appetite. Some investors can stomach much more risk than others.

Some times it isn’t just your ability to stomach risk, there are other things competing for your resources(money) so there is so much you can do.

In general, the younger you are the more risks you SHOULD take.

Photo by Mikael Seegen on Unsplash

You have less responsibility and have more time to get back up. As you get older, you get more risk-averse and you turn to conservative investments with less risks.

Investors can be categorized base on their risk appetite as:

  • Very Conservative
  • Conservative
  • Moderate
  • Aggressive
  • Very aggressive

So to balance risk, we divide our capital among different investment classes.


Asset allocation is the practice of dividing an investment portfolio into different types — or classes — of assets, such as stocks, bonds, and cash.

In an investment portfolio, there are competing needs such as

  • Growth
  • Liquidity
  • Income production

This is one of the reasons why you need to allocate assets to cater to them.

  • Asset allocation ensures optimal returns.
  • It ensures that there is sufficient liquidity so that when other one-time investment opportunities or other needs come up there would be no need to dip into an investment to cater to such.
  • Asset allocation help achieve financial goals. When you are looking for a steady stream of income, your portfolio would be different for one looking for growth. Whatever your goal might be you can adjust your portfolio to reflect that.
  • Asset allocation helps to minimize taxes. With the right amount of assets and accounts, you can significantly reduce your tax output in the long run.

Asset allocation depends on the investor's risk tolerance and time horizon.

Asset allocation is one of the most important decisions that an investor will make for their financial future. By choosing the right mix of stocks, bonds, cash, and other asset classes, you can ensure that you’re setup to reach your financial goals.



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