Saturday, September 06, 2014

Understanding Risk in Investing...

Infinite number of factors influence the future. This results in large entropy (more randomness), and the weak relationships between many possible outcome events. 

Hence, the future events cannot be predicted with any consistency.  

This brings me to my next point:

We should not see future as a fixed outcome and capable of being predicted. 
Rather, future should be viewed as a range of possibilities.  (hopefully on the basis of insight into their respective likelihood occurrences, as a probability distribution).

This uncertainty, as to which of the possibilities will occur, is the source of risk in investing. 
Risk means more things can happen than will happen.

Reverse of above is also true. Even though many things can happen, only one will.

For investing, there should be two main risks to consider:
1. Risk of permanent loss
2. And risk of falling short. 

Either one can be eliminated but not both. In other words, we should consider the risk of not taking enough risk.

Another risk to be aware of is FOMO risk:  risk that comes from excessive Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO).

Whereas Risk Control is mandatory, Risk Avoidance is not an appropriate goal. 
This is because of simple reason: risk avoidance usually goes hand-in-hand with return avoidance

Risk Avoidance <==> Return Avoidance

One should not expect to make money just for bearing risk. 
At the same time, we should not expect to make money without Bearing Risk.

In short, Move forward, but with caution.

Also Read my old post: Understanding Risk

Source: My understanding of OakTree's memo Risk Revisited.
Image Credits: iStockPhoto

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