- Current section: Introduction
- Learning outcomes
- 1 Risk aversion
- 2 Quantifying risk
- 3 Risk factors
- 4 Discounted cash flow and the net present value rule
- 5 Conclusion
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Risk, in a financial context, is a synonym for uncertainty. This unit will allow those...
Risk, in a financial context, is a synonym for uncertainty. This unit will allow those with some background knowledge of the area to explore investment risk. You will examine how and why investors are risk-averse and look at the risk factors involved in making a decision to invest.
After studying this unit you should be able to:
- explain the concept of risk in an investment context;
- comment critically on the impact of the principal risk factors in a given investment context.
A fair return on investment is defined as one that compensates the investor for the risk incurred in making the investment – neither more nor less. Conversely, an excess return is one that over-compensates the investor for the risk incurred. Investors want to avoid investments that pay less than a fair return, while borrowers want to avoid paying an excess return. In this unit we shall:
define more precisely what we mean by ‘risk’ in a financial context;
consider how investors react to the presence or threat of risk;
develop a method of quantifying risk mathematically; and
look at the main factors contributing to investment risk in the real world.
Finally, we shall see how the use of the net present value rule enables investors to calculate whether the risks they incur are adequately rewarded.
This material is from our archive and is an adapted extract from Financial strategy (B821) which is no longer taught by The Open University. If you want to study formally with us, you may wish to explore other courses we offer in this.
This is an extract from an Open University course which is no longer available to new students. If you found this interesting you could explore more free Business Studies course units or view the range of currently available OU Business Studies courses.
Copyright & revisions
Originally published: Thursday, 19th July 2012
- Creative-Commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence. However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions. Full details can be found in the Acknowledgements section.
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