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About risk and returns

Investment risk to you as an investor is simply that you may not achieve your intended financial goals and there is a risk that you may get back less than you invested.

Generally speaking, the greater the return you’re looking for, the greater the risk you usually have to accept. Choosing to take less risk with your investments is likely to see lower returns. Investments can go up or down in value.

Managing risk

Ultimately, when it comes to risk, everyone is different and the best person to establish the level of risk you’re prepared to accept, is you.

Once you’ve decided how comfortable you are with risk and your blend of assets is in line with your goals it’s all about letting time do the work so try not to focus on short-term market ups and downs but on the long-term potential of your investments. Your attitude to risk is likely to change over time so ensure you consider your circumstances and long-term goals in deciding how much risk to take.

If you’re still a way off retirement, you may prefer to invest in higher risk assets, that aim for higher potential returns, as your portfolio has more time to recover from any fall in value. Diversification of your portfolio may help manage this risk. That said, it is important to understand that even with a long-term timeframe, there is a chance you may get back less than you invest.

As you get closer to retiring, you may decide the situation has changed. At this point, there may not be time for your savings to recover from any fall in value. Moving your money into lower‑risk investments might help reduce this risk.

The risk-return spectrum

This image shows a spectrum moving from the left where assets with lower risk bring lower growth potential towards the right, where assets carrying higher risk bring the potential of higher growth.


Things to consider

Just how much risk you’re prepared to take is likely to be influenced by a number of factors, including:

  • your investment goals.
  • the timescale over which you are investing.
  • whether you require income from your investment or want to grow your portfolio.
  • the type of investments and the level of risk that suits you.

Choosing an investment strategy

A basic investment strategy can help you plan and decide where to invest. Remember you don’t have to stick to the same strategy throughout your lifetime. In fact, it’s a good idea to regularly assess your investment needs and savings goals and re-align those with your overall investing plans.

A growth strategy
A balanced strategy
A conservative strategy

Fund management

There are different ways funds can be managed - actively, passively, or as a combination of both, known as ‘blended’.


Changing your investments

PlanViewer allows you to change the funds in which your money is invested, both money you have already saved or future contributions.