Investment Risk and Return Characteristics
The chart below provides some examples of common types of investments classified according to their potential return and investment risk.
Investment Risk Pyramid
After deciding on how much risk is acceptable in your portfolio by acknowledging your time horizon and bankroll, you can use the risk pyramid approach for balancing your assets.
This pyramid can be thought of as an asset allocation tool that investors can use to diversify their portfolio investments according to the risk profile of each security. The pyramid, representing the investor's portfolio, has three distinct tiers:
Base of the Pyramid The foundation of the pyramid represents the strongest portion, which supports everything above it. This area should be comprised of investments that are low in risk and have foreseeable returns. It is the largest area and composes the bulk of your assets.
Middle Portion This area should be made up of medium-risk investments that offer a stable return while still allowing for capital appreciation. Although more risky than the assets creating the base, these investments should still be relatively safe.
Summit Reserved specifically for high-risk investments, this is the smallest area of the pyramid (portfolio) and should be made up of money you can lose without any serious repercussions. Furthermore, money in the summit should be fairly disposable so that you don't have to sell prematurely in instances where there are capital losses.