Risk asset

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Investment management - risk appetite - flight to quality - rates of return - risk-free rate of return - risk assets.

For practical investment management and portfolio management purposes, a risk asset is generally considered to be any asset that is not a risk-free asset. The usual example of a risk-free asset is short-dated debt obligations of a low-risk domestic central government.

Risk assets in this context include corporate bonds, equities, foreign exchange and all other tradable assets. However, the exact boundary between risk assets and risk-free assets can vary, depending on the purpose of the classification.

Very large government balance sheets are affecting risk asset markets
"... it is difficult to predict how the period we are in will unfold. Some compare it to the stagflation of the late 1970s to early 1980s, but a key difference now is the size of central bank balance sheets, which are very large due to government bond purchase schemes to deal with both the Global Financial Crisis and more recently the COVID-19 pandemic.
These are important to risk asset markets and as central banks are now shrinking their balance sheets (in an effort to tighten financial conditions, to assist in taming inflation) they are incurring losses that governments will likely, ultimately, have to pick up the tab for."
Paul Mueller, head of global liquidity, EMEA portfolios, Invesco - The Treasurer online - February 2024.

Historically, risk assets were also known as risky assets.

More recently, risky would more often tend to refer to higher-risk assets - or higher-risk investment strategies - only.

See also