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Investing Sector Risks

Understanding Industry Risk

 By Julia O’Neal; MA, CPA


Often also called industry risk, sector risk is the risk of doing better or worse than expected as a result of investment in one sector of the economy instead of another.

Economic Classifications 

A typical economic classification includes capital goods, consumer durables, consumer nondurables, financial, energy, utility, basic materials, technology, retail, and service. There are many more; of course.


Which sectors do you invest in, and do you appreciate the associated industry risks? 

More info: http://www.springerpub.com/prod.aspx?prod_id=23759 

Individual: http://www.jbpub.com/catalog/0763745790/ 

Institutional: www.HealthcareFinancials.com 

Terms: www.HealthDictionarySeries.com

Investing Terms and Portfolio Design Definitions

A “Need-to-Know “ Glossary for all Medical Professionals

Staff Writers


Absolute volatility: The true volatility of an investment. 

Accumulation phase: A phase in an investor’s life when he or she is trying to accumulate an estate; usually characterized by growth-oriented investments.

Alpha factor: Measures the residual non-market influences that contribute to a securities risk unique to each security. 

Arithmetic mean: The sum of a set of numbers divided by the number of numbers in the set. 

Capital appreciation: The growth of an investment’s principal. 

Capital asset pricing model (CAPM): A model that uses beta and market return to help investors evaluate risk return trade-offs in investment decisions. 

Capital Market Line: Represents a spectrum of two-asset portfolios, moving from a portfolio invested in 100% of the least risky asset to a portfolio invested in 100% of the most risky one. The Capital Market Line is plotted on a graph with % return plotted on the Y-axis and risk (standard deviation) plotted on the X-axis. 

Co-movement: The degree to which an asset moves with other assets. 

Consolidation phase: A phase in an investor’s life when he or she generally shifts assets to more conservative or stable investments with the hope of preventing any major losses to accumulated assets. The investor is still interested in the growth of the investments. 

Covariance: The volatility of investments in relation to other investments. 

Current income: Income received from investments. 

Discount rate: The annual rate of return that could be earned currently on a similar investment; used when finding present value or opportunity cost. 

Earnings momentum investing: A style of investing that looks for companies that are on growth trends similar to a growth style. Two nuances differentiate these two styles: (1) the earnings momentum style focuses mainly on the growth of the earnings of the company and (2) the earnings momentum style looks for an accelerating increase in the growth of earnings. 

Efficient frontier: A line that represents the highest return for each particular mix of assets in a portfolio. 

Geometric mean: The Nth root of the product of “n” numbers. 

Growth investing: A style of investing that tries to outperform the market by investing in companies that are experiencing growth patterns in earnings, cash flows, sales, capitalization, etc. 

Market timing: Trying to predict the gains and declines of the market and then buying at market lows and selling at market highs. 

Mean rate of return: The return that is between two extreme returns. 

Modern portfolio theory: An approach to portfolio management that uses statistical measures to develop a portfolio plan. 

Negatively correlated: Two securities that move in opposite directions.

Nominal return: The return that an investment produces.

Periodic re-balancing: The act of shifting capital from asset classes that performed well to those that did not, in order to maintain a set ratio between asset classes. 

Positively correlated: Two securities that move in the same direction.

Probability distribution: A statistical tool used to show the dispersion around an expected result. 

Real return: The actual return after factors such as inflation and taxes are taken into consideration. 

Realized gain or loss: Gain or loss experienced by an investor during a period.

Regression analysis: A statistical tool used to measure the relationship between two or more variables. 

Relative efficiency: The belief that the markets reflect current information in their prices. 

Risk-averse: Describes a physician investor who requires greater return in exchange for taking on greater risk.

Sector rotation investing: A style of investing in which the goal is to out-perform the market by investing more heavily in the sectors that are forecasted to perform better than the market in expected economic scenarios.

Spending phase: The phase in an investor’s life when he or she is living on accumulated assets; generally characterized by a portfolio invested mainly in income-oriented investments, although a portion of growth is usually maintained.

Standard deviation: A statistical method used to measure the dispersion around an asset’s average or expected return and the most common single indicator of an asset’s risk. 

Unrealized gain or loss: A gain or loss on paper that is not realized until the investment is sold. 

Value investing: A style of investing that searches for undervalued companies and buys their stock in hopes of sharing in the future gain when other analysts discover the company.

Yield curve: A graph that represents the relationship between a bond’s term to maturity and its yield at a given point in time.

Yield to maturity: The fully compounded rate of return earned by an investor over the life of a bond, including interest income and price appreciation. 

Institutional info: www.HealthcareFinancials.com 

More terms: www.HealthDictionarySeries.com 

Note: Feel free to send in your own related terms and definitions so that this section may be updated continually in modern Wiki-like fashion.


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