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Unsystematic Investing Risks

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Understanding Company, Sector or Industry Risk

[By Julia O’Neal; MA, CPA]

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Unsystematic risks are those associated with factors particular to the underlying company, sector or industry. 

Unsystematic risks are all risks that can be eliminated by diversification and are thus unrewarded.  

The Alpha Factor 

The residual nonmarket influences unique to each stock are measured by its alpha factor.

When one stock has a higher or lower rate of return than another stock with the same beta, this is said to be a result of its alpha factor.  If the physician-investor can pick enough stocks with positive alphas, the portfolio can be expected to perform better than its beta would have indicated for a given market movement. 

Diversification 

Unsystematic risk is reduced through diversification.  

As more stocks are added to a portfolio, the chance of obtaining a positive alpha, as well as the risk of getting a negative alpha, is diversified away. The volatility of the portfolio becomes much like the market itself.  

Assessment 

Therefore, a fully diversified portfolio – if there is such a thing – has a beta of 1.0 and an alpha of 0. Is your portfolio appropriately diversified; or is it di-worsified? 

Conclusion

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Inflation Risk and Investing

fp-book4Understanding Purchasing Power Risk

[By Julia O’Neal; MA, CPA]

Purchasing power risk refers to the effects of inflation and disinflation on the future purchasing power of the income and principal from an investment.

Seeking “Total Returns” 

The typical physician investor seeks an investment that at minimum returns the same number of dollars as originally invested.  In addition, he or she hopes to achieve current income flow and/or capital appreciation on the security due to favorable results at the underlying company.

This is called “total return.”

Although a physician or other investor may realize a positive nominal (actual) return, however, once the effects of inflation are factored into the return, there is a chance that the real return could be negative.

For example, if it takes 20 years for an investment to return 75%, during which time the price level has risen 100%, the investor is receiving a smaller amount of purchasing power than was originally invested.  

Assessment 

  • Over the very long term, common stocks have provided an effective hedge against inflation.
  • Over shorter periods of time, however, physician investors have been disappointed in stocks as a hedge against inflation, as the rate of inflation has often exceeded the gain in common stock prices.

And so, are you a long-term physician-investor; and how long-is long-term, anyway? 

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Conclusion

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Systematic Securities Risks

Understanding Stock Market Risk

By Julia O’Neal; MA, CPA  

Systematic risk, also known as market risk, is that part of a security’s risk that is common to all securities of the same general class (e.g., stock or bonds) and is caused by economic, sociological, and political factors.

Systematic risk cannot be eliminated by the physician-investor through diversification in an investment class. 

Beta Co-efficient Measurement 

The measure of systematic risk in stocks is the beta coefficient. The beta coefficient is the covariance of a stock in relation to the rest of the stock market. It reflects the magnitude of the co-movement of the stock’s returns with those of the market.

Stock Market Proxy 

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Stock Index is generally used as a proxy for the market and has a beta coefficient of 1. Any stock with a higher beta is more volatile than the market. 

For example, a stock with a beta of 1.3 is 30% more volatile than the market (up and down), and any stock with a lower beta can be expected to rise and fall more slowly than the market. 

Investing Strategies 

Conservative physician-investors whose main concern is the preservation of capital should focus on low-beta stock.  Other doctors, more willing to take greater risks in an attempt to earn higher potential rewards, should include high-beta stock in their portfolios. 

Three Types of Systematic Risk 

Common to all assets are the following three systematic risk factors: 

  • Inflation or purchasing power risk,
  • Interest rate risk, and
  • Movements in the market in which a security is traded. 

Conclusion 

Are you willing to accept systematic, or stock market risk, in your investment portfolio; why or why not? 

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Investing and Interest Rate Risks [IRR]

Understanding Inverse Relationships

By Julia O’Neal; MA, CPA  

 

Interest Rate Risk [IRR] refers to the tendency of all investments to rise as interest rates decline and fall as interest rates rise. This inverse relationship is common among all investments, although not to the same degree.  

Pure Interest Rate Movements 

A U.S. Treasury security best demonstrates the pure interest rate move. 

The risk is present with other investments as well, since the discount rate—the required rate of return used to place a value on an asset—in part consists of the return available from a default-free investment. 

History shows that when the average level of interest rates rises, absolute volatility also rises. 

Assessment 

When looking at interest rate risk and other investments, it becomes important for physician-investors to look at the other component of the discount rate or the required risk premium over and above the risk-free rate.  

For example, in the case of high-grade bonds or utility equities, the default rate dominates the total discount rate, making interest rate risk more influential.  

For other investments, such as junk bonds or growth equities, the risk premium required has a much greater influence, somewhat reducing pure interest rate risk. 

Conclusion 

Are you willing to accept interest rate risk in your investing portfolio; how much IRR and for how long? 

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Pervasive Investing Risks

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Understanding Pandemic Risks

[By Julia O’Neal; MA, CPA]

Pervasive risks are those perils associated with all investments, such as purchasing power risk.  

In other words, this is the risk that because of the influence of price inflation or deflation, the investment return achieved is worse or better than expected.  

Another pervasive and hard-to-control risk is political risk. Typical political risks include the prohibition against exchanging domestic currency for foreign currency, failure to meet debt service, expropriation of assets, differences in taxes, and restriction on expatriating funds. 

Conclusion

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INSURANCE: Risk Management and Insurance Strategies for Physicians and Advisors

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Real Estate Investments

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Doctors Must Understand the Unique Risks

[By Julia O’Neal; MA, CPA]

Real Estate [RE] requires a separate discussion of unique risks relative to other financial asset classes. 

Macro Economic and Other Risks 

RE investments possess not only the macro-economic risks found in all financial assets, but other unique risks, as well.

For example, these risks include illiquidity, lack of a continuous auction trading market, and quoted prices that may or may not represent intrinsic value.  

Lack of Diversification 

Given the large size of many real estate projects, it may also be difficult to diversify adequately and reduce total portfolio risk.

And, because of the chance of segmented markets, the risk of imperfect information is also present.  

Assessment

Remember, real estate is not easily divisible and is nonhomogeneous; such risks cannot be fully negated through diversification. 

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Conclusion

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Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com

OUR OTHER PRINT BOOKS AND RELATED INFORMATION SOURCES:

DICTIONARIES: http://www.springerpub.com/Search/marcinko
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HOSPITALS: http://www.crcpress.com/product/isbn/9781466558731
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BLOG: www.MedicalExecutivePost.com
FINANCE: Financial Planning for Physicians and Advisors
INSURANCE: Risk Management and Insurance Strategies for Physicians and Advisors

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Investing Sector Risks

Understanding Industry Risk

 By Julia O’Neal; MA, CPA

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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.

Conclusion 

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

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