Series 65: 1.5.1. Systematic And Unsystematic Risk

Taken from our Series 65 Online Guide

1.5.1. Systematic and Unsystematic Risk

Risk is often thought about in terms of an investor’s entire portfolio of securities, rather than in terms of a specific security. A portfolio of securities will be susceptible to two kinds of risk: systematic and unsystematic.

Systematic risk is the risk that the entire market will drop, dragging with it the performance of an individual stock or portfolio. Systematic risk is also referred to as market risk. If the performance of a portfolio drops due to systematic risk, it has dropped because the whole market has dropped, not because of the performance of the specific issuing companies whose securities are held in the portfolio.

Unsystematic risk is the risk that the value of the specific securities within the portfolio will decline due to factors specific to the companies issuing the security. This may be due to a decline in earnings or a decline in the company’s Standard & Poor’s ratin

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