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9 Investment Risk Management Strategies


Risk management is an important part of portfolio management, helping investors grow and protect their wealth regardless of market conditions. By implementing investment risk management strategies, investors can prepare for unforeseen market fluctuations, mitigate potential losses and achieve more stable returns.

Need help managing your investment portfolio but don’t know where to start? Consider reaching out to a financial advisor.

9 Investment Risk Management Strategies

There are many investment risk management strategies that investors can use. Here are nine common ones that can help you maintain a balanced investment portfolio based on your financial goals and risk tolerance:


Diversification is a fundamental investment risk management strategy. Diversification involves spreading investments across various asset classes such as stocks, bonds, real estate and commodities. From there, investors can further diversify into different sectors and geographical regions. Following a diversification strategy can help reduce the impact of any single asset’s poor performance on your overall portfolio, and create a more resilient portfolio that’s less susceptible to market swings.

Asset Allocation

Asset allocation is another fundamental investment risk management strategy. It involves dividing an investment portfolio among different asset classes – such as equities, fixed income and cash – to reduce the impact of poor performance in any single asset on the overall portfolio. A well-planned asset allocation strategy can provide a balance between risk and return, helping you to achieve your financial objectives while minimizing potential losses.


Hedging is a strategy that uses financial instruments like options, futures and derivatives to offset potential losses in an investment. For example, an investor holding a significant position in a particular stock might buy put options to protect against a decline in the stock’s price. Put options can give investors the right to sell a stock at a set price, which could limit potential losses. So, if a stock’s price falls below that set price, the investor can exercise the option to sell at the higher price, thereby offsetting the loss from the stock’s decline.

Dollar-Cost Averaging

Dollar-cost averaging is a strategy in which investors regularly invest a fixed amount of money into a particular investment, regardless of its price. This approach reduces the impact of market volatility by spreading out the investment over time, potentially lowering the average cost per share. This strategy can help investors avoid the pitfalls of trying to time the market and reduce the risk associated with market fluctuations.

Stop-Loss Orders

An investor researches investment risk management strategies.

Stop-loss orders are designed to limit an investor’s loss on a particular investment by triggering a sale when the asset reaches a predetermined price. This strategy helps protect the portfolio from significant losses during market downturns, ensuring that losses are capped.


Rebalancing is a key portfolio management strategy. When rebalancing, an investor periodically adjusts their portfolio to maintain its original asset allocation. As the values of different investments change over time, the portfolio can become skewed away from the investor’s intended allocation. Regularly rebalancing your portfolio helps to keep it aligned with your risk tolerance and investment goals, reducing the risk of overexposure to any single asset class.

Safe-Haven Assets

Investing in safe-haven assets such as gold, government bonds or high-quality corporate bonds can provide stability during market turmoil. These assets typically retain or increase their value when the broader market is experiencing declines, offering a hedge against riskier investments in the portfolio.

Implementing Insurance Products

Insurance products like annuities and life insurance can serve as protective measures in an investment portfolio. Annuities can provide a steady income stream during retirement, while life insurance can ensure that an investor’s financial obligations are covered during unexpected events.

Employing Professional Advice

Financial advisors can provide personalized advice based on an investor’s unique financial situation, risk tolerance and goals. They can help design and implement a comprehensive risk management plan, offering insights and strategies that you might miss or overlook.

Bottom Line

Investment risk management strategies range from diversification and asset allocation to hedging and dollar-cost averaging.

With options ranging from the standard diversification and asset allocation, to more advanced strategies such as hedging and dollar-cost averaging, investment risk management strategies can help you mitigate potential losses and achieve more stable returns for your portfolio. Regular rebalancing also keeps your portfolio aligned with your risk tolerance and financial goals. Risk management strategies help investors not only protect portfolios, but also position them to capitalize on opportunities and achieve long-term financial success.

Risk Management Tips

  • Putting together an investment portfolio, but don’t know where to start? Consider reaching out to a financial advisor. Finding a financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three vetted financial advisors who serve your area, and you can have a free introductory call with your advisor matches to decide which one you feel is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
  • The risk of inflation is a type of risk you may be faced with when investing. SmartAsset’s free inflation calculator helps you determine what inflation does to your purchasing power.

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