Risks of Investing

Markets can be very volatile during periods of significant expansion and contraction. Although the market has historically increased over the long term, there have been periods of significant down markets. You should carefully consider your risk tolerance, time horizon, and financial objectives before making investment decisions.

General Investing Risks

Market Risk

The value of equity securities fluctuates in response to issuer, political, market, and economic developments. In the short term, equity prices can fluctuate dramatically in response to these developments. Different parts of the market and different types of equity securities can react differently to these developments. Issuer, political, or economic developments can affect a single issuer, issuers within an industry or economic sector or geographic region, or the market as a whole. Weather, terrorism and other geo-political risks have led, and may in the future lead, to increased short-term market volatility and may have adverse long-term effects on world economies and markets generally.

Foreign Investment Risk

Foreign securities, foreign currencies, and securities issued by U.S. entities with substantial foreign operations can involve additional risks relating to political, economic, or regulatory conditions in foreign countries. These risks include fluctuations in foreign currencies; withholding or other taxes; trading, settlement, custodial, and other operational risks; and less stringent investor protection and disclosure standards in some foreign markets. All of these factors can make foreign investments, especially those in emerging markets, more volatile and potentially less liquid than U.S. investments. In addition, foreign markets can perform differently from the U.S. market.

Investing Style Risks

Growth Investing

Growth stocks can react differently to issuer, political, market, and economic developments than the market as a whole and other types of stocks. Growth stocks tend to be more expensive relative to their earnings or assets compared to other types of stocks. As a result, growth stocks tend to be more sensitive to changes in their earnings and more volatile than other types of stocks.

Value Investing

Value stocks can react differently to issuer, political, market, and economic developments than the market as a whole and other types of stocks. Value stocks tend to be inexpensive relative to their earnings or assets compared to other types of stocks. However, value stocks can continue to be inexpensive for long periods of time and may not ever realize their full value.

Concentration Risk

Sector/Industry stocks have different risks based on their primary business operations and how they are affected by economic cycles. Certain industries/sectors are cyclical-meaning that they closely follow the economic cycle. For example, when there is an economic downturn, cyclical stocks tend to lose value. Other industries/sectors are non-cyclical and are generally less affected by market cycles, such as economic downturns. Sectors/Industries face risks such as industry specific government regulation, input price changes, interest rate changes, intense competition, lower consumer demand, patent expirations and more.

Risks of Investing in Different Assets

Cash or Cash Equivalents Risk

Inflation Risk: The risk that the value of an account, including interest, does not keep pace with inflation, thus reducing purchasing power.

Fixed Income Investing Risk


The chance that an investor will not be able to sell bonds at desired prices and that large purchases or sales of high-yield bond issues may cause substantial price swings.

Interest Rate Risk

Interest Rate increases (decreases) can cause the price of a debt security to decrease (increase). Longer-maturity bonds typically decline more than those with short maturities based on changing interest rate risks.

Types of Credit Risk

Risks of Investing in Folios

Since folios contain individual securities that rise and fall in value, the value of your folios will also rise and fall in value. You can lose money even if you are well-diversified. When the stock market suffers widespread declines even well-diversified and extremely conservative investments are likely to fall in value. Additionally, Exchange-Traded Funds (ETF), Mutual Funds and American Depositary Receipts (ADR) are subject to risks similar to those of stocks. Investment returns will fluctuate and are subject to market volatility, so that an investor's shares, when redeemed or sold, may be worth more or less than their original cost.

Risks of Online Investing

On occasion things can go wrong and you need to be prepared. For examples, computers can crash and orders can pile up.

While we have put significant resources into building and testing our computer systems, you should expect that computer glitches, slowdowns, and crashes may occasionally occur.

We cannot guarantee that you will always be able to access our Web site or place the trades you want, when you want them.

We are not liable for any damages or losses that you suffer if you cannot get access to our site. Please make sure that you are prepared to handle the problems we have described here and others described in your customer agreement.

We Do Not Recommend Any Securities to You

We do not review your financial situation or tolerance for risk. We do not determine if the folios, securities, or tools to select folios will result in suitable or profitable investments for your situation. We do not make recommendations to you personally. You must determine if you can afford the risks of investing, using our tools and the results they provide.

No Investment, Legal, or Tax Advice

This site is not intended to provide tax, legal, insurance or investment advice, and nothing on this site should be construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any security by Folio Investments, Inc., doing business as Goldman Sachs Custody Solutions, or any third party. You alone are solely responsible for determining whether any investment, security or strategy, or any other product or service, is appropriate or suitable for you based on your investment objectives and personal and financial situation. You should consult an attorney or tax professional regarding your specific legal or tax situation.

Read Your Customer Agreement Carefully

This document has not covered all of the risks that you take on by investing online. Please read your customer agreement carefully to learn more about the risks of investing online.