what does marginal risk mean ?


In the world of finance, there are many different types of risks that investors and traders must be aware of. One of these risks is known as marginal risk. In this article, we will explore what marginal risk is, how it differs from other types of risk, and what factors can affect it.

What is Marginal Risk?

Marginal risk, also known as incremental risk, is the level of risk that an investor or trader takes on by making an additional investment or trade. It is the potential loss that could occur if the investment or trade does not go as planned.

Marginal risk is closely related to the concept of marginal utility, which is the additional satisfaction or benefit that a person derives from consuming an additional unit of a good or service.

How is Marginal Risk Different from Other Types of Risk?

Marginal risk is different from other types of risk in several ways. For example:

  • Marginal risk is specific to each investment or trade, while other types of risk, such as systematic risk, affect an entire portfolio or market.
  • Marginal risk is a short-term risk, while other types of risk, such as liquidity risk or credit risk, are more long-term risks.
  • Marginal risk is a controllable risk, while other types of risk, such as market risk, are uncontrollable.

Factors That Affect Marginal Risk:

Several factors can affect the level of marginal risk associated with an investment or trade. Some of these factors include:

  • The size of the investment or trade: The larger the investment or trade, the greater the potential loss, and therefore the higher the marginal risk.
  • The volatility of the market or asset: Investments or trades in highly volatile markets or assets tend to have higher marginal risk.
  • The level of diversification: Diversification can help reduce marginal risk by spreading the risk across multiple investments or trades.
  • The level of knowledge and experience of the investor or trader: Investors or traders with more knowledge and experience tend to have lower marginal risk than those who are less experienced.


In conclusion, marginal risk is an important concept that investors and traders must understand in order to make informed decisions about their investments and trades. By understanding what factors can affect marginal risk and how to manage it, investors and traders can minimize their potential losses and maximize their returns.

Leave a Comment