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Risk Calculator

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What is the formula for risk in investments?Example of calculating riskFAQs

If you're trying to choose between two options for an investment, this risk calculator will surely help you! You can use it to assess the risks associated with each option and decide which one is safer.

Naturally, if you don't mind risk, you should choose the option with the higher return on investment (see ROI calculator)!

Read on to learn how to calculate risk and discover the applications of the risk formula.

💡 You might also be interested in the investment calculator.

What is the formula for risk in investments?

To quantify financial risk, apply the following risk equation:

risk = probability × loss


  • The probability refers to the likelihood of failure. For example, you might invest a certain amount of money in stocks and estimate the chance of losing is 12%.

  • The loss, on the other hand, is the damage you need to bear in the case of failure. For instance, if you really lose the money you invest, this cost might amount to $5,000.

💡 To learn more about probability, check out our probability calculator.

Example of calculating risk

Let's say you are choosing between two investment options. Option A guarantees to return fifty percent of the $2,000 you invested no matter what the market situation is, but the probability of failure is equal to 12%.

In the case of failure with option B, you will lose $2,000, but the probability of loss is lower – only 7%. In the case of success, both options will bring you roughly the same profit. Which one should you choose?

  1. Calculate the risk associated with option A:

    risk = 12% × $1,000 = $120

  2. Calculate the risk associated with option B:

    risk = 7% × $2,000 = $140

  3. Compare the risks. In this case, it's less risky to invest in option A.

Remember that this risk calculator doesn't take into account the potential profit! If the ROI of option B is much higher, you might decide on it despite the higher risk.

If you liked this calculator, make sure to check out the relative risk calculator, too!


How do I calculate risk?

To compute the risk of an investment, you need to:

  1. Estimate the probability of failure.
  2. Determine the loss, i.e., the amount of money you've invested and may lose.
  3. Now multiply these two numbers to get the risk, or use Omni's risk calculator.

What is my risk if I lose $100 with probability 20%?

Your risk is $20. To arrive at this answer, recall that the risk formula reads risk = probability × loss. Plugging in the numbers, we get 0.20 × 100 = $20.

How likely is my failure if I risk $100 out of $1,000?

The probability of you failing is 10%. We used the (appropriately transformed) risk formula to get this answer: probability of failure = risk/loss. Plugging in the numbers, we get 100 / 1000 = 0.10 = 10%.

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