Risk BudgetingExplained, Advantages & Disadvantages, and Examples

Lisa Borga

Risk budgeting refers to an asset allocation method in which an investor’s risk budget is defined, and the risk is then allocated among the investor’s assets in the most efficient way.

This is used as part of an investor’s portfolio management.

The purpose of risk budgeting is to obtain the maximum return on the total portfolio with the least amount of portfolio risk.

Portfolio Management

Portfolio management involves selecting and managing investments in order to meet specific financial objectives.

Different investors can have very different financial objectives depending on their level of risk tolerance, time horizon, as well as the value of their portfolio.

One part of managing a portfolio is managing the overall risk of the portfolio.

Managing risk is essential for achieving long-term investment goals, and risk budgeting is one technique for managing a portfolio’s risk.

What Is Risk Budgeting?

risk budgeting

Risk budgeting is a form of portfolio management that uses a quantitative process to help investors to see the amount of risk in their portfolio and thus allows them to manage risk while maximizing their returns.

Risk budgeting is like asset allocation or diversification in some ways, but it allocates capital differently.

Risk budgeting has investors consider the risk associated with each of their investments and then determine a risk budget for each of them.

Investors use this technique to maximize the returns for their portfolio while minimizing their risks or managing them.

When using risk budgeting, investors select a variety of investments that do not exceed the overall risk level they have chosen for their portfolio.

To use risk budgeting, investors will need to determine a risk budget for each of the asset classes in their portfolio.

After this, they will adjust their portfolio to ensure that they set the total risk contribution risk for each asset to the correct level.

This method of portfolio management can result in a different asset mix than a traditional method.

Risk Tolerance vs. Risk Capacity

In order to use a risk budget, investors must decide on risk budgets for their asset classes.

To do this, investors need to understand the difference between risk tolerance and risk capacity, so they can decide what they consider an acceptable level of risk for their portfolio.

Risk tolerance is the degree of risk an investor is willing to accept or the level of uncertainty in the market they are comfortable with.

The risk tolerance of an investor may change over time for a variety of reasons, such as their goals, income, or age.

Risk capacity is the amount of risk an investor can afford to take and will depend on factors, including the investor’s time horizon, income and expenses, and the size of their portfolio.

It could also be affected by the investor’s plans for their future.

Investors should consider both risk tolerance and risk capacity when determining a risk budget.

Considering these two factors, along with a target rate of return, can help investors to create an effective risk budget.

Why You Should Have a Risk Budget

Investors that use the risk budgeting approach when constructing their portfolio may find it works better for them than the more traditional approach.

These investors may be more likely to keep their investment plan when the market is volatile because the risk budget has helped them to understand what may happen to their portfolio during these times.

Risk budgets are also useful for investment advisors because they are useful when discussing risk with clients.

Defining risk in terms of losses often makes it easier for investors to understand because this is often the way investors think of risk.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Risk Budgeting

risk budgeting

Risk budgeting is a very good method of portfolio management, and it has a number of advantages.

But there are some disadvantages investors should consider before using risk budgeting.


  • Risk budgeting is a useful technique for investors who are trying to optimize their portfolio while trying to minimize risk.
  • The risk budgeting method is particularly useful due to the fact that it accounts for the correlation effects of different asset classes along with the asset classes themselves.
  • Risk budgeting helps investors to diversify their portfolios.


  • Risk budgeting can be difficult as a result of some assets’ volatility. This volatility may require investors to reevaluate the risk of their asset classes and then reallocate the assets in their portfolio based on these new levels of risk.
  • Risk budgeting requires a level of expertise that some individual investors may not have.

Final Thoughts

Risk budgeting is a useful technique investors can use as a part of their portfolio management.

This technique helps investors maximize their portfolio’s returns while managing risk or minimizing it.

Risk budgeting is different than the traditional approach in that it allocates capital according to the risk associated with each asset.

Risk budgeting has a number of advantages for investors.

However, before deciding to use this approach to investment, it is important to consider its liabilities as well.

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  1. Stanford University "Budgeting and Monitoring the Risk of Defined Benefit Pension Funds" Page 1 . November 2, 2022