An investment where the return is known with certainty. The certainty generally comes from a supreme amount of confidence in the issuer of the investment; for example, Treasury securities are considered riskless investments because the United States government is considered the best possible issuer. Critics contend that there is no such thing as a riskless investment because, in theory, even the US government could default. However, riskless investments have such a low level of risk that it may be ignored. Riskless investments usually have a low rate of return and, as a result, are exposed to inflation risk.
An investment with a certain rate of return and no chance of default. Although various investments (for example, savings accounts and certificates of deposit at insured institutions) meet these requirements, a Treasury bill is the most common example of a riskless investment.