Riskless or risk-free asset

Riskless or risk-free asset

An asset whose future return is known today with certainty. The risk-free asset is commonly defined as short-term obligations of the US government.
Copyright © 2012, Campbell R. Harvey. All Rights Reserved.

Risk-Free Asset

An asset in which the return is known with certainty. The certainty generally comes from a supreme amount of confidence in the issuer of the asset; for example, Treasury securities are considered risk-free because the United States government is considered the best possible issuer. Critics contend that there is no such thing as a risk-free asset because, in theory, even the US government could default. However, risk-free assets have such a low level of risk that it may be ignored. Nonetheless, risk-free assets usually have a low rate of return, and, as a result, even these are exposed to inflation risk.
Farlex Financial Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All Rights Reserved