Risk that is unique to a certain asset or company. An example of nonsystematic risk is the possibility of poor earnings or a strike amongst a company's employees. One may mitigate nonsystematic risk by buying different of securities in the same industry and/or by buying in different industries. For example, a particular oil company has the diversifiable risk that it may drill little or no oil in a given year. An investor may mitigate this risk by investing in several different oil companies as well as in companies having nothing to do with oil. Nonsystematic risk is also called diversifiable risk. See also: Undiversifiable risk.
The risk that is specific to an industry or firm. Examples of unsystematic risk include losses caused by labor problems, nationalization of assets, or weather conditions. This type of risk can be reduced by assembling a portfolio with significant diversification so that a single event affects only a limited number of the assets. Also called diversifiable risk. Compare systematic risk.