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Key investment terms

People often believe that investing is complicated because they are not familiar with some of the jargon used to describe investing. Learning some of the key terms can help take some of the mystery out of investing. To learn more you can:

  • Read the fact sheet on investment basics.
  • Check out the online glossary for key definitions.
  • Understand the Standard Risk Measure.

Standard Risk Measure

The Standard Risk Measure is based on industry guidance and allows members to compare investment options that are expected to deliver a similar number of negative annual returns over any 20 year period. 

The Standard Risk Measure for Cash Return Member Savings and Market Return Member Savings are shown in the table below:

Risk Band Risk Label Estimated number of negative annual returns over any 20 year period
1 Very low Less than 0.5*
2 Low 0.5 to less than 1
3 Low to medium 1 to less than 2
4 Medium 2 to less than 3
5 Medium to high 3 to less than 4
6 High 4 to less than 6**
7 Very high 6 or greater

*APSS Cash Return Member Savings ** APSS Market Return Member Savings


The Standard Risk Measure is not a complete assessment of all forms of investment risk, for instance it does not detail what the size of a negative return could be, or the potential for a positive return to be less than a member may require to meet their objectives. It also does not take into account the impact of administration fees and tax on the likelihood of a negative return.

You should still ensure that you are comfortable with the risks and potential losses associated with your investment choice. If you need help deciding which investment option is best for you, we recommend that you seek professional financial advice.