The "Risk-Wise" Investor: How to Better Understand and Manage Risk
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More About This Title The "Risk-Wise" Investor: How to Better Understand and Manage Risk


User-friendly risk management tools, tips, and techniques for a less certain world

Though a very high level of investor uncertainty, anxiety, and concern about risk now exists, the vast majority of investors do not genuinely understand investment risk-let alone how to effectively manage it. The "Risk-Wise" Investor offers a totally new, user-friendly, non-technical way to help you better understand and manage uncertainty and risk. This practical guide will help investors avoid many common pitfalls and make well informed, knowledge-based decisions when facing uncertainty and risk. It also shows how to implement a personalized, systematic risk management planning process that will allow you to manage the risks you face more effectively and improve the likelihood of achieving specific investment goals. Though traditional investment advice is based on taking the long view and diversifying portfolios, the information here shows how to incorporate additional risk management considerations into your plans. It also provides innovative insights that will help investors and their advisors better understand how to

  • Gain a practical, user-friendly, knowledge based understanding of risk and risk management
  • Better understand and manage financial uncertainty and rapid change
  • Release life-risk management skills in the world of investments
  • Become less anxious, more knowledgeable, realistic, and potentially more successful investors
  • Learn a new "empowering" definition of risk to more effectively address risk and uncertainty
  • Help reduce the likelihood and potential impact of negative surprises


Michael T. Carpenter is a true investment industry veteran, with over thirty-five years of professional experience. He has led industry programs at both Harvard and Columbia University. Carpenter has also worked as a successful financial advisor, then regional and national level executive with PaineWebber, and subsequently led national distribution efforts—including sales, sales support, and key accounts teams; product development, marketing, and national advisor and investor educational programs—for John Hancock Funds, as well as Transamerica IDEX, MFS, and Rydex Global Advisors before setting up his own Boston-based sales and marketing consulting firm in 2003.




CHAPTER 1 The Increasing Importance of “Risk-Wise” Investing.

CHAPTER 2 Introduction to the “Risk-Wise” Risk Management Process.

CHAPTER 3 The Evolving History of Risk and Risk Management.

CHAPTER 4“Risk”—What Is It, and How Does It Work?

CHAPTER 5 Which “School” of Risk Management Is Best?

CHAPTER 6 How Your Body Can Work Against You.

CHAPTER 7 Understanding the Risk Perception/Reality Gap.

CHAPTER 8 Avoiding Common Pitfalls of Decision Making Under Uncertainty.

CHAPTER 9 The Advantages of Managing Risk Categories.

CHAPTER 10 Understanding and Prioritizing Risks.

CHAPTER 11 The “Risk-Wise” Risk Management Planning Process.

CHAPTER 12 Models of Outstanding Risk Management.

CHAPTER 13 The Value of Knowledgeable and Trusted Financial Advice.

CHAPTER 14 Navigating Crisis Events and Bear Markets.

Summary and Afterthoughts.



Additional Information for Readers.

About the Author.



"Page by page, this reliable resource outlines the "Risk Wise" investment process, from properly identifying, understanding, and prioritizing risks to selecting risk reduction/management strategies and evaluating risk/reward tradeoffs — all the way to explaining how to develop and implement a personalized action plan." (Transitions magazine, November 2009).

"Most investors get wise to risk only after the damage has been done. Savvy investors know that risk management is the whole game. Michael Carpenter's superb new book, The Risk-Wise Investor, could save you much heartache, not to mention many dollars."
—Don Phillips, Managing Director, Morningstar

"Risk awareness, risk management, and risk control are the sine qua non of successful asset allocation and investment strategy. Michael Carpenter has done the global investment realm a HUGE service by bringing this essential discipline front and center. We've needed a book like this for a long time!"
—David M. Darst, Chief Investment Strategist, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney; author of The Little Book that Saves Your Assets

"Mike Carpenter's The Risk-Wise Investor can help any financial advisor do the most critical part of his or her job better—which is helping their clients not just understand, but master risk. My advice to advisors and investors: get hold of a copy. It's a no-risk way to improve your chances of investment success."
—Robert L. Reynolds, President and CEO, Putnam Investments

"Arriving at the tail-end of a tumultuous decade for investors, The Risk-Wise Investor will help individuals regroup and reset their expectations using a simple, personalized approach to understanding and managing investment risk. Mike Carpenter's approach makes the often arcane world of risk management real and provides insights that are timely as well as timeless."
—Bill Glavin, Chief Executive Officer, OppenheimerFunds, Inc.

"While risk cannot be totally eliminated, it can be prepared for and managed. With historical background, Mike Carpenter has simplified the process and modernized the approach."
—John R. Kenney, Chairman and CEO, Clearwater Financial Marketing, LLC