Commodity risk is the risk in the value of an investment due to the changes in prices of commodity goods which include among other things metals, minerals, energy, and agriculture related goods. Commodity prices can exhibit short term volatility and are influenced by several factors including such things as supply and demand, weather, government regulation, political factors, speculation, interest rates, and currency values.
Concentration risk is the risk that holdings of a Fund in one issuer exceed 10% of the Fund’s assets, which may reduce liquidity and diversification and may increase volatility of the net asset value of the Fund. Similarly, holdings of a Fund may be spread among a limited number of issuers or holdings may be concentrated in a limited number of industries or countries.
Credit risk is the risk of loss due to failure by a debtor to make timely payments of interest or principal. This risk applies to fixed-income securities and is inversely related to the security’s credit rating – the higher the credit rating, the lower the credit risk.
There are many types of derivative risk. The primary derivative risks associated with Equitable Life’s Funds are imperfect correlation between changes in the market value of a derivative and changes in the market value of the investment or exposure being hedged or replicated by the derivative, and the possibility of an illiquid market.
Equity risk exists in Funds that concentrate on equity investments and are affected by specific company developments, stock market conditions and general economic and financial conditions in those countries where the investments are listed for trading. Equity funds generally tend to be more volatile than fixed income funds, and the value of their units may vary more widely than fixed income funds.
Foreign Market Risk
Foreign market risk is the risk of price fluctuations in foreign investments due to various factors such as international economic and market conditions, currency fluctuations, and political, social, or diplomatic developments.
Income Trust Risk
Income trust risk is the risk associated with income trusts which generally hold debt and/or equity securities of an underlying active business or are entitled to receive a royalty on revenues generated by such business. Distributions and returns on income trusts are neither fixed nor guaranteed and market price of an income trust will fluctuate with market risk of specific underlying business or income trusts in general.
Interest Rate Risk
Interest rate risk is the risk that the market value of a fixed-income investment will fall because of an increase in interest rates. The degree of price volatility of a fixed-income investment depends largely on its term to maturity. The longer a bond’s term to maturity, the greater its price sensitivity to interest rate changes.
Liquidity risk is the risk that an investment may be less liquid and not easily converted to cash if it is not widely traded or if restrictions on the exchange where it is traded take place and investments can experience dramatic changes in value.
Real Estate Risk
Real estate risk is the risk in the value of an investment due to changes in prices of commercial and residential real estate properties. Real estate prices typically change over longer cycles and are influenced by factors such as economic growth, employment, interest rates, supply and demand factors, tax, and government regulation.
Securities Lending Repurchase and Reverse Repurchase Transaction Risk
Securities lending is an agreement whereby a Fund lends securities through an authorized agent in exchange for a free and some form of acceptable collateral. Under a repurchase transaction, a Fund agrees to sell securities for cash while, at the same time, assumes the obligation to repurchase the same securities for cash later. A reverse repurchase transaction is an agreement whereby a Fund buys securities for cash while, at the same time, agrees to resell the same securities for cash later. The risks associated with securities lending, repurchase or reverse repurchase transactions arise when the counter-party to such transaction defaults under the investment agreement and the Fund is forced to make a claim to recover its investment.
Short Selling Risk
Short selling risk exists where a Fund borrows securities from a lender which are then sold in the open market (sold short). Later, the same number of securities are repurchased by the Fund and returned to the lender. In the interim, the proceeds from the first sale are deposited with the lender and the Fund pays interest to the lender and/or held in the Fund as a cash equivalent investment. If the value of the securities declines between the time the Fund borrows the securities and the time it repurchases and returns them, then the Fund makes a profit on the difference, but there is no assurance the value will decline. If the value increases, then the Fund incurs a loss on the difference.
Special Equities Risk
Special equities risk is the risk that the market value of a Fund investment will fall due to the Fund’s concentration in a particular industry, sector, or region (e.g. technology stocks, the small-cap sector, or emerging markets).
Underlying Fund Risk
Underlying fund risk is the risk associated with investing in the units of underlying funds where the segregated fund is not in control of the underlying mutual fund or pooled fund. The segregated fund will be subject to the risks of the underlying fund. Changes to the underlying fund such as mergers or closures may impact the segregated fund.