AIM Definition of Risk


It is a fact of life that capital growth or a high income return can only be achieved with some degree of risk. The greater the potential growth or income yield, the higher will be the risk. We suggest that you think about the risks inherent in the investments you are making and in very broad terms, for your guidance we classify the three major risk categories as follows:


These can include cash and fixed interest sterling denominated securities issued by major governments and corporations. In addition unit trusts, OEICs and ungeared collective investments investing principally in the above are acceptable. Please note however that a high exposure to gilts and other fixed interest securities might constitute a high risk policy since their capital values and the real value of the income that they produce are affected by interest rate fluctuations and inflation.


Medium risk investments may include other fixed interest investments, shares in FTSE 100 Index constituent companies, well-established FTSE Mid 250 companies (perhaps ex-FTSE 100 stocks) and where possible (eg where the capital commitment is great enough) a judicious spread of shares in large and medium capitalized companies, Unit Trusts, OEICs, Investment Trusts and similar packaged investments in the major western markets (UK, Europe, North America) as well as internationally diversified examples of such funds are included.

Some sector specialist, ethical and single company country funds can be used as part of a diversified portfolio. Modest portfolio allocation in smaller companies in the major western markets via managed collective investments is also acceptable.

Insurance company and investment management company managed or multi-manager products are generally acceptable, either as part of a portfolio or in isolation.


High risk covers all other types of investments not mentioned above and can incorporate weighting or even exclusive concentration on smaller capitalized or recent start-up businesses, junior markets and trading facilities (eg AIM and PLUS Quoted) or venture capital vehicles. Collective and packaged versions of the above are acceptable as well as offshore, non-sterling denominated or hedge funds.  Investments in lesser-developed markets eg Asian and Emerging Markets are also included.

Warrants, covered warrants (securitised derivatives), options and other forms of derivatives also come under this category and you are required to complete a further application form (available on request)  to help us assess whether complex products of this nature are appropriate for you.

Other investments covered under the Notification of Services Required section of an AIM agreement should also be considered in this category.

We may invest in securities where the individual risk category of that security is outside your chosen risk profile. However, the overall risk profile of the portfolio will remain within your risk profile.


We make every reasonable effort to ensure that your investments meet with your risk requirements. At the time of investment our understanding, and the market’s opinion in general of a security’s risk category will be applied as per your investment questionnaire. If at a later date it is found that the risk category was incorrect, we cannot be held responsible for any financial consequences or liabilities arising from any misunderstandings or mistakes in this aspect of your dealings with Pilling & Co.