Course Content
What Is the Risk/Reward Ratio and How to Use It
Should I risk my time to get rewarded with the information in this article? The risk/reward ratio tells you how much risk you are taking for how much potential reward. Good traders and investors choose their bets very carefully. They look for the highest potential upside with the lowest potential downside. If an investment can bring the same yield as another, but with less risk, it may be a better bet. Interested to learn how to calculate this for yourself? Let’s read on. Contents Introduction What is the risk/reward ratio? How to calculate the risk/reward ratio The reward/risk ratio Risk vs. reward explained Closing thoughts
What Is the Risk/Reward Ratio and How to Use It
About Lesson

Let’s say we’re at the zoo and we make a bet. I’ll give you 1 BTC if you sneak into the birdhouse and feed a parrot from your hands. What’s the potential risk? Well, since you’re doing something you shouldn’t, you may get taken away by police. On the other hand, if you’re successful, you’ll get 1 BTC.

At the same time, I propose an alternative. I’ll give you 1.1 BTC if you sneak into the tiger cage and feed raw meat to the tiger with your bare hands. What’s the potential risk here? You can get taken away by police, sure. But, there’s a chance that the tiger attacks you and inflicts fatal damage. On the other hand, the upside is a little better than for the parrot bet, since you’re getting a bit more BTC if you’re successful.

Which seems like a better deal? Technically, they’re both bad deals, because you shouldn’t sneak around like that. Nevertheless, you’re taking much more risk with the tiger bet for only a little more potential reward.

In a similar way, many traders will look for trade setups where they stand to gain much more than they stand to lose. This is what’s called an asymmetric opportunity (the potential upside is greater than the potential downside).
What’s also important to mention here is your win rate. Your win rate is the number of your winning trades divided by the number of your losing trades. For example, if you have a 60% win rate, you are making profit on 60% of your trades (on average). Let’s see how you can use this in your risk management.
Even so, some traders can be highly profitable with a very low winning rate. Why? Because the risk/reward ratio on their individual trade setups accommodates for it. If they only take setups with a risk/reward ratio of 1:10, they could lose nine trades in a row and still break-even in one trade. In this case, they’d only have to win two trades out of ten to be profitable. This is how the risk vs. reward calculation can be powerful.