Ask An Advisor: What Is Your Risk Tolerance?

 

Video Transcription

Hi! I’m Mike, and I’m a Senior Energy Advisor here at Nania Energy Advisors. One question we get asked all the time is: “How do I go about choosing the right energy product?”

In today’s video, we’re going to discuss one of the first factors to consider when choosing an energy product. And that is: Risk Tolerance.

4 Levels of Risk

When it comes to choosing an energy product, it’s not “one size fits all.” Fixed all-in isn’t always the best choice for everyone.

Each product type comes with its own level of risk. On our website, you can take a survey which will determine your organization’s energy risk tolerance. Based on those results, you’ll be classified into one of four risk tolerance levels:

  • Low
  • Mild
  • Moderate, or
  • High.

Low

So let’s talk about each level. The first is Low. If your organization has a low risk tolerance, we recommend a fixed all-in product. And here’s why:

  1. You probably have to adhere to a pretty strict budget. You want to have a pretty good idea of what your monthly energy spend is.
  2.  Having the same fixed rate makes budgeting and accounting easy from month to month, with little or no involvement from you.
  3. You can set it and go. You choose a rate, and you can rest easy knowing that there won’t be a big change in your rate despite a change in usage.

So, if you have a low risk tolerance level, look for a fixed all-in product.

Mild

The next level is Mild. For customers with a mild risk tolerance level, we recommend a managed product.

If you have a mild tolerance for risk:

  1. You can afford to go 10% over budget without major consequences.
  2. If you enroll in a managed product through a supplier, they’ll lock different portions of your usage every month until 100% of that volume is locked. They use market opportunities and logic in order to determine how much to lock and when.
  3. It’s another set it and go option. You don’t need to be involved in the process.

So, if you have a mild tolerance level for risk, consider a managed product.

Moderate

The third level is Moderate. If you have a moderate risk tolerance level, then a layered product might be a good fit for you.

Moderate risk tolerance means:

  1. You’re not a budget-driven organization.
  2. A layered product is different from a managed product by involvement level. With a managed product, the supplier makes all the purchasing decisions for you. With a layered product, you need to be actively involved in the buying process so you can decide when to lock.
  3. And, you need to actively monitor the market to decide when the best opportunities are.

So, if you have a moderate risk tolerance and the time to devote to the energy buying process, look into a layered energy product.

High

Our last risk tolerance level is High. An index product is a good option for you if you have a high risk tolerance level.

You most likely:

  1. Have little to no budget
  2. And you’re comfortable with market fluctuations. You can survive the extreme upticks of the market.
  3. Although an index product does not require you to lock, you should remain alert and be ready to act should an opportunity present itself in the market.

So, if you have a high risk tolerance, an index product might be a good fit for you.

Other Factors to Consider

Risk tolerance isn’t the only factor you need to consider when choosing an energy product. Other factors to consider are:

  • How much is your annual spend on energy?
  • Do you have any energy efficiency projects planned?
  • And how much time do you want to devote to monitoring the market?

Use this video and our survey as a guide, but please consult with an advisor or broker for a more detail conversation on choosing an energy product. Keep an eye out for a future video when we dive deeper into the 4 types of energy products.

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