General Risks in relation to Financial Instruments

(2008-09-08)

Market Conditions
Market conditions (e.g. illiquidity) and/or the operation of the rules of certain markets may increase the risk of loss by making it difficult or impossible to effect transactions.

Transactions in Other Jurisdictions
Transactions on markets in other jurisdictions may expose you to additional risk. Such markets may be subject to regulation, which may offer different or significantly diminished investor protection. Before you trade you should enquire about any rules that may be relevant to your particular transactions. Your local regulatory authority will be unable to compel the enforcement of the rules of regulatory authorities or markets in other jurisdictions where your transactions have been effected. On request, your broker will outline the extent to which they will accept liability for any default of a foreign broker through whom they deal.

Currency Risks
The profit or loss for transactions in foreign currency-denominated contracts (whether they are traded in your own or another jurisdiction) will be affected by fluctuations in currency rates where there is a need to convert from the currency denomination of the contract to another currency.

Interest Rates

Changes in interest rates can have an effect on the value of securities. The value of securities, especially bonds, can fall with a rise in interest rates, as other investments reflecting the new higher interest rate offer greater returns. Such risk can be offset by diversifying the durations of fixed-income investments held. Alternatively, if interest rates fall, then the value of bonds and other securities may rise.

Trading Facilities and Electronic Trading
Most open-outcry and electronic trading facilities are supported by computer based component systems for the order-routing execution, matching, registration or clearing of trades. As with all facilities and systems, they are vulnerable to temporary disruption or failure and you will be exposed to risks associated with the system including the failure of hardware and software. The result of any system failure may be that your order is either not executed according to your instructions or is not executed at all. Your ability to recover certain losses may be subject to limits on liability imposed by the system provider, the market, the clearinghouse and/or member firms.

Off-Exchange Transactions
In some jurisdictions, and only then in restricted circumstances, firms are permitted to effect off-exchange transactions. The firm with which you deal may be acting as your counterparty to the transaction. It may be difficult or impossible to liquidate an existing position, to assess the value, to determine a fair price or to assess the exposure to risk. For these reasons, these transactions may involve increased risks. Off-exchange transactions may be less regulated or subject to a separate regulatory regime. Before you undertake such transactions, you should familiarize yourself with applicable rules and attendant risks.