The Putnam Global Risk Appetite (RA) Index is a proprietary quantitative model that aims to measure investors’ willingness to invest in risky assets, including equities, commodities, high-yield bonds, and other spread sectors. With a composite view of risk-appetite signals across a broad mix of asset types, Putnam’s RA Index provides a framework for discussing investor preferences and can signal trend changes in broad market sentiment.

Risk appetite rebounds


Expectations for a less hawkish Fed lift sentiment slightly


  • U.S. Treasury bonds trim losses and gain on a risk-adjusted basis.
  • Mortgage-backed securities, municipal bonds, investment-grade corporate credit and emerging markets outperformed.
  • High-yield U.S. and global credit along with European fixed income assets underperformed.
  • Overall, U.S. equities generated positive returns and outperformed other markets.
  • Stocks in Europe and emerging markets fell.
  • In commodities, metal prices — such as gold and platinum — trended down. Natural gas and gasoline prices rose.
risk key


This 10-year illustration captures the cyclicality of investors' appetite for risk.

risk key

March '16–Jan '18

Risk assets rally amid improving commodity prices, perceived stability in China's macro data, and expectations for gradualist Fed policy.

March '20–Dec '21

Easy monetary policies and reopenings supported risk assets.

Jan '22–present

Central bank tightening expectations along with the Russia-Ukraine crisis raise market volatility.

Source: Putnam. Data as May 31, 2022. To create the Global Risk Appetite Index, we weigh the monthly relative returns of 30 different asset classes over 3-month T-bills relative to the trailing 2-year volatility of each asset class. The higher the relative return and the lower the volatility, the greater the risk appetite; conversely, the lower the relative return and the higher the volatility, the stronger the risk aversion.