Financial structure is the mix of short-term liabilities, short-term debt, long-term debt, and equity that a business uses to finance its assets. A significant reliance on debt funding allows shareholders to achieve a higher return on investment, since there is less equity in the business. However, this financial structure can be risky, since the firm has a large debt obligation that must be paid. A firm positioned as an oligopoly or monopoly is best able to support such a leveraged financial structure, since its sales, profits and cash flows can be reliably predicted. Conversely, a business positioned in a highly competitive market cannot support a high degree of leverage, since it experiences volatile earnings and cash flows that could cause it to miss debt payments and trigger a bankruptcy filing. A business in this latter position needs to skew its financial structure in the direction of more equity, for which there is no payback requirement.