Those who have known my sister and me for a while know that we have a tendency to embrace a certain amount of risk in our lives, up to and including adventures such as Bungy jumps, sky diving, and scuba diving.
While our dad would never do jumps like this, he has been known to take a few risks, including his recent obsession with riding 20+ miles several times per week on his E-bike on all the tiny roads around this end of town.
He also started a new business at age 36 by learning to do bookkeeping, then taxes, and finally financial planning when he was 55. After a few detours, both of his daughters (my sister and I) have followed in those footsteps.
So, when I ran across an article from 2012 posted on the Women2.0 website by Wandia Chiuri with a title that included the phrase “Dare to Risk”, I felt an immediate recognition or connection with the term, because in my family we tend to think: “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.”
But there were a few ideas in this article that made me stop and think in terms of our business and the business of investing.
One was a quote by Seneca: “It’s not because things are difficult that we do not dare. It is because we do not dare, that things are difficult.” This quote made me think of the term “analysis paralysis”- those times when we are gathering facts to try to make decisions, but just never feel quite confident enough to actually make the decision or take action. We have seen individuals who say they are always going to invest but get caught up in waiting for the right time, and this ultimately causes them to lose out on gains they might have realized. That is a great reason to just make investing a habit that we do regularly as we are able. (And I won’t even go into the benefits of Dollar-Cost Averaging right now!)
The author then listed some steps to take the right risk that included:
- Avoiding the biggest risk, which is not to risk at all: she says “Don’t wait for your ship to come in…row out and meet it.”
- Don’t wait for the perfect time- we learn more by doing than waiting.
- And Take the Leap- “have the courage to take the leap and close the gap between your dreams and reality”
So how can these ideas about risk apply to us? Do we recommend high-risk investments? No, not really. We talked a bit about Risk in our blog last week, in terms of some people needing to increase the Market Risk with their investments to compensate for the newer Inflation Risk.
Aside from actual investments, we have frequent conversations about clients investing in their own lives, in what brings them joy. What are your dreams or what is on your bucket list? What brings you a sense of delight, or what is something you have always wanted or wanted to do? What are you waiting for? Once we have made up our minds to actually do something, there is nothing more to be gained from waiting or just standing on the ledge. When you have the time and resources to do something, then do it. My personal New Zealand-inspired mantra is: Die with Memories Instead of Dreams.
While our dreams change over time, I think that perhaps the greatest risk is coming to the end of our lives, however long or short that may be, and never attempting the dreams that made our hearts soar. In essence, having an Un-lived life.