I think many think it is cool to be a risk taker. Slogans like “you only go around once”,
“take a chance, Columbus did!” and others promote the idea of taking risks with our money and careers. Some are very successful when they take risks; others fail miserably. I have heard it said that entrepreneurs are risk managers, not risk takers. I’m not sure all are, but I have met many who did manage risks very well.
When I opened a brokerage account I was asked to indicate my penchant for risk, low, medium or high. The implication was that reward is proportional to the risk. But it is also proportional to the loss.
I see little wrong with risk taking only if we understand it and can live with the downside. We are in an economy right now where many are in trouble due to loss of jobs, loss of one job in a two job family, and market downturns. There are many people very stressed about their situation and rightfully so. There is much we cannot control and we re-learn that in times like these.
I don’t have a conclusion on this, but I do know that the low risk takers are doing quite well even now. I am reminded of another saying, “you meet the same people on the way down that you passed on the way up!”. Are you prepared to go down?