Investment Risk (Part II)

Country Routes - March, 1998

A willingness to take risks is a youthful characteristic. In a very real sense the progress of the world is attributable to those with the daring to do that which has not been done before.

Think about it. There once was a time when men could only dream of flying. Yet today flying is a common-place and a daily part of life. Every invention, every piece of literature or art requires an investment in time and money and is therefore a risk. Launching a new business requires risk. Most of us who work for a company are employed because the person who started the company was willing to accept risk. Doing anything which has hope of material gain carries with it a counterbalancing of risk. However, a careful line must be drawn between that which is risky and that which is foolish.

Albeit too frequently, the hesitancy encountered by the older-thinking person is a lack of courage and an unwillingness to make the extra effort. Excessive caution is more likely due to fear than prudence, perhaps because of past failures and lack of proper planning and sufficient effort. It is easy to be an armchair quarterback or philosopher by condemning the risktaker as foolish and content oneself with dreaming rather than doing. Fear of taking action frequently has its roots in doubt. Doubt results due to a lack of knowledge and experience. This can readily be overcome by borrowing someone else's knowledge and experience. We do it all the time.

We trust others to do things for us we cannot do ourselves; doctors, dentists and other professionals. We trust certain people with our lives without giving it hardly a thought; airline pilots, bus drivers, even our friends, husbands and wives who drive us around in their cars. It is called FAITH. Once a person is qualified and proves to us they are competent, we give them our trust. We are confident in their abilities. We need to identify those who are competent in what they do and borrow their knowledge and experience to overcome our doubts and fears.

Rather than being spectators watching the world of investments go by, we need to get down on the field and play the money game. The money game is the only game in town, it is not like any other game you will play. It is the one game we can't afford to lose. We better learn to play the game to win. Losing will mean a fearful, demeaning prospect for the future clothed in fear and worry. It is one of life's most humiliating defeats. We need a money coach to help us play it well.

I have just finished reading an excellent book, "Risk is a Four-Letter Word" by George Hartman, a colleague of mine. I strongly recommend it. I also have an excellent article, "The Risk Factor" by Jamie Buckingham. I will gladly send it to anyone who requests it.

If you have any questions, please call Reg Borrow at (519) 855-6639. He is an Independent Financial Consultant for Regal Capital Planners.

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