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Unbroken's avatar

When you have everything to lose do you risk everything or play it safe?

Asked by Unbroken (9382 points ) February 10th, 2013

Are you a risk taker? Do you buckle down under pressure?

What if there is no safety net, does that slow you down. Feel like what you have to lose is not worth the risk, or would you rather double down?

Maybe holding on or taking the safer route is riskier in the long run?

Calculated risks, safer bets, standing still?

Ok this question is biased. Feel free to expound regardless of the suggestive nature of my phrasing.

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11 Answers

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Depends what I’m risking and who it could hurt. But I’m at my best under pressure. I’m not quite sure what angle your looking at.

wundayatta's avatar

I’ve learned that people who take a lot of uncalculated risks tend to get burned. It’s best to take risks that are good risks. Likely to work out for you.

It makes sense to take a risk in the stock market, when you spread that risk over the entire stock market. In makes sense to take a chance on things you have prepared a long time for.

Preparation is the key for every risk. Preparation makes the risks much smaller. I’ll do things that seem quite risky, but only if I’ve done everything I can to make sure I’ll win that gamble.

rojo's avatar

In many ways, I am pretty conservative. I would say that in most cases, I am going to play it safe.

ETpro's avatar

You may not like this truth, but you always have everything to lose. The truisms, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.” and “A fool and his money are soon parted.” are both equally true. Search as you may for a canned answer that handles every single question or opportunity life throws at you, you will not find such. Evaluate the potential risks versus the rewards. Are there ways to mitigate the risks? How effective might they be? Is the reward calculation realistic? How likely is it to pay out as expected?

To totally play it safe would be to ensure you achieved the most mediocre results possible in life. To piss away a fortune handed to you would show that you feel far below the most mediocre results that one should be able to achieve.

Oh, and if you are unable to make this calculation on your own, I’m available as a paid consultant. Hell, if I think the opportunity is good enough, I’ll go in on it for a cut of the profits.

Unbroken's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe I guess whatever you feel is most important to you. If that was all you had left.

@wundayatta That sounds perfectly reasonable.

@rojo I guess if you had a lot to lose and not much to gain the motivation would be conservative.

@ETpro The path untaken multiplies by each safer choice or nonchoice made. Pretty soon what you have loses it values or finds a way to escape.

ETpro's avatar

@rosehips Well stated, and true.

ucme's avatar

I only have one speed…balls out.

jerv's avatar

I take calculated risks, but there are certain things I will not gamble with.

rooeytoo's avatar

I have always taken risks, but I usually have a back door or insurance policy just in case I fall flat on my face.

Bellatrix's avatar

It depends on what I will gain from the risk plus my personal situation. Will my risk affect other people or only me? What’s my age – do I have time to rebuild if things go pear shape?

I do take calculated risks and have done throughout my life. I have taken some quite big risks. However, I would be reluctant to take a risk that could adversely affect someone other than me unless they were also prepared to put things on the line. I am also now in the age range where recouping from a major financial setback would be difficult. I’ve done it in the past but I would be more cautious now. Still, if the rewards were great and I felt very confident, I might still take a punt.

wundayatta's avatar

So far, it seems like it is mostly the older heads who have answered this question, and they have done so with a remarkable consistency of message. Interesting.

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