Financial Risks You Should Be Taking
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Financial Risks You Should Be Taking

As with most things in life, you have to take some financial risks to get bigger rewards. Here are some ideas to get you started.

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Photo by Maxim Hopman on Unsplash

Leaving your comfort zone can be scary — after all, that’s what makes it a comfort zone in the first place! But, as with most things in life, you have to take some financial risks to get bigger rewards. Here are some ideas to get you started.

What Is Financial Risk?

Financial risk is any monetary decision that might make you lose money. However, there’s a difference between being cavalier with your finances and making a calculated move. One involves unreasonable risk, while the other could be beneficial. How do you distinguish the two?

Reasonable risks shouldn’t drain your entire savings account or send you into debt. Buying a Lamborghini when you’re struggling to pay rent? Probably not the wisest move. Considering that only four in 10 Americans have a budget, you may need to take a step back before making any major purchases.

Reasonable risks are intentional, meaning you spent time thinking them through. Maybe you spent years researching how to run a bakery before renting a storefront. A bad financial move would be to get excited about starting a business, immediately open a bakery and buy a bunch of dough. It’s putting the cart before the horse.

Reasonable risks should make you more financially secure in the future. The goal of putting your money into stocks or real estate is to make a profit years later, sometimes even decades from now. Investing your money into a well-known, legitimate business is a reasonable risk. Investing in an untrustworthy source, such as by wiring money to a suspicious company or hiring a capricious business partner, is a bad financial decision.

Financial Risks to Take

There’s no guarantee that any of these moves are right for you, but many successful people have taken these financial risks. Ready for a leap of faith?

1. Invest Your Money

While it’s important to have a savings account, you shouldn’t squirrel away all your earnings under the mattress. That’s because even with interest, you likely won’t make as much extra cash as if you put some of your funds into various stocks, bonds, real estate or other investments. Do thorough research to find out where exactly you should invest.

Another good reason to invest is that inflation can impact your savings account. In other words, the money you’ve saved won’t inflate over time to keep pace with the rising cost of living. That thousand dollars in the bank might not be worth much 50 years from now.

2. Find a New Job

This advice depends entirely on your situation. Do you have a fulfilling, financially secure job you can see yourself doing for years? Then, by all means, keep it!

But if you’re stuck in a role that doesn’t feel like a career, you’re dealing with a toxic work environment or you’ve hit a glass ceiling and can’t earn enough to live comfortably, it’s time to consider leaving. To minimize the financial risk of quitting, save a few months’ worth of living expenses first, and try to have another job offer lined up before you put in your notice.

3. Go Back to School

Pursuing a higher education can be costly. However, it can also be your ticket to a more fulfilling career with better pay. Invest in yourself by getting a degree — you can even work on your degree over a long period of time to ease the financial burden. Then, apply for better jobs or ask for a raise at your current workplace. You earned it!

4. Travel

Have you lived in one place your whole life? If so, you could be missing out on knowledge about yourself or opportunities you’d never even dreamed of.

Going to Costa Rica might trigger an interest in wildlife conservation. Living in New York could teach you new ways to save money while enjoying a sense of community. Or, maybe you always dreamed of working on a cruise ship, but spending a week at sea makes you realize how much you miss dry land.

Traveling or even moving is a financial risk, but it’s one worth taking to learn more about yourself and the world.

5. Become an Entrepreneur

Do you dream of being your own boss, setting your own hours and doing something you truly love? Starting your own business could be the way to go. Of course, this can be a financially risky move — 38% of entrepreneurs who fail do so because they ran out of funds. Another 35% of failed businesses didn’t provide a useful product or service.

But even a “failed” business could still provide immense value to your life. Starting and maintaining your own company is a learning experience that shows drive, determination and passion. If you decide to apply for a new job, many employers will look fondly on these traits. And, if you ever decide to try again, you won’t be starting from square one.

The Safest Risks to Take

There’s no such thing as an entirely safe risk — that’s an oxymoron. But you can make calculated decisions that are likely to help you in the long run.

By investing your money into a diversified portfolio, finding a job that balances work and home life, getting a higher education or even starting your own business, you’ll probably make more money over time. And, at the very least, you’ll learn something from the experience.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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