There are various points in everyone’s life where it becomes necessary to make a decision that has major financial implications. Making a significant financial commitment such as taking on a mortgage to buy a house or borrowing money to set up a business, taking on a student loan, investing a large sum of money, moving to another location, changing career, starting a family; all these life events involve taking financial risk. How you feel about taking financial risk can have a huge impact on the course of your life. For some people, the fear of making a wrong choice becomes a major barrier to change. People who are fearful may secretly dream of setting up a business or changing their career, but lack the courage to follow through. So whereas the risk takers forge on ahead, sometimes succeeding and sometimes failing, the risk averse stick to what they know and feel comfortable with while perhaps feeling resentful of their lot in life.
The ability to make confident, informed financial decisions can drastically alter your life and allow you to achieve greater things. That means confronting your fears, by first understanding what they are. Common fears include fear of unexpected expenses, loss of income through illness or redundancy, not being able to keep with debt repayments, business or investment failure, and not having enough money for retirement. Strategies for dealing with these fears include making sure you have an emergency fund to cover unexpected events, keeping some of your wealth safe and secure rather than risking everything, ensuring you have spare borrowing capacity rather than borrowing the maximum available to you, taking out insurance, and paying for specialist advice to help you quantify risks and returns. Sometimes, as they say, you just have to feel the fear and do it anyway.