December 21, 2017 ~ 2 min read

Flipping risk on its head

We rarely evaluate the risk of what we are currently doing. In our mind, we have already accepted the risks of our daily habits and lifestyle.

We all know that risk is relative, so when we are making decisions, why do we so often overlook the risk of deciding NOT to do something

Quitting your job seems risky. There's financial risk associated with removing a guaranteed source of income. There's the time risk of spending time on a business or looking for a dream job which might not work out.

But what about the risks of staying at your job? In the U.S, employment is at-will, which means there is the risk of losing your job at any moment. This risk is relatively low.

More importantly, there is the risk (or sometimes even guarantee) of spending 8-hours every day on something you don't enjoy. There is the risk of your skills atrophying to the point where you become obsolete.

People say buying bitcoin is a risky investment. I get it, it's an immature, unproven technology with extreme volatility. I certainly wouldn't recommend putting money you can't afford to lose into bitcoin at this stage (disclaimer: I am not a financial advisor).

But why don't we talk about the risks associated with NOT buying bitcoin? The U.S is over 20 trillion dollars in debt. If we continue to print money at our current rate, and bitcoin continues to gain traction, it is not unreasonable to think that this could lead to a scenario yielding hyperinflation of the U.S dollar (or any other government-backed currency for that matter). In this light, not putting 1% of your net worth in bitcoin almost seems risky.

I think this can serve as a useful framework to help us make better decisions. If something generally regarded as risky, risky compared to what? Sometimes conforming to the status quo is the real risk.

Maxi Ferreira

Hi, I'm Taylor . I'm a software engineer/maker/amateur chef currently living in San Francisco. You can follow me on Twitter , see some of my work on GitHub , or read about my life on Substack .