They say no big reward comes without risk. That can be a hard pill to swallow, especially when it comes to our money.
Most of us would rather not put our hard earned cash at risk. With the tough economic times of 2008 in recent memory, people are still on edge when it comes to taking financial risks.
On the other hand, leaving your cash in a savings account isn’t going to get you ahead of the game. In order to be successful financially, you will eventually have to face some risk. In fact, being too complacent with your cash can be one of the biggest financial risks of all.
Here are the financial risks that can be hugely beneficial.
1. Moving to a new city
Do you feel like your current location is lacking in career opportunities? Or perhaps rent is atrocious and you’re finding it hard to get by? A move may be a solution.
There’s no doubt about it — moving is expensive. You may have to break a lease and sign a new one, complete with security deposit. You’ll probably have to pay for a moving truck, movers, new furniture, and more. Not to mention, your new city could come with a much higher cost of living. But, for some people, moving could be well worth it.
When I moved cities, even though I tried to make it as cheap as possible, I still incurred quite a few expenses. But financially and personally, it was worth it to me. My hometown is small with very few opportunities, so I knew I would have a better shot at earning a bigger income in a larger city. Fortunately, that turned out to be true. (See also: Here’s How Much Life in the Big City Will Cost You)
2. Investing in graduate school
Graduate school is a big investment, so it’s important to weigh whether or not the expense is worth it in the long run. Tuition costs are ever increasing, books are expensive, and if you choose a full-time program, you are losing out on income you could have earned while working instead.
While it is a big investment, a graduate degree can help you find a higher paying job with more opportunity for growth. And some high paying careers cannot be achieved without some sort of degree in higher education.
Before you sign up for graduate school, take time to truly consider what you want to do and whether it will benefit you financially. Be sure to consider how you can market yourself, even without an advanced degree. While a graduate degree can certainly help in the job process, there are many other factors that determine whether or not you receive a job offer. (See also: 7 Things to Consider Before Paying for an MBA)
3. Starting a business
Starting a business is outside many people’s comfort zone. It can cost significant cash to start and to grow a business from scratch. There is also uncertainty in working for yourself if you’ve only ever worked with for a traditional 9-to-5 employer.
But starting a business can come with many personal and financial benefits. For one, you keep all of your own profit. If the business is successful, you are the one who gets the big payout. For many people, owning and operating their own business is a personal and career preference as well. If you’ve been dreaming about starting your own business, develop a financial plan before you dive in head first. (See also: Starting Your Dream Business Is Easier Than You Think — Here’s How)
The stock markets are full of ups and downs and uncertainty, but the payoff can be huge. Most, if not all, experts would agree that failing to invest is riskier than not investing. While leaving your money in a savings account might ensure it doesn’t lose much value in the short term, it won’t gain much value, either. In fact, due to inflation, you are likely to lose value over time.
Investing thoughtfully, however, can give you the opportunity to grow your money at a much faster rate. Investing certainly isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme, but overall, it can pay off big time with smart decisions. (See also: How the Risk Averse Can Get Into the Stock Market)
5. Buying a home
The housing market isn’t necessarily as stable as it used to be, and a home is a major cost. But can it be worth the risk?
There are many factors to consider when deciding if purchasing a home is worth the risk. You’ll want to consider resale value, in the event that you need to move. Location, school district, quality of home, and neighborhood are all other important factors to consider. If you are planning to stay in a location long-term, a house may be a smart investment. (See also: 7 Worst Reasons NOT to Buy a House)