Risk taker, rule breaker.

February 1, 2012 · 24 comments

While I like to consider myself adventurous, I’m not really one to take huge risks. In fact, every time someone asks me if I have a desire to go bungee jumping or skydiving I tell them the same thing; “Heck no!”. The way I see it there are really only two outcomes to skydiving. You fall for a minute or two and land safely, or you die.

“But Ninja,” they’ll say, “The feeling of the wind blowing past your face is incredible”. I bet it is, but if I want to feel wind on my face I’ll just stick my head out the car next time I’m driving. Big risks just aren’t my cup of tea.

I read the other day that “careers” are things of the past and the typical employee nowadays change jobs every two or three years. Not so much the case for this guy. I got my current job fresh out of college, and 4.5 years later, I’m still here. Unless someone calls me up out of the blue one day and offers me a six figure position, I probably will be here for a while longer. (those of you that have six figure job openings feel free to offer me one :))

I like to pretend that I’m pretty risky when it comes to my retirement investments. Bonds are for wussies. I’ve got so freakin’ long until I retire, I’m stocks all the way baby. But even though all my investments are in stocks, they are still in relatively conservative funds. I don’t have an actively managed account. I don’t own individual company stocks. And I don’t buy and sell according to market fluctuations. Instead, I invest in three pretty boring Vanguard Mutual Funds (VTSMX, VGTSX, NAESX for those that care). Nothing too exciting about that.

About six months ago, I started getting antsy. I wanted to do something I’ve never done before, but I just couldn’t figure out what that “something” should be. Then it hit me. I need to buy three iguanas….

Oh who am I kidding. I didn’t buy three iguanas, or one for that matter. I just wanted to throw you a little curveball :).

Sadly iguanas are not in my immediate future, but what is in my immediate future is a new business venture. Six months ago I had an idea (hopefully a good idea). Since I don’t have the required skills/knowledge/abilities to make this idea a reality, I had to hire people to do it for me.

Never in my life have I made a couple thousand dollar investment in something that wasn’t at least moderately safe. I wish I could go in to more details about the business, but for now I have to keep things hush-hush (I probably shouldn’t even be writing this post…haha). Not knowing if I just made the best or worst investment of my life is both extremely exhilarating and incredibly scary (kinda like skydiving I suppose). Two weeks from now I will find out if this six-month journey was one worth taking. Wish me luck :)

What risks have you taken lately?

P.S. A handful of you know what this venture is. Please be respectful and keep your lips locked. If you want to ask me any questions shoot me an email, DONT put it in the comments.

image credit

{ 24 comments }

1 Gus

We bought 2 ATM’s late last year. Contract provides a minimum return, which is fairly attractive, and allows reasonable upside. dropped a whole lot of borrowed cash on them… Still hoping it’s not a great big ponzi scheme.

2 Donnie

Ninja, surely you have enough to qualify for the Admiral version of those index funds?

VTSMX 0.18% ER -> VTSAX 0.07% ER

3 Ninja

Don’t know what you speak of. Enlighten me por favor?

4 Donnie

For example, if you have a minimum of $3,000, you can invest in Vanguard Total Stock Market Index INVESTOR shares. You would pay an expense ratio of 0.18%

But, if you have a least $10,000 in that fund, you can convert it to Admiral Shares, and pay an expense ratio of 0.07%

5 Jennifer

Good luck! I guess I’ll have to stay tuned to find out what this big venture is.

I haven’t taken any big risks lately (although I’m probably more agressively invested than I should be at my age, I’m not quite sure). However, probably the biggest risk I ever took was picking up and moving to a city where I knew no one, and didn’t have a job. I was 35 at the time, but I don’t have any dependents other than my dog. I wanted to live somewhere warm, so I quit my job, sold my house, and picked up and moved. I even tried a new career (real estate, which I determined I wasn’t cut out for, I learned that I’m, a person who likes a steady paycheck and benefits).

Eventually, I ended up working in a great job with a great company, and bought a house. But as much as I wanted to like living in this city, I just didn’t. So after 3 years I decided to move back to where I started (and sold my house at the top of the market, before the bubble burst). The risk paid off because I learned a lot about myself and I came out about equal expense-wise, when you figure out the moving costs, etc.

But now I have the “itch” to move somewhere again, like a big city such as NYC. Not sure….

6 Melissa

The most recent risk I’ve taken was definitely the biggest one I’ve ever taken. I tend to be pretty safe and conservative, too, but a couple of months ago, I quit my job and decided to freelance full-time. It’s pretty terrifying in the beginning, but really fun. I’m glad I took the risk while I was young, because in five or ten years, doing so probably won’t be an option.

7 Catch!

I hope the big venture is unicorn related :)

8 Jeff @ Sustainable Life Blog

Good luck with your venture – did you use side income to do it, or take it from your real pay check?

9 Ninja Mom's co worker worker bee...

Unlike your Ninja mom who seeks adventure and challenge at the change of a job every oh …. 3 years or so…Ninja Mom quote… “I like to change jobs every 3 years” …. I see you don’t have that same life drive although I think Ninja mom may push that out to 4 years because of the enjoyment she seeks in “poking the bear” (she can explain) :-) I am with you on the bungeee jumping and free falling (which I can do alone off the bar stool) and sky diving. First one has to get me in the plane in order to push me out of the plane.
I fully support you on all of this. Something like a good bra indeed!

10 momninja

It’s really every 2-3 years…..change is good and more money is better!

11 Bridget

I’m curious what your big venture is… I haven’t taken any risks lately. I’m considering starting a second blog but I keep chickening out =\

12 Andrea

I did something adventurous and applied for a ministry position- the risk is in the total lifestyle change going from corporate to ministry. We’ll see what happens!

13 Jenna, Adaptu Community Manager

Just adopted a 3-4 month old pitbull puppy. Bring on the risks to my apartment and my freedom!

14 Savvy Scot

Hey. I haven’t taken any serious risks recently, but I’d like to take one. I want to own a dive school and teach driving for a living. I’m trying to reduce the risk by obtaining all the qualifications before I leave my (pretty decent) job with a final salary (defined benefit) pension scheme. It is interesting you mention the trend to change jobs every few years. My thoughts are that this is because generation y has been brought up in a completely different, fast paced and technologically advancing world. Their attention spans and Internet levels cause much need for change. (I am generation y) what do you think?

15 Nick

I think mutual funds are for wussies. I have around 90% of my money invested in individual companies with a market cap of less than $2.5b. Most people would probably consider that pretty risky.

16 jesse.anne.o

I haven’t taken any risks – I’m seriously risk-averse. I don’t know what to do about it.

Also, I wish I didn’t immediately equate that picture with “CLEAN ALL OF THE THINGS!” – I used to have it hanging in my kitchen above the sink!

17 Jenni

We’re moving to Nicaragua this summer on support to be directors of a vocational training and transitional program at an orphanage. I’m scared out of my mind but God’s been faithful so far!

18 Lutus

2 things-

1. I am refinancing my house to a 15 year term.
2. I have raised my rates for teaching guitar from $30 to $40 an hour. Boom.

19 Smooth

I am leaving my classroom in 3 weeks (6th grade math teacher) to create/build a math interventions program two of our elementary buildings in our district. This is exciting but also a bit of a daunting task as I will be on my own on this. This will be a big challenge but exciting as it will be a new position and could be very rewarding. I hope I don’t miss being in the classroom too much.

20 Executioner

Why don’t you ever give credit for the images you display on your site? That seems like customary blogger behavior. Not sure if Hyperbole & a Half would have given permission for you to alter her image like that, though.

21 Ninja

Whoa drama queen. Do you not see the blue link at the end of the post that says “image credit”. Ya know, the one that links to Hyperbole and a Half. Weird huh?

22 Executioner

Crazy me, I was looking for an image credit NEXT TO THE IMAGE, not way down at the bottom. Weird huh?

23 Ninja

You mean at the bottom like Budgets Are Sexy and MANY other PF bloggers do? Sorry I can’t read your mind and most content where you’d prefer.

Previous post:

Next post: