chapter  2
Fear and Risk: Without a Net
WithPaul Sheeran, Amber Spain
Pages 24

Risk can be insured against but it cannot be eliminated. In some cases risks are incalculable. Risk assessments and models vary between private investors, investment banks, trading houses and other investment-related institutions. Therefore, models need to reflect the chaotic nature of markets, or the fuzzy logic that informs elements of speculative activity. The choice to invest or not to invest ought to be considered on what may be lost rather than on what can be gained. The fear, however, of losing out or not being part of the initial stages of a bull bubble outweighs the caution. In the context of investment bubbles, speculators are encouraged to take risks, but taught that restraint and professionalism can be undermined through an obsession with spectacular gains. The fear of being 'left out' or 'missing the boat' fuels anxiety and contributes to the dismissal or poor appreciation of future risks.