I'm a military pilot with more than 3,500 hours and 400+ in combat. Before flying a combat mission I've studied the risks and taken factors such as the weather, the aircraft's performance capabilities as well as my own, the threats, and the mission objectives into consideration. I make a deliberate go/no-go decision.
While flying sometimes I encounter something unexpected. Things change enroute to my objective, and I have to decide if the changes will prevent me from completing my mission or if I still have a realistic chance for success.
Before I strap into the plane, I've had years of training, flown similar missions or more difficult ones in the simulator, and been taught by those with more experience. They told me what I'd done right, and what I'd screwed up on.
Sometimes you take bigger chances if the stakes are right or the mission is critical. Unfortunately, sometimes inexperienced aviators can't objectively analyze the odds. They become target fixated and sometimes fly a perfectly good airplane into the ground.
So, what does all this have to do with money? I think there are a lot of similarities, but also some striking differences.
1) How much training have you had in dealing with money?
2) What are your overall objectives?
3) What sort of reserve do you have available if you are delayed in reaching your destination?
4) Do you have a mentor who can give you honest and sometimes painful feedback on your progress?
5) Have you set deliberate go/no-go points when negotiating a major purchase like a car, a house, or even a college education? If you reach the no-go point, are you able to pull out of the deal in time or do you go through with it even if it's out of line with your ultimate objectives?
Everyone comes to NetworthIQ with a different set of objectives and experiences. Some are wealthy people who want to help other achieve success. Others are people struggling to get out of debt or to save up enough to close on their first home.
As for me, I'm a 42 year old husband and father of 2 sons. I'm saving as much as I can to augment my military retirement and ease my transition back to civilian life. I can't take the kinds of risks that a 24 year old bachelor can take.
Will I be rich? Not in a material way, I think, but in terms of experiences and pride in our family's accomplishments, I think I already am.