Broker Check
Column: Of risk and reward

Column: Of risk and reward

October 07, 2019

 Getting caught in the rain on a motorcycle is not a huge problem, but if you don’t have a windshield or a visor, your face is going to be in a world of hurt. Even still, lot of riders choose to ride without any protection for their face, despite the obvious risks. The risk is its own reward.

This open-face helmet is called a half-helmet, but it’s also referred to as a “brain bucket” because it looks like a World War II standard issue, a slim hard-hat. Yes, you could get a full-face helmet, but just to ride around town? The whole reason you ride a bike, especially a Harley, is to get around and in front of the windshield, not go slamming a baby windshield back in front of your face.

From a safety perspective, the half-helmet is risky. Rain pelts you in the day, gnats sting your cheeks and forehead at night, and God forbid you hit the pavement.

But lots of riders still buy these helmets and use them, regardless. Because the desire to be free of the windshield supersedes the desire to be safe.

This desire—is it implanted? Something humans are born with? If so, why are so many people against bikes? Why do some sky-dive and race cars and do dangerous, sometimes absurd things, while others choose the safer, probably wiser path?

This desire—it may be acquired. Nature versus nurture. Our yearning for risk may be the product of a boring life in a safe, developed country. Compare us modern Americans to historical humanity and you’ll find a lot of extra time spent on banal things like social media instead of hunting, gathering, warring, or exploring.

But the answer about the desire for risk is probably a combination: Evil Kanevil was who he was because of nature and nurture.

So we can’t change nature—we are who we are because of our genetics—and we can’t change nurture a whole lot—we are the product of our personal histories. So when we talk about risk, there is a lot that is predefined for us, despite what we may think about ourselves. You could buy a Harley and a brain bucket and hit the road, but it may be your small rebellion, not your self-expression.

There is a difference between risk, accepted as part of your life’s purpose and mission, and risk peppered in, layered in on top of a lot of nature and nurture pushing you to safety.

When we talk about investing, we do so in the context of this conversation about risk. Someone may think they want to invest their money aggressively, but they may not be listening to themselves. It’s the job of the advisor to listen and get to know them, so they can verify if they are a brain-bucket person or not.


Adam Setser

Financial Advisor

Kerrigan Capital and Risk Management

3543 N Crossing Cir, Valdosta, GA 31602



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The opinions contained in this material are those of the author, and not a recommendation or solicitation to buy or sell investment products. This information is from sources believed to be reliable, but Cetera Investment Services LLC cannot guarantee or represent that it is accurate or complete.