I have my thoughts on PFBlog writer's question in "The $1M Goal Revisited: Should I Take Risk? (to achieve $1M by 36 year old)":
The riskiest part of his investment thinking is the time line that he set for himself..."by 36 year old". It is risky because he is trying to control the timing of market (that bring in the return) which is uncontrollable.
It is a 3-4 years target. He can
a. play safe, save and reach his goal in a year or two, OR
b. he can take risk for a higher return: invest in market when it is low, but subject to the timing of economy recovery
For the purpose of investing for profit, we seek safest ways for highest profit. We can wait a year or two or three or five to let the outcome of our plans materialized. The moment we set a time to achieve an investment return goal, we push ourselves to take too much risks or too little risks in order to get the targeted profit within a set time (which is of little of our control), sacrificing the best option for best outcome. We lose out because we focus on irrelevant variable, a very specific short set-time.
In stock investing, we decide our actions and outcomes, but we have little say in the timing.
It is the market timing; it is your selection of good stocks which response to the market timing; it is your selection of currencies which response to market conditions; that’s determine when you get the outcomes of your investment decisions.
If he targets RM1 million through WORK income by 36 years old, it is a reasonable target because it depends on how smart and how hard he work. It is within his control.
But targeting RM1 million through investing by 36 is irrelevant, for you can’t control the timing of your success. It distract you from the real decision you need to make. You should only plan for best result, and let time works things out for you.
More on this at Stock investing and trade winds.
Removing the “by 36” issue, then the “whether to take risk” question is irrelevant.
The question that matter is “how not to take risk (or take only calculated risk) for best investing results?” ;-)