Perceived Safety

The SVB (Silicon Valley Bank) collapse is a hard lesson on trusting the conventional wisdom on ‘safe’ investments. On paper, they did everything right as a bank - putting the deposits into the US treasury, the safest investment available on the planet. Sure there is the interest rate risk that is well known, but the interest risk only matters in the short term, in the long term these treasuries are guaranteed to pay out.

SVB got screwed by this perceived risk-less investment. Beyond the economics lesson, it is a lesson on taking the safe path to avoid risk. There is inherent risk in every path, human brains have a hard time correctly assessing the probability of edge case scenarios, and end up believing they are making no-risk choices. In contrast, those making ‘high risk’ moves have a much higher tendency to acknowledge the myriad of risks and make decisions accordingly.

Even if you are making the safe choice (stable job, bond income investments, etc.), acknowledge the risks around you. And in doing so, the riskier move might not be as risky after all.