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The Similarities Between BASE Jumping And Investment Risk

The Similarities Between BASE Jumping And Investment Risk

Extreme sports such as BASE Jumping and skydiving can teach us a lot about the psychology behind taking calculated risks, which is a necessity when investing. After all, we are never 100% sure things are going to work out the way we envision with any investment. 

High-Flying Finance

Jokke Sommer is a 33-year-old Norwegian professional skydiver and BASE — building, antenna, span and earth — jumper whose passion for life is contagious. Sommer is one of the world’s most well-known "wing-suit pilots," with around 3,000 jumps under his belt. He spoke to Benzinga about the psychology behind taking calculated risks on a regular basis and his brief stint in Bitcoin investing.

For those unfamiliar with the sport: wingsuit pilots wear a webbed suit that allows them to fly and snake through valleys by navigating over dangerous rock crevasses. It is considered an extreme sport that requires careful preparation — and a stomach for heights.

Head In The Clouds

Taking risks is a way of life for Sommer, an extreme athlete. He has been BASE jumping in a wingsuit for years. Sommer first began skydiving in 2007 and has participated in formation skydiving in the U.S., where he executed more than 200 jumps within two months.

“As soon as I did my first skydive, I was hooked. There’s a lot that goes into preparation before a skydive, and it is all about taking calculated risks.”

For those wondering why, this extreme sport can be exhilarating for participants, giving them a sense of freedom and a euphoric feeling. 

Before a jump comes preparation. The prep and actual leap jump require some emotional control and steady nerves. Here, both risk and reward go hand-in-hand.

“The good investors are also taking calculated risks constantly. But instead, they are risking huge amounts of money rather than risking their own lives,” Sommer said. 

Riding Bitcoin's Highs, Lows

Bitcoin is an extremely volatile asset class. Sommer said he invested in the cryptocurrency before its catastrophic collapse and did not cash out during its euphoric rise in 2017, remaining a true "HODLer." But he took the plunge and cashed out when BTC recovered back to $13,000 this year.

“I made some profit from Bitcoin — not millions. I bought a tiny amount and thought I would sit on it until 2030,” he told Benzinga.

"But my mind can’t handle the ups and downs of the market everyday. For me, at first it was like, 'I’m going to buy and hold for a long time and it will be valuable.' If you’re going to invest it is a full-time job. I prefer investing in real estate and stuff that I can make adventures from. My next goal is to invest in a sailboat." 

Although Sommer is able to take extremely high risks jumping off steep cliffs and flying, he is not as risk-averse when it comes to investing, despite dabbling in Bitcoin.

Sommer said he's invested in a property in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc near the Swiss Alps in Switzerland for his retirement.

Tips For Those Wanting To Take The Plunge

For those looking to take the leap and participate in wingsuit flying or any form of BASE jumping, Sommer said there is a lengthy initiation process.

“First do a tandem jump, and just trust the person you are with and you will be fine. Make sure you embrace the emotions and you can do this without having to do anything.”

To even consider BASE jumping, you need to have at least 250 skydives under your belt, but Sommer suggests completing 500. More people are getting into BASE jumping because of wingsuit flying, and it is a high-risk sport, he said.

"We don’t want people with no skydiving experience to get into BASE jumping anyway. They shouldn’t because most of the time it results in accidents." 

Related Links: 

A Bitcoin ETF Arrives, But You've Got To Be A Pro To Use It 

3 Foolproof Strategies To Minimize Risk


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