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Are you the type of person who always eats out at the same restaurant? Do you always stay in the same hotel when you go on vacation? Do you drive a particular car model because that's what you've always driven and your dad did, as well.

If you answered "yes" to one or more of these questions, you're not alone in making decisions based on habit, and in doing so, wanting to reduce if not eliminate the risk of something going wrong. That's precisely a problem on the stock market.

Many people won't make trades unless they can be sure that everything goes according to plan.  

That's not realistic. It is impossible to create perfect conditions for success even by repeating the same procedures every time. Change occurs quickly. There are too many variables that make investing an uncertainty even in the best of conditions.

To be sure, it's normal to prefer stability and detest risk. It is normal to want to be fearful of the unknown, particularly when large sums of money are involved. Yet, aversion to risk may be a disadvantage when investing. Fear is the reason why many people miss out on great opportunities.

Safety was at the core of American psychologist Abraham Maslow's thinking in 1943 whenhe developed his famous hierarchy of needs, which organized man's motivations in pyramid structure. The more basic needs, including the need to be physically satisfied and safe formed the bottom of the pyramid. Less urgent needs were at the top. 

In this model, Abraham Maslow described the five stages of needs.

Stage 1 - Physiological needs for existence: breathing, sleep, nourishment, warmth, health, housing, clothing, sexuality, movement

Stage 2 - Safety: law and order, protection from danger, fixed income, security, accommodation

Stage 3 - Social needs: family, circle of friends, partnership, love, intimacy, communication

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Stage 4 - Esteem needs: greater appreciation through status, respect, recognition (awards, praise), prosperity, money, influence, private and professional successes, mental and physical strengths

Stage 5 - Self-actualization: individuality, talent development, perfection, enlightenment, self-improvement

The first three stages of the pyramid (and parts of the fourth) are also referred to as deficit needs. These needs must be satisfied so that you can be content. That said, when they have been fulfilled then you are no longer motivated to satisfy them (when you're no longer thirsty you try not to drink anymore). The bottom two stages are more discretionary. 

In the pyramid, people fulfill their needs from the bottom up with safety second behind the activities that they need for survival. 

Even experienced traders shun risks because of their need for safety. But the most successful traders are willing to accept reasonable risk and push forward. 

They understand that even with their sophisticated algorithms and modeling, risk is an inherent part of investing, and that there may be times when a trade falls short of expectations. 

Of course, the willingness to take risks varies globally. While Europeans tend to take a conservative approach to financial investments, Americans are more comfortable trading. Americans also generally take more business risks because that type of approach is considered more socially acceptable. 

By contrast, in Asia, where we also do business with moomoc, the mentality tends to be different. In some regions, there is an almost playful approach to markets. Investors approach trading as they might gambling with an acknowledgement that losses will inevitably occur at some point. 

Regardless of someone's trading philosophy, it's important not to be cowed by fear. Approach trading with a reasonable plan, ideally one with some statistical underpinning. 

Pinpoint investments that fit within your investment philosophy and tolerance for risk, and that are most likely to succeed. Then don't overthink things. 

This article is commentary by an independent contributor.