risk adverse or averse?

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Whisky con ron

Senior Member
Venezuela / Español
Hi all,

Which way is right? "Risk averse" or "risk adverse"?

I've searched in the dictionaries and the two words seem to mean the same.

Thanks
 
  • mnzrob

    Senior Member
    Chicago English and German
    Risk averse is a way to describe a person. A person who is risk averse is someone who avoids risk. Maybe it should be spelled "risk-averse"? I'm not sure.
     

    Benjy

    Senior Member
    English - English
    ahh ok. i see what you are getting at now :) i would say averse to {something}
    i supose you could say "risk averse" i just wasn't aware of it :)
     

    Whisky con ron

    Senior Member
    Venezuela / Español
    Thanks all....

    Yes, "risk" wasn't a verb here. Risk-adverse would be working as an adjetive, I guess. The full context is "bacause of the risk averse nature of so-and-so"...

    Funny how I always thought it was "adverse", but it is the first time I try to write it. Maybe because the word in Spanish has a D...

    Cheers
     

    Benjy

    Senior Member
    English - English
    adverse.. goes with adversity. you might talk about adverse weather conditions, which would weather unfavorable to whatever you were undertaking. "this man has gone through alot of adversity to get where he is today" adversity might be replaced with opposition in that case. does that make any sense at all?
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    For those of you who have not suffered AE, a great many Americans say, wrongly,
    "risk-adverse". The correct form is risk averse, with or without a hyphen.

    Averse= reluctant, opposed to
    adverse= moving or working in an opposite or contrary direction

    There is some similarity, but they are not the same.

    saludos,
    Cuchu
     

    Hole

    Senior Member
    Croatia - Croatian
    Hi!
    I have an example with risk adverse: "Chairs of organizations must be risk adverse insuring the organization is insulated and protected as a legal entity."
    Does this mean that they have to protect themselves from the risk?
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    It does, or rather, it means that chairs must be cautious and seek to avoid risk.
    It also means that someone doesn't know the difference between averse and adverse; or someone has typed averse wrongly.
     

    Hole

    Senior Member
    Croatia - Croatian
    So you are saying that in "my" sentence there should be risk averse? Cause I have a few of these in the text, but they are all the same sentences, so maybe someone has just copy pasted them.
     

    Tim~!

    Senior Member
    UK — English
    It's averse, and the expression is used--chiefly in insurance, game theory, and psychology--to describe someone who dislikes the presence of risks in their decisions, and adjusts their decisions accordingly.

    In plainer English, it describes most of us in the real world. If there's risk involved in something, we would rather neutralise it, even at a cost.

    I could tell you to invest €1000 in a firm that is 50% likely to make you a profit of €2000, and 50% likely to lose you the investment. There is an element of risk in this investment, because there's an equal chance you could lose all your money.

    I could also suggest that you invest in a firm that will guarantee you a return of €200 on your investment. No risk here.

    Your attitude to risk would influence your decision.

    If you don't care about risk either way, you'll take the riskier version, since your average return will be ((0.5 * €2000) + (0.5 * -€1000)) €500, compared to the other outcome, which is a guaranteed €200.

    If, like me, you're risk averse, you'd hate to lose your money, and would rather take the guaranteed money than take the risk, even though the expected pay-off (€500) is higher. Because I'm risk averse I'd rather the guaranteed money than risk getting nothing, even though that means I'm ruling out getting €2000 too. That's a picture-perfect example of risk-aversion in action.

    Maybe it should be spelled "risk-averse"? I'm not sure.
    It follows the normal rules. Hyphenated if used as a compound adjective (before the noun it modifies), separated if it used predicatively (following the object):

    A risk-averse person is a person who is risk averse.
     
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