Whether you are answering questions about portfolio risk from an advisor, taking a risk assessment questionnaire, or pondering risk yourself, the answers will help you identify your emotional willingness to take a risk. Establishing your willingness to take a risk is an important first step toward successful investing. The next prudent step is to see what a financial plan says about your financial ability to take a risk. The answers about willingness to take a risk and the ability to take a risk are almost always different – for both married couples and singles. Therefore, the differences must be reconciled so that your willingness and ability to take risks are the same. Without these two perspectives being reconciled, you are potentially setting yourself up to fall short of your goals. In the end, a financial plan contributes greatly to the ultimate design of your portfolio when it comes to having the right level of risk. So, consider getting a financial plan to help guide your portfolio risk.