What is a no-brainer investment?

“It was a no-brainer: higher risk equals higher return. What junk bond investors had forgotten is that higher risk does not guarantee higher returns; it merely offers the chance of higher returns. When they closed their books on the eighties, they discovered that they had lost the gamble. Ovewr the course of the decade, money invested in the average junk bond grew just 145 percent – substantially less than the 177 percent investors would have earned in US Treasuries, without taking any credit risk whatsoever.”

Whenever someone says an investment is a “no-brainer”, one is indicating that you don’t need any brains to figure out that there is money to be made.

However, in real life, majority of such no-brainer investments turn out to be no-brainers in another way: You do not need any brains to understand the high risk involved.

Be careful. Losing an opportunity is far better than losing your capital.



Think, does it really work?

In 2014, a news story int he Times of India caught my attention. A very well known movie star lodged a complaint with the Mumbai police. He had been duped. The con artist had promised to double his money in 45 days and then disappeared. The movie star could not believe that such a fraud was possible. The lure of the high “guaranteed” returns blinded him.

Just to put things in perspective, we present some calculations here. Assume that such a scheme is really available. Assume that one has an option of reinvesting the money in the scheme any number of times.

The scheme would double the amount invested every 45 days, or every 1.5 months. Ethos rate, Rs. 1,000 can grow to Rs. 2.56 lacs in one year, Rs. 6.55 crores in 2 years, and more than Rs. 1,677 crores in 3 years.

At the end of fourth year, one would have accumulated a sum of Rs. 4,29,496 crores. Compare this to India’s fiscal deficit for 2013-14: Rs. 4,90,597 crores.

Think, does it really work? Ask questions. When you are presented with a mouth-watering investment opportunity, your responsibility towards your money is even higher.

#RidingTheRollerCoaster – 132