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.

#RidingTheRollerCoaster

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Happy Dussehra

Raavan was a very learned man and a great warrior. Though he abducted Sita, he never once touched her and paid due respect to her. In spite of all these qualities – wisdom, bravery and a strong character, how come he lost to a small army led by Lord Ram?

Maharishi Valmiki indicates in the Ramayana that it was his ego that caused Raavan’s downfall.

In the world of investing, there are many experts – highly qualified, skilled and experienced – and yet unable to see certain obvious risks. The ego and overconfidence blind these wise men. This is an important lesson from the book “Riding The Roller Coaster – Lessons from financial markets we repeatedly forget”.

While this applies to the experts, even the laymen get swayed by overconfidence. Under the spell of ego, we start believing in our invincibility. And then as the popular phrase goes: “Pride cometh before the fall”, meaning pride often causes the fall from grace.

Learn from the story of Raavan. Check your ego. Stay grounded.

Dussehra is also known as Vijayadashami (a day of victory). May you win all the battles and wars against your own emotional Raavans this Vijayadashami.

May this Dussehra bring lots of prosperity in your life.

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Beating the markets

There is a tendency among the investors to be able to beat the market averages and their own peers. in this process, many take unnecessary risks or make mistakes. these risks may offer rewards or generate losses. The mistakes take away some part of the earnings that one would have otherwise got from the investment.

The strategy should be to take home as much out of the investment income as possible. It is not about beating the market, it is about participating in the market.

A simple analogy would be to see the average mileage given by a vehicle. If your car runs 15 kmpl, what should be your objective? Should it be to try and get 16 or 17 kmpl? or to get as close to 15 kmpl as possible?

Think of investments in the same manner.

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Easy money

When easy money becomes available, investors tend to take more risks with money that would otherwise lie idle.

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Chasing yields

When we are in a peculiar situation when the interest rates are below price inflation rate and equity markets have remained at low levels for long, people start to chase yields.

When investments in fixed income securities are not earning to cover price inflation or the growth in expenses, investors have no option but to take on certain risks.

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