People invest for diverse reasons. If you probe the surface, you will find that earning money out of the venture is the top reason but look deeper and you will find myriad currents in the human brain which determine an investment. A person who has lost a loved one to cancer may open a cancer research institute even if the proposition is not financially rewarding. Likewise, some investors may have a score to settle with life, an anger to placate or a ego-battle to win. Sometimes, rare though such occasions may be, investors also make those really stupid/weird/ridiculous investments.
Let us, if only in jest, examine some potentially stupid investments. I am sure some of them will invoke fits of laughter and if you are reading this funny topic seriously, may be one or two may give a spark for a really smart investment idea…and there is actually one such example here. Read along!
Investing in horse race result predictor
If we earned a dollar each time our horse racing predictions failed, we would all be millionaires by now. It is the most difficult game to tame. And why not? Any wagering activity is “us against future” and let us admit we are no Nostradamuses. What makes the game even tougher is that even if you are clever with your craft, how can you ever budget for the tricks of some of the shrewdest manipulators (trainers and jockeys)? How can you read their psyche successfully?
I have often heard about a software that can read close to precision the chances of a horse based on a) shoes (aluminium or steel), b) turf (monsoon or winter, sand or grass), c) equipment (cross nose band, tongue strap….), d) jockey (allowance claiming whipless jockey or an expert), e) style of running (coming from way off the back or making it start to finish). The list is long. Can you invest in such software? Yes, you can. But will it also tell you when a trainer or a jockey is on the job and when they are not?
Investing in temples in Pakistan
Investing in building a temple in Pakistan can be a ‘riotous’ idea. Great chance that you will be spared such an investment by the zealots there! If, however, you still find a way, your temple will be blown to bits a few seconds after it is completed. There has been no shortage of such occurrences (of different styles but the same nature) in the past where the fanatic, non-secular-to-the-core population of Pakistan (except perhaps the intellectuals or the liberals; and they are nearly always in hiding anyhow) takes it upon itself to turn to dust any effort made in the name of secularism.
You can still have your way- with some piece of luck- if you have a Synagogue or a Fire Temple or a Church in mind (given that military dynamics has changed how Pakistan looks at Christianity today) but there is no way you can go ahead with investing in a Hindu Temple. Recipe for disaster!
Investing in a child-naming website in Hungary
Investing in a child-naming website in Hungary can court disaster. I know such websites are popular amongst parents who want to name their children with a particular letter or a phonetic style (shw, tri, kla…). Popular amongst parents who want to use a synonym for fire, water, earth, sand, glacier or perhaps some abstract quality; kindness, greatness, courage, or wisdom.
But beware of investing in such sites for Hungary. Here, parents have to follow strict child-naming rules. Each name has to be from a pre-approved government list and if you have an exception in mind, you will have to apply to the Research Institute of Linguistics of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. I am not sure parents will like to take so much pain when the chance of being rewarded is slim if not nil.
Investing in alcohol in Saudi Arabia or Libya
Just as you could not successfully invest in alcohol in Canada between 1918 and 1920 or the United States between 1920 and 1933, you cannot do so in many countries today. There are more than a few countries in the world where rules of Prohibition apply presently. All the money that goes into investing in alcohol in these countries is money gone down the drain. Libya, Sudan, Saudi Arabia and Somalia are some such examples.
Of course, you can make a strong case for selling alcohol via the black market and I am sure you can earn quite a fortune, too, but there is another side to it as well. I am reliably informed that in Saudi Arabia, they cut off your hand for a minor theft. It does not need convincing that opening a black market for alcohol will be deemed a bigger offence, does it? You think!
Investing in solar power in Norway
The land of the midnight sun! Due to an odd placement on earth this Scandinavian country gets pretty little amount of sunlight. Investing in solar power in Norway might be a move that does not come off too well. Imagine a place where there are several instances of 24-hour nights (the phenomenon called Polar Nights) and imagine solar panels there. It is quite a heartening fact that Norway is doing brilliantly in terms of renewable energy.
Guided largely by hydropower and then wind power, wave power and bio-energy, Norway is really awake to the renewable energy adoption. Also encouraging to note is that the country is among the biggest producers of silicon solar cells. But all said, if you are looking to invest in solar power in this country, you will be giving a free run to your money and it won’t run back to you anytime soon. Think of solar cells instead: great investment they can be!
These are a few among the rather bizarre investments I could think of. Once in a while, amidst more serious writing pursuits, it is quite liberating to ponder over such funny aspects of investment.
Superannuation is a great vehicle for investment and you can really secure your retirement by investing in your Super. However, I am not the guy to talk to if you have any kind of investment in mind. If on the other hand, you are thinking about SMSF compliance, feel free to join me.