Guaranteed approach to losing money – Look at the last 3-5 year returns and extrapolate mindlessly. Invest when past returns are highest and sell after the market corrects

Starting amount: Rs 100000

1. Invest infrastructure mutual funds in 2008 (after the boom) based on hard selling by mutual funds
2. Sell in 2009 with a 40% loss on average
3. Recuperate from shock for 2 years
4. Invest in gold mutual fund in 2011/12 after seeing 5 years of boom
5. Lose 10% of principal in next 3-4 years
6. Now, invest in mid and small cap funds, after 3 years of boom.

The investor has already managed to lose 50% of principal by now. The above tale may be an exaggeration, but you can check mutual funds with the above kind of performance, with most being launched towards the tail end of the boom. Someone is surely buying these funds at the top of a cycle !

It may not be the same investor in each case, but I can assure there are definitely a few who manage to achieve this ‘feat’ over a lifetime as they never get over their greed and refuse to learn from their losses (it is always someone else’s fault)

If you think, I am mocking such people – that is not the case. I did the same thing when I started out, but the only difference is I swallowed my pride, accepted my mistake and have tried to learn from it.

An oversized ego is always dangerous to the wallet

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