Introduction to: 10 Risky Investments
Scratch-off lottery ticket

While it may be fun to dream about winning the lottery, the odds are stacked against you.


To some people, losing a dollar on a lottery ticket is an acceptable risk. To others, losing a few million dollars on the chance that a cup of coffee will cost more next year is an acceptable risk. The idea of risk in investments is largely a matter of perception.

Even so, some types of investments consistently make more money than others. Other types of investments stand a greater chance of losing money or holding steady. In general, the higher the risk of loss, the higher the chance of good returns.

"It really depends on a person's tolerance for risk and perceptions of risk," says John Grable, professor of personal finance at Kansas State University. He adds that it would be difficult to find a list of definitively bad investments.

Indeed, for every investment you place on a list, you'll have hordes of investors reporting that they made money or lost money on that particular item. The key is that while we all have plenty to gain, in tough times we tend to think twice about what we lose.

Read on to learn about 10 investments that may not be worth the risk.