Every investor knows that investment is a risky move they have to take. But some believe that they can avoid the risk if they take calculated steps. This is true for some cases, while it’s not correct for others. One of the areas where investors experience notable failure is in hidden investments. This is because they fall prey to the factors that govern such investments.

A hidden investment is an investment difficult to be identified by the public, but shielded for the interest of a few people. This kind of investment is known by a privileged few, who then tell other investors. They are usually characterised with attractive features such as an extreme return on investment, little or no mental participation and information heard from a second or third party. Consequently, when most investors get to know about them; they do little or no research. Investors who fail in this area take decisions based on trust.

Here are five simple reasons hidden investment could fail, and why you should give them second thought when presented to you:

1. Incomplete information

Hidden investments are not always known directly by investors, but by someone else who relays the information to them. I’m not disputing the fact that someone could bring a valid investment to the awareness of an investor, what I’m saying is that, such information often appears as too good to be true. Here, the other person who might probably be your competitor might not give you full information with which you can take decisions. For instance, he might not give you information about the overlap or concentration risk, hidden cost risk, task risk. These are pieces of information which he might be privileged to know. Even when you do thorough research, you might not discover this because they are hidden from the public. Information is an important key in decision making and if it’s incomplete it might cause an investment to fail.

2. No intervention plan

Every successful investment usually has an intervention plan to intercept the investment in case something goes wrong. Hidden investments come with a “too good to be true” deal, often without allowance for how to divert or return the resources invested in such venture. An intervention plan in any investment informs the investor of calculated steps he can take to reduce the risk of a complete failure of that investment.

3. Inconsistent trend

Trends give investors a roadmap of what has happened in the past. Investors use these trends to predict future developments, but hidden investments often have inconsistent trends. Such trends are not measurable, traceable and reliable to forecast the future of the investment. Research on investment trends is mostly focused on answering these fundamental questions: How does the investment currently work? Has there been consistency in the trend? How is the investment evolving? How do I take advantage of the trend? Any inconsistency in answering these answers might lead to failure in the investment.

4. Incorrect assumptions

You can only get huge returns on investment when assumptions align with the facts. An investor, after getting his facts, must be able to align the facts with assumptions to make the difference in his investment. One reason that makes hidden investments fail is that investors make assumptions when they don’t fully understand the situation. They try to fill in missing information by making them up or including an external factor that is alien to that investment.

5. Dubious plans of others

The investment world is a competitive world. This has made people to have the “do anything” approach to achieve results. What this means is that one should be able to discern when a competitor sets up a plan just to drain one’s resources. A competitor may send a second party who might come to you to present an investment that looks attractive with good returns. The aim might be just to get you out of business. So, it is important that you see beyond what is presented to you to save yourself from falling into the wrong investment.

Taking note of these few points can save you a fortune. It will help you discern an investment that is set as a trap to get you out of the way. You would do well to focus on proven and verifiable investment opportunities rather than fall for the allure of hidden investments. Like Warren Buffet said, “You only have to do a very few things right in your life so long as you don’t do too many things wrong.”