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5 worst investment decisions

Posted on 30 April 2015

Investing doesn’t get tougher than this

Yes, someone turned down The Beatles. It has to be one of the worst investment decisions of all time.

If only we had a crystal ball to see into the future. Sadly no one is yet to find a sure fire way to guarantee what’s going to happen next. Not even heavyweight investors used to cutting big deals with big money. And when they get it wrong, they really get it wrong. Here are a few of our favourite terrible investment decisions from some big hitters, to make you feel better:

  1. Ross Perot passes on Microsoft

    When 23 year-old Bill Gates asked American businessman Ross Perot for a $40 – $60 million investment in his business, Perot thought the price was too steep and turned him down. With Microsoft now worth an estimated $343 billion, you won’t be surprised to hear he regards this decision as one of the biggest investment mistakes of his life.

    blog-article-image-ross-perot

  2. Excite says no to Google

    Today Google is valued at a tad more than the $750,000 it asked Excite, then the dominant player in the online world, to invest back in 1999. Google’s creators Sergey Brin and Larry Page decided they should be spending more time studying and approached Excite’s CEO, George Bell with an offer. He turned them down. Today Google is worth $180 billion and Excite is better known as Ask.com. How does Bell feel? Don’t ask.

    blog-article-image-google

  3. M&Ms turn down E.T.

    When Elliot lured E.T. out of hiding with Reece’s Pieces, he should in fact have been using M&Ms. The Mars Company weren’t happy the product may not actually be seen on screen and chose not to invest. So Spielberg went to Hershey for their famous Hershey Kisses. A wise Hershey person decided to invest in pushing their brand new candy - Reece’s Pieces. A very sweet investment it was too.

    blog-article-image-reeces-pieces

  4. A new recipe for Coca Cola

    When the world’s leading soft drink was almost 100 years old in 1985, someone had the bright idea of investing in a change of recipe. New Coke came out well in taste tests, but failed miserably when it went on sale and the company were inundated with complaints. Coca Cola Classic was eventually released - and order was restored.

    blog-article-image-coke

  5. Decca Records say no to the Beatles

    On New Years Day in 1961 A&R man Mike Smith turned down the Beatles, electing to sign up and invest in Brian Poole and the Tremeloes instead. After all said Decca “guitar bands are on the way out”. Ob-la-di Ob-la-da!

    blog-article-image-the-beatles

Luckily, investing doesn’t have quite so much drama - read our What is an ISA guide today to learn more. Or if all these tales of investment faux pas have got you hungry for more, read about the ones who got it right in 5 crazy investment ideas that made it big.

Source: From the original Business Insurance artical, 10 worst investment decisions in history

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