I am currently freelancing for a Canadian investment management company. I have done a few works for financial investment analysts. It's amazing that the people who do investing for a living and the companies set-up purely to manage the investments of high net-worth individuals (millionaires and billionaires) are much more conservative in their investment returns expectation while the rest of us are seeking unrealistic returns.
I constantly come across people who don't know the difference between investing and gambling. They compare putting their money into an investment that returns less than 17% for a whole year with playing lotto with a fraction of that money for a winning equal the investment capital + interest, or doing network marketing with the money to grow it multiple folds in that same one year with free vacation trips to Brazil, or, worse, putting the money in MMM. Some choose the others, and most just give up and face their career/jobs preferring to spend the money on professional courses and career building.
Investing is putting your money to work for you and not the other way round. A network marketing scheme that requires you actively looking for downlines/converts and setting up seminars is not investing but another job, at best, a part-time job.
Any zero-sum scheme you put your money into is gambling/speculation. Where for you to win someone else has to lose.
And whenever you go looking for schemes that will double your money for you in a year or less, you are looking for magic. Not investment.
Investing is a knowledge and research driven allocation of your money to productive use that when discounted for time/resources consumed and risk you get a net gain.
I invest in things I thoroughly understand - company stocks mostly. I see my money working and growing as Nestle, FBN holding, Mobil and even Nigeria as a whole grow. It's not a zero-sum. I can tell you about the underlying businesses and the financial/operational performances of the companies I invest in. I constantly monitor the news about them. Mobil Oil Nigeria just got acquired by NIPCO. I have read all I could find about NIPCO and even about it's industrious CEO. I believe that Mobil Oil Nigeria will be better for it. First Bank is the biggest bank in Nigeria by assets. And for the banking industry the Balance Sheet is the business driver. The low net profit they registered last year is a temporary situation and an opportunity for me to get in cheaply. The business is sound and well run. I am even currently facilitating a training for three different streams of their staff at First Academy (not under/as UrBizEdge) and the gists I'm hearing are giving me peace of mind. Nestle Nigeria is a darling. Excellently run, growing and providing essential products that both the rich and the poor buy.
I invest and not gamble. Whatever returns the stock market give them is of secondary concern, that the underlying business is growing sustainably is my main concern.