Power of Passive Investing — 20% ROI/year, doing nothing!

Sriram Balasubramanian
4 min readSep 18, 2021

This post does not prove any investing theory, beat the index strategy, or get rich quick scheme—still, a summary of an actual investing journey from the days when I lacked financial literacy.

In 2014, I retired from being a maritime engineer and started my career ashore. As a marine engineer, I got paid in USDs, and unfortunately, most of the sailors (including me) did not know how to take advantage of the salary in USD (tax-free).

Here goes the investing journey.

Back in 2014 — USD: INR

US $1 = INR 60 (rounded for simplicity).

I had accumulated about $20,000 from wages and instructed the bank not to remit INR and remit in USD. Both the bank and staffing department objected to this proposal, as expected. Upon continued insistence, they agreed, and thus, at last, I had USD in the bank account. I did not read any financial magazines or sought financial advice from experts but invested $20K in S&P500. I had only two things running in my mind:

  1. USD is always preferred for most global transactions / INR depreciating — will continue to decline (don’t ask me why but it is just the trend happening for so many decades).
  2. I was investing in the US markets (don’t ask me why I did not invest in Amazon or Apple).

Recently, I checked the growth and was surprised!

Source: Investing.com // author’s independent analysis

S&P500 has grown about 140% (2014 to 2021, → a little over seven years, offering about 20% per year).

$20,000 invested in 2014 is currently at $48,000.

What is even more interesting is that INR depreciation. $20,000 in 2014 amounts to about 1.2 million INR, whereas the same $20,000 in 2021 is about 1.46 million INR. Holding as USD, the returns from INR depreciation is about 22%

Source: Investing.com // author’s independent analysis

While some may argue that converting USD to INR and investing in NIFTY50 or real-assets like…



Sriram Balasubramanian

Building WIBE to enable people to trade stocks to generate consistent cash flow. I enjoy writing on Wealth of all types!