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Abstract

Every day, executives are confronted with strategic investment decisions. In this paper we draw on decades of making these decisions for a well-known Fortune 500 company to provide a straightforward way to choose successful strategic investments. A successful strategy requires a significant opportunity, the ability to extract value from that opportunity, and an investment balanced with the returns possible from that opportunity. We begin with five basic questions which should be asked of any strategic investment opportunity. The answers to these questions are often enough to indicate that the investment opportunity should not be pursued. The next step, assuming the venture passes these questions, is to evaluate the details of the opportunity through the checklist we provide. The purpose of the procedure presented here is to allow executives to identify and pursue the best available opportunities or, as we say in the last section, to go make money.

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