In 2009, during the severe hyperinflation in Zimbabwe, the central bank issued $100 trillion notes that were almost worthless, barely covering the cost of a loaf of bread. Surprisingly, these notes have become one of the best-performing investments in the past seven years.
With a trillion being a million million, the Zimbabwean 100 trillion dollar bill holds the record for the legal tender with the most zeroes in history.
At the height of hyperinflation, these notes were nearly useless, requiring a bale of them for basic purchases. Despite only a few million being printed, some have gained value over the years.
Collectors, like private investor John Wolstencroft, have found them to be intriguing conversation starters, and their rarity has turned them into sought-after collector’s items.
“One of the independent financial advisers used to give the notes out to prospective clients to show why they should invest away from cash in a diverse range of assets, such as real estate, gold, stocks and shares,” he says. “Over the long term, cash loses its value.”