India: Run for office to get rich quick

Resolved: Winning an election is the fastest way to make money in India.

It's the (black) economy, stupid! Indian supporters of Trinamul Congress and Congress party celebrate their victory during state elections in West Bengal, in Siliguri on May 13, 2011. (DIPTENDU DUTTA - AFP/Getty Images).

According to analysis of affidavits done by the Association for Democratic Reforms and National Election Watch, the Times of India reports that incumbents competing in the 2009 parliamentary elections showed an average increase in wealth of a whopping 289% over the intervening five years. Similarly, in the recent state assembly elections, the assets of 337 incumbent candidates running for another term rose by as much as 195%. "Ask any fund manager to match that kind of return," TOI suggested.

Over the same period, investing in gold would have netted you gains of 138%, while the average return on mutual funds was 10.86%, the paper said.