Sometimes the worst plans can make you richer. In this special Investment Guide we highlight strategies that may seem foolish at first, until you dig into them. Buy gold? Trade options? Take a reverse mortgage? All can provide big returns in the right circumstances. To help lead the way is the man behind pretty much every bad idea on HBO’s cult sitcom Silicon Valley – actor and comedian T.J. Miller, whose Erlich Bachman somehow always pulls through.

Written by Janet Novack, FORBES STAFF

Sleazy Image, Smart PlayReverse mortgages have a low-rent reputation. But they could play a bigger role in affluent Boomers’ retirement plans. If that happens, a 39-year-old neat freak will be a big winner. / By Lauren Gensler

Gold Is for Cranks? Not So Fast  / Bad inflation may never return. But if it does, you’ll wish you owned some metal and hogs. / By William Baldwin

Related: Tax Devils

Milking Your Stocks  / Trading options is a gambler’s bet, but for a math-minded investor, they can also provide a steady and relatively safe source of income.  /  By John Dobosz

Divide Your HomeForfeit part of your “best” long-term investment? It might make sense.By Samantha Sharf

Shrink Your SalaryNewt Gingrich, John Edwards and (it appears) Donald Trump did it. Maybe you should too.By Kelly Phillips Erb

Related: Keep The IRS At Bay

When Paper Beats Cash / Sacrificing salary for hard-to-value-options is crazy—unless you can do the math.By William Baldwin

Rowing Upstream for Alpha / As billions pour out of active management, stockpicking standout T. Rowe Price is hunkering down and quietly setting up a quant shop, just in case. / By Matt Schifrin

Related: 2 Great Alternatives To T. Rowe Price’s New Horizons Fund

Faceless Returns / Jack Bogle and a chorus of indexing champions say active investing is futile. BlackRock thinks Andrew Ang and his computer-driven ETFs are the strategy’s last great hope.By Nathan Vardi

Web Extra: The Irresistible Math Behind Private Equity Stocks / By Antoine Gara