Widow Maker

DEFINITION of 'Widow Maker'

In everyday usage, a widow maker is the name of an artery with blockage that often causes death by severe heart attack, but in finance, a widow maker is an extremely risky investment that subjects the investor to very large potential losses. Futures in heating oil and gasoline are an example of a type of investment that can be subject to the moniker "widow maker."

BREAKING DOWN 'Widow Maker'

The wise investor will look at a highly speculative investment as a gambling venture and mitigate risk accordingly. Risk mitigation strategies might include investing only a small percentage of total assets in the speculative "investment" or implementing trading strategies that limit losses.