One of the more confusing concepts when it comes to investing money is knowing where to start. Luckily, there are multiple ways to do so. You can invest in stocks, bonds, commodities, real estate, and through financial products like trusts and annuities, to name just a few options. No matter how much money you have to invest or how much time you want to devote to managing your investments, there’s an investment strategy that’s right for you.
If you’re looking for an immediate payoff, investing in stocks is your best bet. It’s certainly not for everyone, but if you have a long time horizon—say five years or more—you can likely ride out any downturns and enjoy plenty of profits in return. If that doesn’t sound like something you want to do, don’t worry; there are other ways.
2) Mutual Funds
Mutual funds are a classic way to invest money. Each investor buys shares in a mutual fund, which is then invested on their behalf.
The fund pools its investors’ money together, and invests it in a variety of companies or markets—depending on what type of mutual fund it is—allowing for diversification and ease of investing. There are two main types of mutual funds: equity and bond.
Bonds are loans you make to companies, government entities or even local or state authorities. The issuer of a bond agrees to pay interest on your loan, and you agree that if it misses payments, you’ll forfeit your original investment.
4) Interest rates
If you’re an investor with a lot of capital and don’t need to access your money for a long time, you can park it in an investment that promises higher interest rates than most traditional options. Interest rates have been at historic lows in recent years, but they vary wildly depending on what you invest in.
One thing to note: Even though some interest rates are higher than others, when it comes to investing—which is different from borrowing—you typically get what you pay for.
5) Stocks in individual companies
Holding individual stocks gives you a share of ownership in a company, along with all of its ups and downs. Historically, stocks have performed better than other types of investments over long periods of time; if you stick with it, it can really pay off. However, they come with more risk—when you buy a stock, your money is at stake if things go south.
6) Real estate
One of the tried-and-true ways of investing is buying real estate, whether it’s a home you live in or an investment property. Property values tend to rise over time, especially if you’re renting out extra rooms or units. And, if you choose your investments wisely and manage them well, it can be an excellent long-term solution for building wealth.
7) Peer-to-peer lending
When you invest in peer-to-peer lending platforms, such as Lending Club and Prosper, you are providing financial assistance directly to borrowers. The size of your investment could be a few hundred dollars all the way up to a few million dollars.
When borrowers pay back their loans, they will earn money through interest payments made by those individuals. With peer-to-peer lending, you can invest in diverse portfolios and various terms.
8) Dividend investing
The stock market is one of the best places to invest your money because it has historically provided average returns of 7%-9% per year, but investing directly in individual stocks can be risky. Dividend investing allows you to grow your money through dividends paid by stocks you’ve purchased without ever having to pick up a stock ticker again.
9) Forex trading
The foreign exchange market, commonly known as forex, is a global decentralized market for trading currencies. This includes all aspects of buying, selling, and exchanging currencies at current or determined prices.
Trading can be done on an interbank level between banks, corporations, and individuals. It also includes foreign exchange trading between different currencies through electronic platforms that allow buyers and sellers to transact directly with each other. These electronic platforms are known as futures exchanges or over-the-counter (OTC) markets.
Currencies like Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ethereum have received massive media attention over recent years, being touted as an alternative to other investments. While these currencies are showing some promise as a new type of investment, they’re not without their fair share of risk.