I know you are beginning to loose hope in investments due to some hurdles you’ve been through with some investment institutions not treating you to the best of knowledge and advise.
But i assure you this investment tips i’m about to share with you in a moment will inform and direct your decisions on the right investments which will give you value for money.
It’s the beginning of a new year and you probably may have some money to invest. Perhaps you just got an end-of-year bonus burning a hole in your pocket. Either way, you need to be smart about investing if you want those extra cash to count.
The problem is, you have no clue where to invest your cash. While you’re aware of the myriad investing options available, the sheer number of possibilities is overwhelming.
In the investing world, this is called “paralysis by analysis.” You spend so much time analyzing your options that you wind up putting it off and never investing at all. And eventually, the extra cash you set aside gets consumed by bills or unexpected expenses. In other words, life happens.
1: The Stock Market
While “invest in the stock market” is some of the most basic advice you’ll ever read, please hear me out on this one. While everyone knows that investing in the stock market has historically paid off, there are far too many people who don’t trust the financial markets and choose to sit on the sidelines altogether.
Then there are people who think the stock market is so overvalued right now that they would be crazy to jump in. But, here’s the thing: Nobody is telling you to pour every extra cent you have into stocks. Instead, I’m suggesting you invest small sums of money over time using a method called “dollar cost averaging.”
Dollar cost averaging requires us to trickle our money into investments over any length of time. It could be 12 months. It would be 18 months. Heck, it could be five years.
Colorado financial advisor David Henderson of Jenkins Wealth goes further to explain how dollar cost averaging works: “When the market is high, you buy fewer shares and when the market is low you buy more shares,” he says. This means that, over time, you will have a lower average share price using this method. Obviously, it’s easy to see why this would be beneficial.
Now that we’ve talked about the importance of investing in the stock market, let’s talk about exactly where to invest your money. What are the best tools and vehicles we can use?
This is yet another situation where the options are overwhelming. Still, I typically suggest people get their feet wet with mutual funds or ETFs.
If you have a financial advisor working on your behalf, they may be able to weed out the well-performing actively managed mutual funds from the ones that aren’t doing so great. Otherwise, you can invest in index funds, which are not actively managed but have a long history of solid returns.
If you have a brokerage account already, then you may want to stick with it. Otherwise, you’ll need to find a new place to help you invest your funds.
What does that mean? That means that you can invest your hard-earned money, then sit back and enjoy the returns and let them do the hard work.
As a final note, there’s one more simple way to invest in the stock market with even less effort – boosting how much you contribute to your work-sponsored retirement account. Arizona financial planner Charles C. Scott says this may be your best option yet – especially if you’re not contributing enough to get a match from your employer.
“Every dollar you contribute could get a dollar match,” says Scott. “That’s a 100% return on your investment.”
If you’re not making the most of your 401(k) or contributing enough to get a match, then you’re probably best starting there.
In addition to the stock market a second investment strategy to consider this year is real estate. The thing is, I’m not suggesting everyone run out and buy an investment property. After all, not everyone is cut out to be a landlord.
I’m certainly not. I tried investing in physical real estate two years ago and almost lost my shirt. I learned a lot of lessons from my foray into becoming a landlord, the biggest of which was that I don’t need that kind of stress in my life.
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to invest in real estate without dealing with a physical property. One option to consider is investing in real estate notes. I got started investing into real estate notes because a really good friend of mine was crushing it with real estate and offering his friends the chance to invest.
He would buy a pool of real estate properties, and then investors like myself would invest money into his project. From there, he would manage the properties and pay me a dividend or interest off that money. For me, this has been an attractive way to invest money without having to be a landlord or deal with tenants.
Obviously, there is a ton of risk in a situation like this. You have to have a lot of trust to invest in real estate notes offered by an individual.
The good news is, there are other ways to invest in real estate outside of real estate notes. Some real estate companies buy commercial properties and allow investors to invest small sums of money. Obviously, this is yet another hands-off investment. You may own part of a commercial real estate project, but you don’t even see or deal with the property itself.
Obviously, there is risk investing in a platform like this one, too. Firstly, the company is newer so it doesn’t have decades of data to share. Secondly, you’re letting a third party choose buildings and investments on your behalf, which means you’ve given up all control.
Regardless, I think it’s pretty cool that technology has allowed investors to get access to commercial properties in a way we haven’t been able to in the past.
3.Invest in You
This last investment option might sound crummy, but it’s one of the best investments anyone can make. By investing in yourself, you are improving the biggest asset you’ll ever have.
Believe it or not, there are so many ways to invest in yourself that don’t cost a lot of cash at all. One of the best ways to improve yourself could even be free if you have a library.
That’s right; read as many books as you can! But, how many should you read? Minneapolis Financial Planner Morgan Ranstrom says that reading three to five books on successful personal finance strategies or leadership skills will absolutely make you smarter over the course of a few months.
If you dedicate yourself to reading just one book a month – 12 books per year – I promise you will be amazed at the results.
Of course, reading isn’t the only way to invest in yourself. Another investment you can make into yourself is in courses or investing into material that you can learn from other people. Trust me; everyone has something to learn.
Personally, I have found a lot of success via learning from others in my niche. Recently, I even paid $1000 for a course on how to launch a successful Media channel. That might sound crazy to some people, but I have made investment back and then some already.
A third way you can invest into yourself is through personal coaching. I’ve done a few different ways. I went to a business and entrepreneurship coach for one year and spent a lot of cash that I could barely justify. The thing is, this investment paid off in spades – even though it was expensive.
You can also hire a personal coach to help you with whatever your goals are. There are career coaches. There are business coaches. There are fitness coaches. There are life coaches.
While coaching is expensive, it’s amazing what you can accomplish when you have someone to be accountable to.
Let’s say you could spend $10,000 on a designation or advanced degree but it increases your annual income by $10,000 or more. That’s an incredible rate of return, but it becomes an even better investment when you consider how much more you’ll earn over 20 or 30 working years.
“While it would be great to invest these funds in your portfolio, there is no investment which is likely to pay off in this way,”
“Many of the country’s top-ranked schools also accommodate the busy professional by offering certificate and degree completion programs online. “If you’re interested in becoming more marketable to your current employer or want to explore opportunities with a competing company, consider carving out time to study for a graduate degree or specialized designation for your industry.”
Investing in yourself might sound cliché, and it is, but it’s a bet that could absolutely pay off. And if you want to make the most of your investments this year, betting on yourself is one of the smartest moves you can make.
Make the right decisions as smart as you can.