There is a multitude of ways to invest your money, and each of them comes with a vast heap of pros and cons. And if you are under the impression that investment is not for you, think again – because the chances are that you are, in fact, already investing. Do you have a mortgage, or a retirement plan, or even a simple savings account? If so – you are an investor!
However, there is more to investing than squirreling money away in a savings account. And today, we’re going to go through some of the best possible places for you to put your money. We’ve covered why introverts are such good investors already, and this guide builds on that and should point you in a right direction for getting started. Let’s take a closer look.
Going for Gold?
Gold is a classic investment tool. But have you ever wondered why? Of course, it’s one of the most precious metals on the planet, so its rarity means it is worth more than, say, tin. However, golds real power is because in times of trouble – when the markets fail or inflation gets a grip on a currency – people tend to flock towards gold. When people are scared and fear their finances could be in trouble, gold is good – which makes it a sensible starting point for your investment career.
Ramp up the Real Estate
The real estate market is not infallible, as we all probably remember from the 2008 crash. But make no mistake about it, successful investors put a lot of money into buying real estate. Start small, and work your way up slowly as you learn about the ins and outs of buying property. And once you get to the stage where you are in ownership of a whole building with multiple families, remember that you will need to provide a safe place to live and also pay for apartment renovations. Remember, all successful investors have property on their portfolio of some description – just make sure you take care of those investments and the people that live in them.
You won’t make a fortune buying bonds, but there is pretty much nowhere safer to put your money. You buy bonds from a government, who promise to pay you back at a certain point in time in the future, at a fixed percentage rate of interest. These repayments are guaranteed, and many investors use the bond system to put away money instead of keeping it in a bank. There are downsides to the bond market, of course. If, say, the government offers you a rate of interest at 3 percent for 25 years, what happens if inflation rises more than that percentage? Unfortunately, it means you will have less buying power. That said, you will always get something back from bonds, which is more than can be said from the vast risks of something like the stock market.
If you are unsure about the stock market, the best way to get involved with it is by taking out mutual funds. It’s a good way of lowering your risk, and you can access a mutual fund with not much money at all. But what is a mutual fund? In simple terms, it’s a pool of funds from a lot of different investors. And the money that is pooled is spread amongst a large group of different investment areas, such as stocks, bonds, and other things. However, there are a lot of downsides to using mutual funds. First of all, you hand your money over to fund managers, and your success is pretty much down to their attempts to get you good returns – you won’t have any say in where that money goes. And of course, that manager costs you money. And whatever gains you make from the investment, you will have to pay that manager a significant proportion of your return.
The stock market
Playing the stock market – it’s a loaded term that implies this is a game. And although this is true to a certain extent, it’s just like gambling, and there are exceptional returns on the cards if you are lucky – but also extraordinary losses to regret if you aren’t. So, while many people say that playing the stock market is the best way to make money, just be careful. Only invest in companies or industries that you know about, and understand. And don’t spend a cent of your money until you have learned the basics, or you risk losing a fortune.
Finally, investments also take in things like cars, artworks – and even sneakers, believe it or not. Take a look at the overall sales charts for the trainer market. Nike is way ahead of the rest, which should be no surprise. But guess who is second? Nike again, only this time it’s a used market. That’s right – people buying Nike sneakers and reselling them on the secondhand market on places like eBay are making 2x, 3x, 4x and up to 10x more than they originally paid – especially for limited editions. It’s the same principle for things like toys. A boxed Star Wars toy from the early 1980s might have cost a couple of dollars back then. But even when you allow for inflation adjustments, that figure has shot up to hundreds of times the value today.
As you can see, there are plenty of ways to get started into the investing game. And, as long as you know what you are doing, have a passion for where you put your money and are prepared to learn – a lot – before spending a cent, it’s a good way to increase your wealth. Ultimately, however, don’t forget to protect yourself. Never spend more than you can afford to lose, and always seek to spread your investments into a variety of different areas.
Do you invest at all? If so, I would all love to hear about your experiences! Why not let me know about them in the comments section below?