Diversity is Key: 13 Ways to Invest That Don’t Involve the Stock Market

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Here are 13 alternative investment ideas to create wealth outside the stock market

When you think about investing, you probably think about investing in the stock market. But there are a lot of alternative ways to invest your savings than just stocks, or even mutual funds and exchange-traded funds.

Once you have entered the daily life of the average young adult you are introduced to any number of new opportunities. Some of these, like gaining more freedom and autonomy, are welcomed, but then there comes the tricky stuff, like financial and retirement planning.

If you have started earning a reasonably steady income, or regularly accumulate money from another source, you may be starting to think about ways to invest that don’t involve the stock market.

How To Find Reasonably Safe Alternative Investments?

It’s difficult to navigate the intricacies of finances on your own, but the first lesson you can learn is that there’s more to investing than just the stock market.

Some research shows that millennials may actually be more open-minded to alternative investments than previous generations, and we already make up approximately 14.7% of investors in the United States.

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There are several ways beyond investing in stocks that you can invest your money that could serve as a smart financial decision now and for further down the road.

If you feel your hands starting to sweat at the thought of making some weighty financial decisions, don’t worry, you’re not alone. But there is no better time to start investing in your future than as a young, sharp, motivated person coming into your own.

Ways to Invest That Don’t Involve the Stock Market

Not interested in the stock market? Here is a list of alternative investments instead.

1. Build Passive Income with Rental Income

Wouldn’t it be great if you could become a landlord of single-family rental properties without dealing with all the hassle of buying, improving, and re-selling real estate?

You don’t have to be a millionaire to invest in these types of properties. You can now find your inner property owner with Roofstock.

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As with any other rental property, investors earn returns from the rental cash flow and any appreciation in the property value when it’s sold, and all without painting a wall or getting your hands dirty.

There is a reason why the number of investors on its platform increased 126% last year, the sector is booming with investors clamoring to get a return outside of stocks and bonds.

If you’re interested, I recommend you sign up for more information from Roofstock by clicking here.

2. Short-Term Investments

If you haven’t already, starting a savings account with your bank, or creating a money market fund or short-term Certificate of Deposit (CD) can be a worthy investment suitable for any financial emergencies you could experience down the road.

In other words, they can serve as a sort of emergency fund, able to provide liquidity for any idle cash you have. For any short-term troubles, experts state that the ideal goal would be to shoot for funds that would be able to cover living expenses and the like for at least three to six months. Provided you have at least $1,000 or so, there is no reason not to get a certificate of deposit.

Tip: CIT Bank CDs provide a safe, secure way to grow your savings. With the CIT Bank No-Penalty CD, you get the security of an 11 month CD with no withdrawal penalty seven days or later after funds have been received. Open an account today.

3. Invest in Real Estate

One of the easiest ways to grow your money is to invest in real estate. In a recent post about the best personal finance books, we learned about Robert Kiyosaki, author of ‘Rich Dad Poor Dad’  who learned to quickly grow his money by making down payments for rental properties and gaining profit by selling the property later at a higher price. Unfortunately, this option does require some real estate knowledge that not everyone has.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could invest in commercial real estate and apartments without dealing with all the hassle of buying, improving, and re-selling real estate? You don’t have to be a millionaire to invest in these types of properties. You can now invest in large-scale real estate for as little as $500 with Fundrise.

Through their real estate investment products, investors earned an average of 8 – 11 percent on their money last year, and all without painting a wall or dealing with unruly tenants. There is a reason why they currently have over 200,000+ users, this app really pays you! If you’re interested, I recommend you sign up for more information from Fundrise by clicking here. 

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Another way to invest in real estate is by buying a property and renting it out. With the ever-increasing inflation rate, rents will go up while your mortgage payments stay the same. This increases your cash flow and your rental yield as an investor.

4. Invest in Peer to Peer Lending

Did you know that you could lend out money and earn passive income? Believe it or not, you can lend out money and get paid interest on your money at LendingClub. As of recently, this has become known as great return on your money, investors have started putting their money into peer-to-peer lending companies like LendingClub.

How does it work? By lending out your own money to peers in the form of personal loans, you are able to earn interest – similar to the way that banks and other lenders produce income. This is a way to make a direct impact in the lives of people.

The best part? It’s so easy to open an account and begin investing in this passive income venture.

But, think of it like this – if you put only $345 into an investment account at Lending Club and earned 14% year (pretty easy to do at Lending Club, you’d have $180,377 saved up in 30 years! Talk about a good return on your money.

5. Different Ways to Save for Retirement

Beginning to invest in an IRA is considered one of the best ways to get started on saving for your retirement. While you may be thinking, ‘Huh? I’m young, why do I need to start saving for retirement NOW?’

The truth is, your twenties and thirties are actually the best time to start thinking about this. Got to start saving early if you want to have your golden years free of financial worry.

There are several types of IRA accounts you can choose from, even Gold IRAs, and the type you should choose may vary depending on your profession and financial history.

Many experts recommend a Roth IRA over a traditional IRA for younger people because as opposed to the latter, Roth IRAs offer tax-free withdrawals and often feature 401(k) plans. You can look at all the different types of IRAs here to see which one is best for your situation.

6. Invest in Speculative Cryptocurrencies

One alternative means of investment that has been rearing its head in economic discussions over the last few years is cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin. Although, besides Bitcoin, there are actually several other varieties of this type of currency that exist online and continue to grow in popularity as the notion of cryptocurrency, in general, is starting to make more noise.

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Although cryptocurrencies have been around since the late 2000s, it’s only in recent years that recognition of digital currency has reached mainstream conversation. Financial experts have had mixed reactions to it, some labeling it risky and unreliable with its previously unstable market values. But others are starting to see it as a kind of revolution in the way currency can work, and over the years it has become a highly secure option for investment.

Cryptocurrencies have received particular renown on the net as a digital currency that’s not owned by the government. This can sound either ominous or freeing, but many are calling it the “money of the future” that is rapidly gaining more popularity worldwide for painless digital transactions.

Safer Alternative Ways to Invest Your Money

Here is a list of safer ways to invest your money that allows you to be more liquid with your cash.

7. High-yield Savings Accounts

This is another way to invest your money beyond just stocks. It’s much more profitable than the normal savings account. Your money can sit in there and accrue some interest until you are ready to invest in bigger and more profitable ventures.

If you are looking for a new savings account, check out our below our most updated list of the best savings accounts available to you.

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If you are looking for the best savings apps, you can find that here.

8. Invest in a Cash Account

This is necessary because it gives you access to your money and makes it easy for you to meet your financial obligations.

Apps like Qapital and Digit can make investing in a cash account easier.

9. Short-Term Government Bonds

These are bonds with maturities of less than five years. They don’t yield much but they have lower risk and preserve capital.

You can consider investing in short-term bond funds that are made up on bonds that mature in 1 to 3 years. The holding period until maturity is low so your risk of rising interest rates which will cause the fund’s value to decrease is lower than longer-term bonds.

10. Invest In Yourself

Investing in yourself is one of the best investments you could ever make and it can take many forms: pursuing a creative project, nurturing a talent taking a course, or learning a new skill. Here are a couple of companies that offer online learning courses that you could take to jump-start your career:

If you find it difficult to find time to take online courses, you can download them onto your smartphone and study while you’re on the go.

By working towards improving your skills and education with online courses, you get in the right habit and build your resume and fast-tracking your career.

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11. Annuities

This is a low-yielding investment that could pay as low as 3% on your capital. The advantage is that your capital is kept safe and your returns are guaranteed.

12. Donate to Charity

One of the best alternative investments is to make an impact in the lives of the less fortunate through charitable giving. Investors who are into impact investing also get tax deductions.

13. Invest in an Emergency Fund

One wise thing to do once you have money in hand is to set up an emergency fund or fund it if you already have one.

It will shield you from life’s unpleasant surprises. One of the easiest ways to build an emergency fund is by using micro-investing apps like Acorns.

Acorns allows you to invest your spare change automatically. If you wanted to learn more about them click here and you can join almost 4000000 people saving and investing every day.

Sign up in no time to save and your money is invested in a portfolio based on your income and desired goals.

Alternative Investments Diversify Your Portfolio

Whether you’re ready to invest now or later or flat out not interested in the stock market than one of these alternative ways to invest should be your answer.

The bottom line is that some of the most common ways that millennials are investing money beyond stocks include cryptocurrency investing, real estate investing or short-term investments like Certificates of Deposits (CDs) through CIT.

You can choose how much to invest on any basis of regularity in these alternative investments, but it doesn’t hurt to save up any leftovers for later – and I imagine they’ll be much appreciated should you find yourself in need of them.

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About the author

Brian Meiggs
Brian Meiggs
Brian Meiggs is a personal finance expert, and the founder of My Millennial Guide, a personal finance site helping you put more money in your pocket. He helps millennials follow the smart money in order to increase their earning potential and start building wealth for the the future. He regularly writes about side hustles, investing, and general personal finance topics aimed to help anyone earn more, pay off debt, and reach financial freedom. He has been quoted as a top personal finance blogger in major publications including Yahoo! Finance, NASDAQ, Discover, MSN Money and more.

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