By Jacob Maslow – Branded Content
Do you have a friend or two that love to talk about how their money helps them become richer? Maybe they say something like, “You have to have money to make money.” Maybe it’s something you heard on TV instead, such as “I put my money to work for me. My money goes out and earns me more money.”
This only tells part of the story. It’s not enough to have money that can make you more money. You need to know how to put your money to work. The good news is that it is easier than ever with technology and modern investing strategies to start investing. With new concepts like fractional ownership in stocks, real estate, and much more, you do not need a large pile of cash to start investing. Here are four ways to get involved with investing.
Stocks are one of the most common ways people think about investing. With more stock brokerages offering fractional ownership and other trading strategies, more people have the ability to put some money in the stock market. On top of that, you’ve probably heard of an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) and a 401(k), which are both valuable tools for building a retirement nest egg. Within those types of accounts are two different ways to contribute.
In a traditional IRA or 401(k), you can contribute money pre-tax. This means the amount of money you contribute is not counted when you file your income taxes at the end of the year. However, be aware that you will still have to pay income taxes on that money whenever you begin to withdraw from the account.
On the other hand, any money you put into a Roth IRA or Roth 401(k) is considered an after-tax contribution. This means that you have previously paid taxes on that money. The advantage of a Roth IRA or a Roth 401(k) is that you do not have to pay income taxes on any of the money when you withdraw, including any gains made on your investments. Beware that you may have to pay a penalty if you withdraw from these accounts too early.
2. Real Estate
Some do not even consider real estate investing because it is intimidating and seems to have a high barrier to entry. Traditionally, investing in real estate required large loans with high fees and interest rates along with the daily stress of maintaining the property. However, fractional ownership offers a modern strategy to avoid those hassles while still reaping the benefits of real estate ownership.
Real estate investing can take on many different forms depending on your interest level. Vacation rental properties or other short-term rentals are popular because there is a high demand from people who want to stay at these places. Rental properties with long-term tenants or even commercial properties are other ways you can invest in real estate and start collecting profits.
If investing in stocks is too scary to you, you might consider investing in bonds. There are three main sources of bonds. Companies issue corporate bonds to raise money. In return, companies pay the bondholder interest based on pre-arranged terms until the maturity date of the bond, which is when the company pays back the face value of the bond.
State and local governments issue municipal bonds. These work in a similar fashion to corporate bonds, but the money is usually being raised to fund public projects. An added advantage of municipal bonds is that the interest payments you receive are tax-free.
The United States government issues Treasury bonds to raise money and fully guarantees them, so the odds of losing your money due to default are extremely low. As is the case with municipal bonds, any interest you collect while holding these is tax-free.
If bonds sound too boring to you, you can take on a more volatile investing strategy with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Most people know what Bitcoin is by now, but there is still a significant percentage of people who have not invested in digital currency. The cost of a single Bitcoin has been more than $60,000 in the past, but the typical investor is buying and selling a much smaller amount through fractional ownership. Other cryptocurrencies have much lower costs per unit, but prices can fluctuate drastically and move very quickly. Do extensive research to understand the risks associated with volatility before investing in this asset class.
Getting involved with investing can take on many different forms. It is true that your money can make you more money, but you need to weigh the risks and your comfort level before starting. Fractional ownership enables you to invest with a much smaller amount than has historically been needed. Do more research into these four asset classes and others to determine the plan that makes the most sense to you.
Photo Courtesy // Jacob Maslow //