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7 investments you can do right now to multiply your savings

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As you learn to become an investor, you will begin to devote your limited resources to the things with the largest potential for returns. Investing allows you to significantly grow your money over time, thanks to the power of compound returns. A single penny could grow into millions of dollars, given enough time.

Here we’ll discuss 7 most lucrative investments you can do right now to multiply your savings –

 

1. Investing in Real Estate

real estate investment

Real Estate investment is a classic venture as it has always been considered the best way of investment.  People will always need a place to live, so real estate investments are generally expected to multiply your cash flow. Conducting proper research and using an analytical approach logically based on the financial factors will help you purchase the best property.

Some of the benefits of a rewarding real estate investment include:

  • High Returns

This sector has consistently outperformed other asset classes over the last five years, with sectors such as serviced offices offering average rental yields of up to 12.3% per annum. As of Q1 2020, average rental yields in the residential and commercial office sectors improved marginally to 5.2% and 7.8%, respectively, from 5.0% and 7.5% in Q4 2019.

  • Security of Returns

Unlike traditional investments, whose returns fluctuate with market performance, real estate returns have minimal variance. And as the value increases over time, they provide a source of stable and consistent returns.

  • Inflation hedge

Inflation erodes the wealth of investors over time.

One of the primary objectives of investors is to protect their wealth against the negative effects of inflation, especially for long term institutional investors such as pension funds. Real estate provides a hedge against inflation as the value of assets grow in tandem or higher than the inflation rate.

Rents can be adjusted over time in response to movements in inflation rates.

  • Leverage to Build Equity and Wealth

Real estate can be used as leverage to acquire various financial instruments/ borrowed capital, thus enables one to buy more properties and increase cash flow and wealth.

  • Appreciation

Real estate investors make money through rental income, profits generated by property-dependent business activity, and appreciation. Real estate values tend to increase over time, and with a good investment, you can turn a profit when it's time to sell. Rents also tend to rise over time, which can lead to higher cash flow.

 

Despite all the benefits of investing in real estate, there are some drawbacks.

One of the main ones is the lack of liquidity (or the relative difficulty converting an asset into cash and cash into an asset). Unlike a stock or bond transaction, which can be completed in seconds, a real estate transaction can take months to close.

Nevertheless, Real Estate will still be on top among your investment options as it has the potential to get multiplied in time.


2. Investing in Stock Market

stock market investment

It's impossible to predict the stock market's movement, but the benefits of investing in stocks remain unchanged amidst the unpredictability. What has changed - or needs to change - is the public’s perception of the stock market and its associated risks. In addition to investing some of your available cash in a savings account, consider the reasons why stocks continue to be a viable investment and why you should invest in the stock market.

The pros:

Stocks are highly liquid. While investment cash can be locked up for years in real estate, the purchase or sale of public company shares can be made the moment you decide it's time to act. Unlike real estate, it’s also easier to know the value of your investment at any time.

It’s easier to diversify your investment in stocks. Few people have the time — let alone the cash — to purchase enough real estate properties to cover a broad enough range of locations or industries to have true diversification.

diversify investment

With stocks, it’s possible to build a broad portfolio of companies and industries at a fraction of the time and cost of owning a diverse collection of properties. Perhaps the easiest way is to purchase shares in mutual funds, index funds or exchange-traded funds. These funds buy shares in a wide swath of companies, which can give fund investors instant diversification.

There are fewer (if any) transaction fees with stocks. While you’ll need to open a brokerage account to buy and sell stocks, the price war among discount brokers has reduced stock trading costs to $0 in most cases. Many brokers also offer a selection of no-transaction-fee mutual funds, index funds and ETFs.

The cons:

Stock prices are much more volatile than real estate. The prices of stocks can move up and down much faster than real estate prices. That volatility can be stomach-churning unless you take a long view on the stocks and funds you purchase for your portfolio, meaning that you plan to buy and hold despite volatility.

stocks

Selling stocks may result in a capital gains tax. When you sell your stocks, you may have to pay a capital gains tax. If you’ve held the stock for more than a year, however, you may qualify for taxes at a lower rate. Also, you may have to pay taxes on any stock dividends your portfolio paid out during the year.

Stocks can trigger emotional decision-making. While you can buy and sell stocks more easily than real estate properties, that doesn’t mean you should. When markets waver, investors often sell when a buy-and-hold strategy typically produces greater returns. Investors should take a long view of all investments, including building a stock portfolio.


3. Investing in Bonds

bonds investment

Bonds are an important part of any investment portfolio. But they've fallen out of favour with some investors. For years, many people were told that stocks were the best method for making money in the long term. And that mindset persists today, even in the wake of two stock market crashes in the past few decades.

But those who downplay the role of bonds may be missing out on the chance to make money.

  • Bonds Provide Income

While many investments provide income, bonds tend to offer the highest and most stable cash streams. Even when rates are low, you can still use plenty of options to build a portfolio that meets your income needs. These methods may include high-yield bonds or emerging market debt.

A strong bond portfolio can most importantly provide decent yields with a lower level of volatility than equities. They also can make more income than money market funds or bank instruments. This all means that bonds are a good option for those who need to live off their investment income.

  • Bonds Offer Diversification

Almost everyone has heard the phrase: “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” This is very true for investors. It may be a cliché, but its wisdom has stood the test of time. As time goes on, greater diversification can provide you with better risk-adjusted returns than narrow portfolios can. In other words, it reduces the amount of return relative to the risk.

More importantly, bonds can help preserve capital for equity investors when the stock market is falling.

  • Bonds Preserve Principal

Fixed income investments are beneficial for people nearing the point of using the cash they have invested. For instance, this could apply to someone within five years of retirement or a parent whose child is starting college.

Stocks can face huge levels of volatility in a brief period, such as the crash of 2001-2002 or the financial crisis of 2008-2009. But a diversified bond portfolio is much less likely to suffer large losses short-term.

As a result, it may be a good idea to increase your allocation to fixed income and decrease your allocation to equities as you move closer to your goals.

  • Bonds Possess Tax Advantages

Certain types of bonds can also be useful for those who need to reduce their tax burdens. The income on bank instruments, most money market funds, and equities are taxable unless they are held in a tax-deferred account. But the interest on municipal bonds is tax-free on the federal level. If you own a municipal bond issued by the state where you live, it's tax-free on the state level as well.

Also, the income from U.S. Treasury securities is tax-free on the state and local levels. Tax reasons shouldn't be the main reason you choose an investment, especially if you're in a lower tax bracket. But the fixed income universe offers several ways you can minimize your tax burden.

 

Bonds don’t make for interesting conversation at dinner parties, and they don’t receive proportionate coverage in the financial press relative to stocks. Still, bonds can serve a wide range of uses for investors of all stripes.


4. Investing in Mutual Funds

A mutual fund is a type of investment fund operated by a money manager who invests your money for you and attempts to get good returns. Mutual funds are typically made up of a combination of stocks and bonds. However, they carry less risk because your money is diversified across many stocks and bonds. You’ll only reap the rewards from stock dividends and bond interest or if you sell when the value of the fun goes up with the market.

mutual fund

When it comes to value, while mutual funds are built and managed by so-called financial experts, they typically have difficulty beating the market, especially when you factor in the money managers charge to those who invest in their fund.

The truth is, you shouldn’t care whether you beat the market or not. Your financial skill is judged by whether you’re living comfortably when you’re 75. Investors expect a minimum annual compounded rate of return of 15% a year or more. If we can get that, we don’t care what the market did because we will retire rich anyway.


5. Investing in Cash and Commodities

Cash and commodities are typically considered low-risk types of investments, so if you’re new to investing or risk-averse, one of these options could be a good place to start. Keep in mind that low-risk types of investments also tend to have low returns. That’s definitely the case with some of these investment types -

(a) Gold

gold investment

If you think the world will be a more fearful place in the future, then gold could be a good investment for you. You can invest in gold and other commodities such as silver or crude oil. In fact, the practice of investing in gold goes way back, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a great investment. Gold is a commodity, so its price is based on scarcity and fear, which political actions or environmental changes can impact.

If you are investing in gold, be aware that your protection against a price drop, your moat, is based on external factors, so the price can fluctuate a lot and quickly. The price tends to go up when scarcity and fear are abundant and down when gold is widely available, and fear is abated.

(b) Certificate Deposits and Bank Products  

certificate of deposit

A Certificate Deposit (CD) is another type of bank product. When you purchase a CD, you agree to loan the bank money for a designated amount of time and interest.

CDs are an extremely low-risk investment. But with low risk comes low reward. Most banks offer CDs at a return of less than 2% per year, which is not enough to keep up with inflation. Bank products are investment types offered by banks, including savings accounts and money market accounts, similar to savings accounts. Still, they typically earn higher interest rates in return for higher balance requirements.

Things to remember –

Due to its’ low-pace and low amount of return/reward, you may choose another investment option other than a Certificate Deposit investment.


6. Investing in Investment-linked Insurance Plans

insurance

An investment-linked plan is a life insurance plan that combines investment and protection. The premiums provide you with life insurance cover and are invested in specific investment funds of your choice.

As a policyholder, you can choose how to allocate your insurance premiums towards protection and investment. The insurance coverage provided would include a death benefit, disability and critical illness. The investment fund is divided into units of equal value.

The prices of these units are published daily in the newspapers for you to track the value of your investments.

Features

  • You are given the flexibility to choose your own level of protection and investment.
  • According to your changing financial circumstances, you can vary the number of your premium payments or coverage.
  • You can choose from a wide variety of funds to invest in, depending on the level of risk you are comfortable with.
  • Investment in growth or equity-related funds may give higher returns than traditional life insurance plans over the long term. However, you have to bear in mind that higher returns come with greater risks.

Types

  • Single-premium ILPs –You pay a lump-sum premium to buy units in a sub-fund. Most single premium ILPs provide lower insurance protection than regular premium ILPs.
  • Regular premium ILPs– You pay premiums on an ongoing basis. Regular premium ILPs may allow you to vary the level of insurance coverage you need.

Understanding the risks

  • Investment-linked plans, like other types of investments, involve exposure to investment risk. Since an investment-linked plan is linked to the unit price of an investment fund (managed by the insurance company), the total value of the plan fluctuates with the movements in the unit price.
  • When the unit price falls, the value of your investment will also reduce and vice versa. You may realise a gain or loss when you sell your units. You may even get less than what you have invested.
  • Past performance of the investment-linked fund’s track record can only guide its future performance, which is not guaranteed.

Importance considerations in choosing the right plan

asian woman thinking

There are a few things that you must consider when buying an investment-linked insurance plan:

  • Protection cover - The premium that you pay usually provides insurance coverage for death and total permanent disability. With additional premium, you can also be covered for certain critical illnesses and other options.
  • Fees - Various types of fees will reduce the investment value.
  • Cash value accumulation - Regular-premium investment-linked plans may not accumulate adequate cash value during the early policy years. This means that if the policy is terminated during the early period, you may not get back any investment value.
  • Right fund to invest - You are given a choice of investing in various funds. Funds invested mainly in equities will involve higher risks than those invested in fixed income securities or bonds. For example, you may choose a growth fund investing in equities, a more secure fund in bonds and other fixed-interest investments, or combining the two. Some insurance companies offer Islamic Funds, which are invested by Shariah principles.
  • Fund switching - Should you feel that you have made the wrong choice or would like to change the profile of your investment portfolio, you are allowed to switch your units from one investment fund to another. Most companies allow one switch per year without any fee. For additional switches, a processing fee may be charged.

Bid and offer prices

price

You will be provided with two prices: the offer price for selling units and the bid price for repurchasing them, much like unit trusts. The difference between the offer and bid prices, also known as the bid/offer spread, is usually expressed as a percentage of the offer price, normally around 5%.

Like buying unit trusts or shares, there are several types of fees charged when you buy an investment-linked insurance plan:

  • Initial charge - This is paid at the inception of a policy to cover the administration costs such as policy issuance and marketing.
  • Fund management fee - This is the fee charged for managing the funds' investments and is directly charged to the investment-linked fund's account.
  • Policy fee - Fee to cover the ongoing administration costs of the regular-premium plan and is usually charged by deducting from the units.
  • Other charges - These will be deducted from the units of your investment account and include charges for the basic life insurance cover and other add-on rider benefits. The amount to be charged will depend on the level or type of insurance cover chosen, as well as other factors such as your age, sex and smoker status. You should receive at least an annual statement on the status of your investment-linked insurance.

7. Investing in Cryptocurrency

crypto

Cryptocurrencies are the newest type of investment. People are learning how this currency actually works every day, as it has a huge potential as a way of investment and can easily multiply your cash flow. They are unregulated digital currencies bought and sold on cryptocurrency websites.

Cryptocurrencies such as - Bitcoin or Dogecoin have gained a lot of interest in recent years as an investment vehicle. However, they remain a little risky due to many unknown factors; there is the possibility of government regulation and the possibility that the cryptocurrency will never see widespread acceptance as a form of payment.

How do you invest in Bitcoin?

In the same way that you can exchange US Dollars for any other currency such as Yens or Euros, you can also exchange your USD for cryptocurrencies.

bitcoin

Though cryptocurrencies aren’t technically part of the Forex market, the mechanics of investing in cryptocurrencies is very similar, and cryptocurrency investors hope that the value of those cryptocurrencies goes up against the dollar. They are relatively simple to buy online.

Someone who invested in Bitcoin in 2013 and sold it today would certainly make some incredible profits. The problem is that there’s no way to time the cryptocurrency market. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies could continue to increase in price dramatically, or they could drop to zero. Yet Cryptocurrency appears to be a promising investment for you in recent time if you invest here learnedly and wisely.

 

Well, everyone’s reasons for investing and personal risk tolerance are different, so you have to decide which investment types suit your lifestyle, timeline, goals, and risk tolerance best. While you want to know what to invest in, it may be even more important to know what not to invest in.

A good rule of thumb as a beginner is if you’re putting a lot of money into it but not getting anything out of it other than a bunch of debt or an ego boost, it’s a bad investment. This includes expensive cars, fancy interiors, and other items that decrease in value over the period of time you own them. So, avoid all these common money traps, and you’ll have more money for the good things to invest in both now and in the future to multiply your savings.


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