Once you have $100,000 or more to invest, it’s time to pay close attention to where you put those funds.
With the stock market at an all-time high, it’s smart to play a little defense. After all, you don’t want to end up like the Brazilian ex-billionaire who went from a net worth of $30 billion to negative $1 billion in under a year.
At the same time, leaving your money in a savings account isn’t a great idea. The key to wealth is making your money work for you – and the sooner you can start doing that, the better off your finances will be.
So what are you to do? How can you keep your hard-earned cash relatively safe, while still making sure it grows?
The following list reveals 5 ways to invest that can provide a solid return while minimizing your down side. From international real estate to robo-advisors, here are a few of the most secure ways to grow your wealth.
Just remember, all investments have a level of risk associated with them. Therefore, do your research and/or talk to a financial advisor when you have questions. Although these strategies are relatively safer than randomly investing in stocks, they may not be right for you – so do your own due diligence!
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Invest $100,000 in real estate
The first three ways to invest $100k involve real estate. Once you have $100,000 to invest, real estate becomes a plausible option – both for growing and protecting your wealth.
When done intelligently, real estate is almost always a safe investment – even when the market tanks. Provided you do your research and purchase insurance on the property, your downside is substantially limited.
Here are three ways to invest in real estate:
1. Buy a rental property in your home country
You can purchase a rental property in most parts of the country with $100,000. If you want something a bit pricier, cover the downpayment and find lenders to cover the rest.
Rental properties are a great investment because a profitable rental will maintain its value regardless of what happens in the market.
If the value of homes rises, then your property becomes worth more. If the value of homes drops, then people rent instead of buy – increasing the rental income of your investment. As long as you find a property with great cash flow, you can enjoy a very steady growth in your wealth.
2. Invest in international real estate
A recent investment group that I came across, Real Caribe, currently offers Dominican Republic properties for sale in a luxury skyrise – for around $100,000 per unit.
With the potential of 8-12% annual returns on a completely managed investment, that’s definitely worth taking a look at!
Although purchasing properties in the US generally takes a bit less work, it’s becoming more difficult to find great bargains.
Meanwhile, other parts of the world are experiencing tremendous growth – and earning 10-15% annual returns from your property investment isn’t unreasonable. Plus, with prices often lower than in the US, your $100,000 investment will go a lot further.
Because international investing can be risky for foreigners, if you don’t know what you’re doing, only invest if you have someone local to advocate for you and validate the investment.
To protect your investment, find a credible law firm, legitimate Americans that are already working in the area, or an investment firm to work with (like those backing Real Caribe). When you have partners looking out for your investment, it’s much easier to sleep at night.
Oh, and did I mention that international real estate gives you a tax break when you travel?! That’s right, you get to write off your travel as a business expense anytime you go to review your property.
3. Invest in real estate with equity crowdfunding
If you want to invest in real estate without having to deal with the complexities of managing the property yourself, than equity crowdfunding is an excellent way to invest. With equity crowdfunding you lend money to real estate developers for a solid profit – earning anywhere from 8-15% in annual returns.
Because the loans are vetted by skilled investors and backed by the actual property, your investment is relatively safe.
Personally, as a non-accredited investor (someone earning under $200k a year), I invest in the Fundrise eREITs – which is open to all US citizens. Meanwhile, if you are an accredited investor, then you can gain access to a far wider range of investments by exploring RealtyShares, EquityMultiple, and Patch of Land.
By investing in crowdfunded real estate, not only do you earn healthy returns, but you have the ability to benefit the small business owners developing and managing those properties.
Invest $100,000 in the stock market
While real estate often provides the most stable form of investing, stocks certainly shouldn’t be ignored. Although the market ebbs and flows, so far it always goes back up.
However, when the market is near it’s peak, you’re left with a dilemma – while it could certainly keep going up, it has the likely possibility of dropping by 10-20%.
How do you combat this? Here are two ways:
4. Diversify your portfolio with a robo-advisor service
The key to stable returns in the stock market is to diversify your portfolio across a variety of US stocks, international stocks, and bonds. While you can attempt to develop this diversified portfolio on your own, it will get expensive fast.
The better bet is to either buy into an ETF through a traditional stock broker like TradeKing, or use a robo-advisor that will automate your investments based on your risk level.
The most popular robo-advisor for high net worth investors is Personal Capital (if you have over $100,000 to invest). Not only does Personal Capital allow you to invest at a fraction of the cost of many other investment services, but they also provide free consulting and advising.
Once you are investing $100,000 or more, you don’t want to place everything in a single stock. Sure, it could increase your wealth much faster, but it could also diminish it. Diversification is key.
5. Buy Blue Chip stocks and write covered calls
Although you want to diversify most of your portfolio, if there are a few specific companies that you want to own for the long-term, consider writing covered calls.
A covered call is like putting a renter in your investment property – whether the value of the rental goes up or down, you make money! When you write a covered call you are giving someone the option to buy your stock at a specific price by a specific date.
If the stock goes way up, then the call option will be activated and you will have to sell your shares at a discounted rate (but you still make money). Meanwhile, if the stock stays flat or decreases in value, then you don’t have to sell your shares and you make anywhere from $0.50 – 5.00+ per share for selling the option.
To learn more about selling options check out the free tutorials on Born to Sell. Meanwhile, if you want to start trading stocks and options (such as covered calls), I recommend creating an account with TradeKing – as they have the best combination of price and service from the many services I have explored.
Riskier alternative ways to invest $100k
While the five investment strategies above are probably the safest ways to invest $100,000 – they are by no mean the only options available.
Some people prefer to invest in art, precious medals, and a variety of other items. While some of these are very risky and present a high chance of loss, here are a few other areas where you can invest for a decent, and relatively stable, return.
6. Invest in loans with peer-to-peer lending
Sites like Lending Club offer anyone the opportunity to invest in P2P (peer-to-peer) loans. When someone needs to renovate their house, pay for a large purchase, or refinance their credit card debt, they turn to Lending Club.
Lending Club, in turn, gives you and I the opportunity to invest as little as $25 into these notes – earning an average annual return of around 9% after defaults (according to their site – my returns have been closer to 3% annualized).
While I don’t recommend placing all of your capital in Lending Club, it is a great alternative to traditional forms of investing that might be less risky than the stock market.
7. Invest in virtual currencies like Bitcoin
Bitcoin first made waves around the US when the currency climbed from about $1 per Bitcoin to over $1,200 per Bitcoin within 12 months in 2014. Although the price of Bitcoin has leveled out to around $500, it still fluctuates wildly and has a tendency to shoot up when the economy or political landscape looks grim.
Because the currency isn’t tied to any government, its value doesn’t drop when a specific nation comes across hard times.
Probably the riskiest investment on this list, and not one where you want to place $100,000, if you want to bet against the US economy, buying Bitcoin isn’t a bad idea.
8. Invest in businesses via equity crowdfunding
It’s now legal for anyone to invest in small startups in exchange for equity. Find the next Facebook or Google and your small investment could become worth 10x what you place into it.
Of course, with the opportunity of great reward comes great risk. Business equity crowdfunding can mean that you buy into a business that never takes off – making your investment essentially worthless.
Although not the best way to invest $100,000, if you diversify across 100 unique businesses, it may turn out to be profitable.
9. Invest in your own business
Mark Cuban says that the best investment is the one you make in your own business. His thoughts are that placing your money in stocks/etc means that your money is going to grow someone else’s business instead of your own.
Because you probably don’t want to invest $100,000 into a business unless it’s doing very well, there are a variety of ways to start a business inexpensively.
Although I don’t recommend placing all of your wealth in a startup, if you have the time to spare, starting your own business can become very profitable.
How would you invest $100,000?
Whether you are a financial guru, college investor, or investing newbie, I would love to hear your thoughts on where and how to invest your money.
Where did (or will) you put your first $100,000?