When it comes to growing your money, investors can easily become increasingly accustomed to immediate gratification in a high-tech world. But honestly doubling your money depends on careful planning and wise investments. The profits promised from risky alternative investments might be alluring, but to achieve a 100 percent return on your money, standard investments can prove more stable and reliable. To calculate the number of years that it will take for an investment to double your money, divide the number 72 by an investment's expected annual rate of return -- otherwise known as the "rule of 72." Using this rule, for example, you can see that an investment that gains 7.2 percent per year will double in value in 10 years.
Bonds are fixed-income investments. In effect, they are loans -- you, the investor, loan your money to a company or government in exhcange for regular interest payments. According to Standard and Poor's historical data, between 1926 to 2010, the average annualized return on bonds was 6 percent, which would reliably double your money in 12 years. You can buy bonds sold by single issuers, such as the bonds of a particular corporation, but remember that your investment could be wiped out if the company goes under. Bond mutual funds are typically a safer bet for small investors, since they typically offer exposure to several hundred if not thousands of corporations and governments through a single investment.
CoreLogic has estimated that the foreclosure-to-rental conversion market could become a $100 billion dollar industry. The National Association of Realtors conducted a survey, released in 2012, that revealed that the number of rental homes increased 65 percent from 2010 to 2011, while the number of owner-occupied homes decreased in the same period by 15 percent. The NAR survey -- which was admittedly conducted by the national lobbying organization for Realtors, who have a vested interest in promoting real estate investments -- suggests that bargain prices and steady rental income might be a better investment than bank accounts and bonds. You could double your money in the foreclosure-to-rental property market over time if you use your investment money to leverage a mortgage to purchase the property, and retain the house as rental with a steady income stream as a long-term investment. While the rent may cover the bulk of your mortgage payments as you build equity in the property, you will have the option of selling the investment property at a future date if prices rise. Be careful with this option, though -- houses can be expensive to maintain, particularly if you are not adept at managing renters. And it can be tough to sell a house when the markets are weak, do don't invest cash that you may need quickly someday.
Although past performance cannot guarantee future profits, the historical average annualized return of the S&P 500 index from 1926 to 2010 was about 12 percent. At at 12 percent rate of return, you could double your stock market investment in six years. However, stocks, of course, fluctuate, and it might take a few years longer to double your money -- but the important thing is to hold your stock as a long-term investment and patiently wait for the upswing in value.
In a 2012 report in US News and World Report Money, James Clear asserts that to make substantially more money, you need to prove that the value of the work you do far exceeds what you are being paid. Illustrate how much money you've made your employer with a chart or graph for visual impact. In addition, the author suggests that you make a video of testimonials from satisfied customers for your employer. With persistence and patience, you can systematically negotiate regular pay increases that could double your salary.
Tracy Stefan began writing professionally in 2007, with work appearing on various websites. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing and performing arts from the Evergreen State College. Stefan is also a graduate of Dell'Arte.