The future tends to look brighter when you know that some of your income is being steadily invested in one or more time-tested, wealth creation vehicles. The key is matching the amount of time you want to spend to your interests and your overall financial goals to find the type of investments that are right for you.
Your employer can automatically funnel a few bucks from each paycheck into a retirement plan. If you’re a two-income household, you can double your investment power. For example, if your employer offers a 401k retirement plan, and you can invest, say, five percent of your income, that five percent can be automatically deducted from your paycheck and moved into the plan where the money will be invested and managed for growth. Your employer may even match some contributions you make to your 401k plan.
Your bank can be a good first place to talk to someone about investing in stocks, bonds or mutual funds. Setting up an automatic withdrawal from your checking account into a mutual fund, for instance, is a way to put your money to work for you. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, or FDIC, does not insure money that is invested in stocks and mutual funds. Still, if you read a mutual fund’s prospectus – which your broker is required to give you before you invest – you’ll see investment options including lower-risk money market funds, higher-risk bond funds and a variety of stock funds. Websites such as ShareBuilder or E*Trade can be useful if you’d rather look into this type of investing without your bank’s help.
Your own talent or passion can be a worthy investment. Writers, filmmakers and musicians, for example, earn money by creating products that can generate royalties for years to come. Making crafts, woodworking, gardening, cooking, organizing, even designing websites or mobile apps, are just some passions that can be turned into home-based businesses with minimal capital investment to start. You can also capitalize on others’ creations. Sites such as Clickbank let you sell digital information products by content creators as an affiliate. Marketing your endeavor on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter requires more time than money. A home-based business takes research and commitment, but can be personally and financially rewarding.
Your neighborhood may hold some nice investment property deals. Real estate investment takes research and help from an attorney or real estate agent. An investment property is a property you buy then fix-up in order to rent out to tenants or resell for a profit. This type of investment can take a lot of work. However, according to The New York Times, property prices in 2012 are the lowest they’ve been in nearly a decade. Along with higher demand for renting, the value of real estate in 2012 may be on the rise.
A writer since 1995, Christian Fisher is an author specializing in personal empowerment and professional success. From 2000 to 2005, he wrote true stories of human triumph for "Woman's World" magazine. Since 2004, he has also helped launch businesses including a music licensing company and a music school.