Although most people think about investment in terms of the stock market, there are other ways to invest your money. While some of the methods listed here do include investing in the stock market, at least indirectly, the majority do not. In fact, you may already be doing some of them. Read on to learn about some ways to make the most of your money.
Invest in Defined Contribution Plans
80 percent of people who work full-time have the ability to take part in company defined contribution plans, also known as 401Ks. Furthermore, more than 80 percent of these employees participate in them. If your employer offers a 401(k) plan, then you are probably already contributing to it. If you aren’t, you should start right away because many employers will match your contributions. This means that, in some cases, you can double your contributions easily.
Financial advisers say that how much you should contribute depends on how old you are when you begin. At a minimum, you should contribute 10 percent of your income to your 401(k). However, more is better.
Invest in Indexed Exchange-Traded Funds
Indexed Exchange-Traded Funds are like mutual funds but invest in a greater variety of stocks. They track to a particular index and are traded like stocks. Because of this, their values fluctuate daily. A popular one is the Spider, which follows the Standard & Poor’s 500 index. Investment advisers recommend indexed ETFs because they have lower costs than mutual funds and more tax benefits, as well.
Invest in Improvements to Your Home
An Echo Research survey indicated that 72 percent of homeowners have at least one home renovation project planned. Home improvements are a perennial favorite. The reason for this is that they add value to the home, which remains the single largest investment that most Americans have.
However, not all home improvements are created equal. Surprisingly, the improvement that will add the most value to your home is replacing the front door. That’s according to the Cost versus Value Report in an issue of Remodeling Magazine. Home improvement experts say that replacing worn or dated parts – doors and windows – add the most value. Bigger projects that add value are kitchen and bathroom renovations. Kitchens add more value than bathrooms.
Invest in Education and Training
The average person born during the last years of the baby boom has held 10.5 jobs from the ages of 18 to 40. Career change is the norm. For this reason, you always have to look ahead and prepare yourself for change by learning new skills. Even within the same career and company, there are opportunities for advancement that you could be missing because you don’t have the necessary education. Investing in your future by going back to school or getting some additional training is always beneficial.
Invest in Classic Cars
Cars aren’t usually considered investments because as soon as you drive your new purchase off the lot, it begins to depreciate in value. However, there are times when cars do appreciate. This happens when they are designated as classics. However, since so much of a classic car’s future value depends on trends in the market, it’s a riskier investment than putting your money in a mutual fund.
One cheaper way to do it is to buy a car that isn’t quite a classic yet, but is expected to become one in a few years. For instance, Doug DeMuro writes in “the truth about cars” that Toyota Supra Turbos made between 1993 and 1998 will increase in value in the near future. KBB used cars is a good resource for your research on car values and other information.
Invest in Paying Off Your Debt
While not technically an investment, paying off your debt is a good choice because it reduces the amount of money that you spend every month. This is money that you can use for other things, such as taking a much-needed vacation or getting new furniture. You’ll also save money in the interest payments.
Whether you put your money in your company’s 401(k) plan or you decide to pay off all your debt, you’re making an investment in your future financial health.