Building personal wealth
Investing is the only way you can generate money; if you don’t, your money will simply erode away. Inflation is approximately 2% a year, meaning that a dollar loses 2% of its value every year. Hence, it is important to invest your money in assets that appreciate. They not only act as a store of value but can also be functional.
In general terms, appreciation is an increase in the value of an asset over time, which may be due to an increase in their demand or result of change in interest rates. Appreciating assets are relatively likely to go up in value over time. Investors typically seek to take a balanced approach to purchasing appreciating assets. The point of creating such a portfolio is to generate multiple revenue streams which is key to generating wealth.
Most people invest in savings accounts, however, they are one of most basic assets and are barely profitable especially in today’s low interest rate environment. Investing in more significantly appreciating assets can be a wise way to earn passive income apart from your career. While some assets are better than the other based on the market of your geographic location and investment objectives, it's always better to have a good mix of different types of appreciating assets.
These assets are slightly more conservative and tried and tested. They are safer and prove to give results, so you can start investing in them immediately. However, they will not earn you as much as more risky assets. Still, it is a good idea to have them in your portfolio to ensure diversification and guaranteed returns.
- Certificate of Deposits (CDs): These are like savings accounts which keep and use your money for longer and pay higher interest rates than a typical savings account. Moreover, banks will not allow you to access your money for a certain amount of time without incurring a penalty. They are insured up to $250,000, so they are risk free.
- Bonds: A bond is essentially debt that businesses owe to investors. You invest a fixed amount into a bound, and the company agrees to pay you a certain percentage back. You can purchase bonds from the federal government (treasury bills), companies (corporate bonds), forgein companies (foreign bonds) and several other entities.
- Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs): Making money from tenants comes with several unforeseen repeated expenditure such as fixing utilities such as plumbing. Your land may also depreciate over time. However, you can avoid such hassles and buy stocks of the real estate world. REITs invest in and manage income generating real estate properties and trade on the stock exchange.You can purchase them just as you would a share of any other company. By law, REITs must distribute 90% of their earnings to shareholders, allowing for high dividend rates.
Risky assets are slightly more aggressive investment choices which may require more active management. However, they also have higher earning potential and with the right amount of time and effort you can accumulate a decent amount of wealth with them.
- Stocks: When you purchase stocks, companies pay out a portion of earnings, called dividends to shareholders on a regular schedule. While the volatile business market suggests that a once steady flow of money from stocks can immediately plummet, investing wisely in stocks can generate a lot of wealth. You should consider investing in the “The Dividend Aristocrats” whose dividend payouts have been increasing for 25 consecutive years or more.
- Real Estate/Property Rentals: Investing in property relies more on continuous cash flow rather than appreciating value. A single family home could be a good start, but a multi-family rental such as a duplex or triplex can provide a certain economy of scale that can increase your earnings multifold. For example, some foundation work into the house can support two, three or even four separate paying renters. Moreover, with the rise of Airbnb, it’s become easier to buy a place and rent out your property to several people over a short period of time as another non-conventional way of investing in real estate.
- Peer to Peer Lending: This is a growing banking market where you, an individual, play the role of a bank by providing money to a consumer. In exchange for your money, the consumer will pay you interest through an Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC) regulated intermediary like the Lending Club.The risk here is that consumers can default on their loans despite extensive regulation.
- Private Equity: If you know someone starting a business, it could help to be an angel investor or venture capitalist. Putting your money into sunrise industries like those involved in technology can be profitable over the long term, In fact, investing directly into seemingly boring businesses such as car washes, laundromats, coffee shops and food carts tend to be surprisingly profitable as well. They have low overheads and very few employees to pay, generating decent profits.
Income producing assets are a great way to supplement your primary income through investments. All investments cost time and energy but will fetch you returns over time. The process of wealth accumulation only starts with putting in the money. It is imperative to stay on top of your investments and manage them wisely for returns to manifest.