What would you do if you suddenly had $10,000 in cash at your disposal? Would you splurge for a trip to some far-flung corner of the world? Trade up for a nicer vehicle? Buy new furniture and a hot tub for your backyard deck?
Those ideas might be the first that come to mind, but they may not be ones you will feel proud of ten or twenty years from now. Unless you have high interest debt you could pay off, your best bet with any “found money” is always going to be investing it for the long haul.
Why? Because when you invest cash instead of spending on depreciating assets, you set yourself up to have more financial freedom and better outcomes later on.
5 Smart Ways to Invest 10K
But, how should you invest $10,000? While there are plenty of smart ways to invest your money, the right option for you depends on your appetite for risk, your investing strategy, and your long-term goals. Of course, your best option might also depend on your unique needs and what you require to move to the next stages of your business or your personal development.
If you have found money this year, here are five ways to invest that could truly pay off down the line:
Online Real Estate Investing
Investing in real estate is all the rage these days, but that doesn’t mean everyone wants to be a landlord. The mere thought of dealing with tenants or painting interiors is enough to send some running for the hills, let alone the concept of having to deal with late night calls or costly repairs.
That’s why investing in Fundrise is such a smart idea. Fundrise.com is an investing platform that lets you invest in private real estate assets without dealing with the minutiae that comes with owning traditional rental real estate.
You only need a $500 minimum to get started with Fundrise, which makes it an ideal option if you have $10,000 to play with. Once you open an account, you can invest in major metro markets like Los Angeles, Washington D.C., and Jacksonville, Florida. Not only do they offer plans that support supplemental income, but they offer plans good for balanced investing and long-term growth.
While Fundrise has only been around since 2010, the company has performed well with returns ranging from 8.76% to 12.42% over the last four years, net of fees. These returns really speak for themselves, which is why Fundrise continues to grow in popularity among investors.
Another option within the online real estate investing is RealtyShares. Realty Shares has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, and Forbes, and is already being used by 120,000 investors nationwide.
In a recent interview with Forbes, RealtyShares CEO Nav Athwal credits the company’s success to their ability to help accredited investors invest into real estate opportunities nationwide without a huge initial investment. Not only can investors browse opportunities by asset type, but they can buy in for as little as $5,000.
Plus, your investment with RealtyShares is easy to track. “Investors also have access to an investor dashboard where they can monitor their investments, returns and tax documents,” notes Athwal. “Thus, through crowdfunding, we’re making investing in real estate as easy as easy as investing in stocks in publicly traded companies.”
Real estate crowdfunding makes it possible to invest in real estate without ever stepping foot in a property and without borrowing hundreds of thousands of dollars. These reasons and others are why online firms like RealtyShares and Fundrise are so popular, and why they could continue growing in the future.
Peer-to-peer lenders like Lending Club are another smart platform to consider whether you have a few hundred dollars to invest, $10,000, or a whole lot more. Lending Club is a peer-to-peer lending platform that lets you – the investor – earn interest on loans instead of traditional banks.
As an investor in Lending Club, you can spread your investment across hundreds or even thousands of loans in increments as low as $25. Lending Club has offered a historical return of 4-6% per year after accounting for defaults, although you can score a higher rate of return if you make riskier loans.
You only need $1,000 to get started as an investor with Lending Club, and you can automate your investments based on a pre-selected strategy or manually select loans that meet your criteria.
Investing in Lending Club is easy, and you can even use the platform for a traditional or Roth IRA or a 401(k) rollover.
Prosper is another peer-to-peer lender that work similarly. With Prosper, you can invest your cash into loans taken out by individuals and earn a healthy rate of return. Prosper says their investors have earned an average return of 6.59% thus far, making them a top contender in the peer-to-peer lending space.
Health Savings Account (HSA)