Where to Invest Your Money in 2016

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where to invest your moneyIn the last month, the stock market as a whole has fallen over 11%. Since the plunge, everyone has been on pins and needles, wondering if the market will recover or whether it will dive even deeper into the abyss. Unfortunately, I don’t have the answer – nobody does – but it has long since been speculated that 2016 would be a disastrous year for stock investing, and that’s looking more and more true every day.

Where to Invest Your Money in 2016

If the stock market is going to crash again in 2016, where should you be putting your hard-earned money? At this point, I’m certainly not jumping at the opportunity to buy up shares of the Dow or the S&P 500. Each day, the value of these indexes swing wildly up and down and show no solid ground. An investment here seems more like a gamble than it does a wise choice for the future.

If the “smart thing” is no longer the way to go, where on earth should be we be investing our money? This is what Liz and I have been asking ourselves since our engagement early in the year.

1) Real Estate

This one shouldn’t be a big shocker to you. If investing in the stock market isn’t safe, then putting your money into a tangible asset should be the way to go. The only problem is, the real estate market is incredibly hot right now and houses are selling over list price just a few days after going up for sale.

Ideally, Liz and I would like to buy a house that has a solid structure, but some ugly wallpaper and paint. We’ll spend a month or two to fix it up, and then we’ll rent it out for a passive monthly income. We’ve been looking for a single family home for about 3 weeks and have found absolutely nothing that we consider a deal. While real estate has always been a solid investment, if the upfront costs are too high, then the overall investment picture just doesn’t make sense.

If you can’t buy into real estate at the right price, where else could you invest your money?

where to invest your money2) In Yourself

Sitting in bed last night I asked Liz, “What if we can’t find a deal on a rental property? Should we just keep building up cash and wait?” It seems strange that when we finally have the money to invest heavily, there really isn’t anything worthwhile to invest in. What we could do in the meantime though is invest in ourselves. In other words, while we wait for that steal of a deal on a house, we could be investing in real estate seminars, into books and CDs, and taking a few gurus out to breakfast. This way, we’ll be ready when the right moment presents itself.

Investing in yourself could also mean improving your formal education. Have you considered going back to school to finish your degree, but you just haven’t pulled the trigger yet? If, by spending $20,000 today, you could potentially earn yourself $10,000 more dollars each year for the rest of your life, that would be a good thing to do, right? So why not dive in and finish that education? When the typical investments aren’t ripe for the picking, then at least invest in your future earning power!

Finally, investing in yourself could include starting your own business. I currently earn a few pennies with this website, but it hasn’t been very scale-able. In other words, if I put in double the efforts, would I experience double the income? Nope, I haven’t seen it yet. If Liz and I want to earn a return on our money, it would be wise for us to explore a wide variety of at-home businesses. Maybe we could build a greenhouse today to earn future profits on flowers and produce, or perhaps we could build onto our garage and create our very own rental suite? There are so many possibilities out there – you just have to alter your investment mentality a bit and consider investing in yourself.

3) High-Yield Savings

Cash does absolutely no good when it just sits there earning nothing. Every year, the cost of living goes up, so if you don’t earn any money with your existing savings, then you’re actually going backwards. In other words, stuffing money under the mattress is just a flat-out bad idea. So, if you can’t invest your money in the stock market, you can’t find any real estate buys, and you’re not interested in investing in yourself, then what should you do?

Some put their money into government treasury bonds that earn 2% annually, but that definitely isn’t without risk either (note the recent government shut-downs when they hit their debt ceiling). So what seems to be safe, but still earns a decent return? Believe it or not, I point people to high-yield checking accounts at their local credit unions. About four years ago, I found a credit union near my home that paid out 3% interest on my checking account. They’ve never missed a payment and I pretty much do nothing to earn it. It’s a beautiful thing.

where to invest your money4) Collectibles

Collectibles are another way to go if you’re looking to invest your money somewhere other than the stock market. This could range anywhere from a baseball signed by Babe Ruth to a painting crafted by Picasso. Pretty much anything that can be authenticated and is one of a kind would be labeled as a collectible in my book. If you foresee a rise in popularity for a particular item, then seek out that item and buy it! If you’re right, then you can sell it years later for a hefty profit. This category definitely isn’t for everyone (including me!), but there are definitely advantages to investing in collectibles.

5) Precious Metals

In theory, there is a finite amount of precious metals in this world today (after all, no one has yet figured out the exact science behind alchemy), which means that their value can be based on the rarity of the metal, it’s usefulness, and it’s demand among the masses. Today, some of the most popular metals are silver and gold, and these items are revalued every minute of every day. As a general practice, if one believes that the stock market will soon take a dive, then an investor will move the majority of his/her money into precious metals, believing that when the market goes down, the demand for precious metals will go up, thus increasing the price. It definitely not a bad plan. I will likely invest in precious metals in the near future. But, instead of investing in a silver stock or gold stock, I’m going to invest in the real deal. It’s just a safer way to invest when you’re actually holding onto real property.

So what’s your plan? Have you thought about where to invest your money in 2016? Will it be in the stock market or are you going to start putting your money somewhere else?

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Investing Money

Derek

AUTHOR Derek

My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.

6 Comments

  1. Myself, I’m going to keep investing in a variety of ETF’s. Even if it keeps going down, that just means I keep getting them at a better price. In a few years everything will be recovered and my low cost ETF’s will have gone up more than a savings account. But that’s me. I could loose everything, you never know.
    Mr. SelfReliance recently posted..Too much stuff!

    • I invest a portion of my money into Index Funds and ETFs, but only about 17% of my income. The other 50%+ is going into real estate (if I can find a deal that is).

  2. Would it be wise to invest now since prices are so low? Dave and I are trying to figure out what to do with and extra $5k we want to allocate somewhere by the end of this year. We initially thought Roth IRA since we haven’t maxed them out and we already threw an extra $10k to our mortgage principal this year. Should we just keep dumping it into additional mortgage payments?
    Jessica @ Budget for Health recently posted..What we ate: August 2015

    • Great question Jessica. No one can predict when to get into the market or when to get out. Just focus on the long-term. If you’re investing the money to sit there for 35 years, then yeah, right now is probably just fine. If you wanted to buy up some stocks to make a quick buck over the next year…then I’d probably steer away from the volatile market at this time.

      For your situation, I like Dave Ramsey’s rule of thumb. Invest 15% of your income each year. Anything above and beyond that – put it toward your mortgage debt. Honestly Jessica, both are wise choices, so don’t fret too much about it. Just talk to your hubby, be sure to agree on it, and then do it! Thanks for the comment. 🙂

  3. I have exactly the same issue, the markets are at a peak but now in a longterm downturn i fear, QE has ended and the artificial bullrun has run out of steam, there are now no more cards to play

    property in my country(uk) is at an absolute premium, the best yeild for rentals are around 6% if your very lucky

    This has just made me all the more determined to throw everything at the mortgage, i am on track to pay it off by the end of 2017

    Hopefully by then the property and stock markets would of crashed again and i will be able to begin shovelling money into them both nearer the bottom

    I am even tempted to put my monthly retirement saving on hold to speed up the mortgage payments, i am very worried about the global markets, and think we are going to see the real effects of QE and low interest rates soon, which will not be pretty, it also worries me what the government might do to my retirement savings if the worst happens and maybe a heavy allocation to property would be a better bet

    • You’ll never regret paying down your mortgage, Paul. It’s a guaranteed return with zero risk, plus the feeling of never making a mortgage payment again is amazing! I still have to pinch myself sometimes. About your retirement savings though – do you get a match from your employer on this? If so, they I would put in at least the minimum amount to get the full match. Best of luck to you, dude!


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