Many twenty-somethings that land their first decent paying job out of college, will want to do one (or all) of three things: move out, buy a car, and travel. I love all three ideas and would prefer to do them all at once. However, what if you would like to invest your hard earned money so that you can have even more money? What if you want to grow your savings so that you could afford all three options? Let’s take a look at investment opportunities that 20-somethings could potentially consider:
Online savings account:
This is arguable the safest investment option for young people. You setup automatic transfers and have a portion of your paycheck go towards your high interest savings account online. With a few minutes of maintenance a month, you can safely grow you hard earned money in one of these accounts.
Unfortunately, we all know that these accounts don’t exactly offer the highest interest rates in the world. I recently took a look at the best online bank accounts and found that rates are very low across the board at the moment. If you want to take on more risk for the potential of more reward (and more loss), continue reading please.
Invest in securities:
You can go the safe route by investing in low risk investments, such as a bonds. The return is usually just slightly higher than a online savings account. The positive is that you can sleep at night knowing that your savings are growing. In essence, you’re earning a passive income through investing in low-risk securities.
You can be a bit more riskier by investing in individual stocks. I’m sure you’ve all heard the arguments for and against this. I won’t get into that debate. I will just throw out some time-tested tips on investing in stocks:
- Don’t day trade if you don’t know your stuff.
- Invest in companies with solid management, don’t worry about fads.
- Don’t invest money that you don’t have.
- Understand that you’re essentially gambling and that you should only invest within your limits.
This is the most expensive investment, and likely the most riskiest. I’m not referring to your principle property. I’m referring to a real estate property that you specifically purchase as an investment property. There are some “financial experts” that swear by this method. Then there are those that are totally skeptical and would rather invest their money into dividing paying stocks. I fall somewhere in the middle.
You could mitigate your risk by purchasing real estate in a hot market (with high demand) and something that is brand new (condos preferably). With a brand new condo in a hot downtown market, you could likely find a tenant at a high paying price in a quick amount of time, and not have to worry about anything breaking down on you.
You do run into one major problem with a real estate investment though– How can you afford a down-payment on a downtown condo? How will you get a mortgage? After the credit crunch and economic turbulence from late-2008 it’s getting increasingly more difficult for 20-somethings to obtain a mortgage. This means that you need to ensure your credit score is solid, you have a decent amount of money saved up, and that you have proof of a steady source of income.
At the end of the day, no matter where you decide to invest your hard earned money you need to do your research and understand what you’re getting yourself into. Just because an investment opportunity worked out for one person, it doesn’t mean that it’ll work out for you. There are many real estate fees involved in a property investment. There is risk that comes with trading stocks. Online savings accounts don’t pay you as much interest as you would like.