Where to Invest Money to Get Maximum Return On Investment
In a traditional sense, investment is putting money into someone else’s business in expectation of profits. Usually ‘profit’ means that you get more money back than you have initially spent. Very often, however, people call some things investments that are not.
For example, buying some physical objects at a low price and selling them later at a higher price is not investing. This is speculation based on market price fluctuations. Purchasing gold, art collections, or any other goods are not actually investments because there are not any businesses backing them. However, if you buy a gold mining plant or a jewelry factory, it will be a pure classic investment. Bearing this in mind, we’ll cover both investment and other interesting for-profit opportunities in this article.
Nowadays, everything goes online and investments are no exception. Every day, more and more investment opportunities are opened for a virtually unlimited online audience. The entrance barriers become lower, and even small amounts can become good investments in some cases. Investment opportunities that could previously be used only by a very limited number of rich people are now available now for anybody with an internet connection.
But having an opportunity and correctly using it are two absolutely different things. As with any other skill, it requires a lot of time and effort to master online investment. Investing money is not a lottery or a gamble, but hard work.
There were two major breakthroughs that changed online investment industry forever - the appearance of crowdfunding platforms, and the development of blockchain technology. Blockchain gave us several new forms of investment - ICO (Initial Coin Offering), STO (Security Token Offering), IEO (Initial Exchange Offering), and others. There will be still new blockchain investment forms the nearest future, undoubtedly. When reach the point of considering where to invest money online, it’s highly possible you will have to consider two general framworks - traditional crowdfunding and blockchain-related platforms.
Crowdfunding platforms are better regulated and protected, but have some restrictions and requirements for the backers. Some of the crowdfunding platforms are open to accredited investors only. The minimal investment amount is specific to each platform and project, and may vary from $100 to $1,000. The investor’s country of residence and payment methods can be limited, too, and some additional paperwork and verifications may be required.
By using a crowdfunding platform, you can be sure you’re investing in a legal and properly registered business, as fundraisers are required to supply the necessary business documents to be able to collect money online. Sometimes it is even possible to change your mind and receive a refund if the fundraising event is not finished.
We also can’t forget to mention the most popular topic related to any investment offer: expected profit. For crowdfunding clients, the profit waiting time can be quite long. Sometimes, it is years. As for the profit size, the situation is complicated and there’s not one simple answer. It depends on the crowdfunding offer type, for example, reward or equity.
The reward framework is similar to a traditional loan, with which there is a schedule of predefined size payments. Equity rewards are like owning shares in a company: were the reward time and size are undefined. They fully depend on the business’ success and its management decisions. The possible return numbers greatly depends on the jurisdiction and other conditions. For example, the real estate equity crowdfunding platforms report an 8% -12% annual return at average.
There’s also a report of one of the top UK equity crowdfunding platform for 2012-2015 with up to 41% annual average profit. But such a high percentage is possible mainly for those who qualify for SEIS/EIS tax breaks, i.e. people who have a tax liability in UK. Without tax breaks, the average annual return is 14.4%. Overall, if you have a highly diversified portfolio of crowdfunded projects, you have the chance to get a return higher than a standard bank deposit can offer.
When it comes to crypto-assets purchases, everything is different. The regulators are trying to follow the new technologies, but there is still a lot of uncertainty here. On many occasions, investors are poorly protected from scams or not protected at all. Greater responsibility and expertise level is required from potential investors to make good decisions. Country restrictions exist too, but in a mirrored state - US citizens are not allowed to participate in the majority of performed ICOs.
Risks are very high, but the returns can be even higher. A cryptocurrency’s price can go up 10% -15% just a day, not a year! But it will not always rise, of course; it can fall significantly too. Price fluctuations of tens of thousands of percent per year are not a rare thing in the crypto world. However, it’s almost impossible to select potential winners among the thousands of existing tokens. That is why it’s crucial not to spend amounts that you can’t afford to lose. Diversification is another useful approach which can help you not to lose everything in one day.
The cryptocurrency purchase process is simple and straightforward. Usually, you just need to register an account at one of the hundreds of crypto-exchanges and send money to them with any accepted deposit method. Registering an account is simple; the only difficulty can be account verification, but it is usually fast and as convenient as it can be while ensuring security. If you are not trying to cheat the system, you have nothing to worry about.
Short term investments are usually those investments that will expire within a one year period or less. The whole investment amount and profit must be easily accessible by the investor at the mature time. In the traditional financial world, examples of such investments are bonds, savings accounts, treasuries, and the like.
One of the most interesting options is a peer-to-peer lending with a varying annual return from 4% to 10% average. There are many such platforms, which offer you the chance to lend your money to verified borrowers for returns. The platform operators do all the work to verify those wishing to get a loan, create mathematical models, control the risks, and take all necessary steps to return overdue loans. Even if there are people who don’t return their loans on time, the whole system will still get a profit. Minimum deposit requirements are low and the risks are less than those associated with cryptocurrencies.
Using robo-advisors, you can find out that short term investments are easy and affordable. Robo-advisors are software systems that create a portfolio automatically for you, making the whole process simple. Many robo-advisors include ETF’s or indexes to their portfolios of choice. You can start with as little as $1 and machines will do all the work for you. The minimum deposit requirements vary greatly from $0 to $100,000, in some cases. The fee sizes and structure are different, too, and can be applied as a yearly percentage of invested capital starting from 0.25% or just a flat fee of $10 or more monthly. The greatest advantage of robo-advisors is that they allow easy entrance to the stock market for people with limited budgets.
If you are reading this article, you are most likely curious about what to invest in. The answer depends on a huge amount of factors and will be different for everyone. First of all, you should know why you are investing and how much. Your investment goals will define your further investment strategy. There’s no professional general guide on the best way to invest money. What is acceptable for one investor may lead to a fail for another. Some typical investment goals may be:
- keeping the value of your assets, making them perform at the inflation rate or better
- minimize potential losses in the event of a crisis
- grow your assets to the target amount within a defined period
- prepare for retirement
The upper limit of the investment amount is easy to define - you can’t invest more than you possess total. This amount will be helpful in defining the scope of available investment solutions because some instruments will be automatically excluded from the list due to their minimal entry requirements.
Undoubtedly, you should perfectly know your personal or family budget and the size of the expenses for the nearest future. Planning your income and expenses will help you to avoid potential losses from the fees for the early cash-out in some cases. Taking into account unpredictable events is also a good practice.
In general, any investment is a trade-off between risk and return. There are no safe investments with high returns. Higher returns will always imply higher risks. If you ever come across the promises of high returns without any risks, don’t believe them. Unfortunately, human feelings are easily manipulated and financial decisions are usually better if they are made with the mind, not the heart.
If anybody tells you where to invest money, be very careful with the recommendations, especially if you did not ask and/or did not pay for them. Ask the person if they are ready to compensate you for the losses of the proposed investment.
We will describe some investment opportunities further, the list is not intended to be complete, these are just some examples you might not have known about before.
The top crowdfunding platforms are Kickstarter, Indiegogo, Crowd Supply, GoFundMe, Crowdfunder, Patreon, Crowdrise, AngelList, Seedrs and others.
The following platforms accept Bitcoin payments too:
StartEngine, Wefunder (selected campaigns only).
Real-Estate Crowdfunding Platforms
The top list looks like this.
Fundrise, CrowdStreet, RealtyMogul, Housers, RealtyShares, RealCrowd, CrowdEstate, Groundfloor, ArborCrowd and many more.
The US-based crowdfunding platforms usually accept US residents as investors only. However, if you are a non-US resident, there are still ways to invest with a US or offshore legal entity.
Peer to Peer Lending Platforms
LendingClub, Funding Circle, Upstart, Prosper, Peerform are the most famous p2p lending platforms.
Some of the leading robo-advisors are Wealthfront, Betterment, Sofi, Ellevest, Charles Schwab, Stash, etc.
The following applications let their users purchase or sell cryptocurrencies for fiat money, trade cryptocurrencies and even invest in ETF’s or trade some cryptocurrency indexes (for example, top cryptocurrencies index, global crypto market index, etc.):
Abra, Robinhood, Revolut, Circle Invest, eToro, Bison, Lykke, Coinbase, Square Cash App.
Depending on the jurisdiction, the applications have some country restrictions for the new accounts registration.
The above applications may seem simple and safe to use, but you should always remember and follow the security guidelines.
- Blockchain technology is young and still experimental. There are undiscovered risks. Do not spend your last savings or an amount you can’t afford to lose.
- Always create a backup of your account access details. If your smartphone is stolen or damaged, you will be able to access your account from another device.
- Do not make any financial transactions when your device is connected to public WiFi. If you can’t avoid using public WiFi, for example in a hotel, use VPN services.
- Do not pass your device to people you don’t trust, for example to a repair service. Install your financial app to another device, delete it from the broken one, and hand it over to the repair shop after that only.
- If you don’t trade on the go, use a dedicated device and keep it in a safe place.
- Always use the protection features offered by the application.
- Have a plan if your device is lost, stolen or damaged.
- Restrict access to your device, for example with fingerprint lock, etc.
- Never keep everything in one place
You are the only person responsible for your own savings. Always remember that when deciding how to invest your money and trying to find the best investments.
This article is not meant to be investment advice.