If you’ve reached a milestone in your life at which you’re researching the best way to invest 100K, you’re already on a great path to financial success. Coming up with $100,000 to invest in subsequent wealth-building vehicles is an accomplishment all unto itself. That said, proper investments may be able to turn the initial $100,000 into a lot more. Putting the money into a well-vetted investment can increase earnings almost exponentially. It should be noted, however, that not all investments are created equal. To turn the original $100,000 into more, investors must put their money in the right spots. This guide will provide you with some considerations on where to put your money, not the least of which include five of the best ways to invest 100K:
ETFs & Mutual Funds
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1. Investing 100k In Real Estate
Many seasoned investors will argue that the best investment for 100K is in real estate. Instead of putting your money into intangible assets such as stocks or retirement accounts, investing in real estate allows you to invest in real property. Not only can they earn you substantial cash flow that is steady and predictable, but it is also a tangible asset that you and your future generations can enjoy for personal use.
Here are the top four benefits described in detail. You can also read our guide that provides further evidence on the benefits of real estate vs other investments.
One of the best aspects of real estate is acquiring more property than you can afford by leveraging your finances. For example, you could take your 100k and use it as a down payment for a loan to acquire a property that is worth one million! Over time, you make mortgage payments on your property and build up your equity. During the life of the loan, you’re enjoying the benefits of an asset worth one million rather than just 100k.
Now let’s talk about some of these said benefits of owning property. Not only do you have access to a home that you could live in, use as a vacation property, and even hand down from your generation to the next, you have an enormous potential to earn cash flow. For those wondering how to invest 100K in property, one of the best strategies is to rent it out. By renting out a property, you can earn rental income to help pay the mortgage and offset your costs. Better yet, some landlords strategically select a property that will allow them to earn enough rental income that results in profit. Keep reading about rental property cash flow in order to realize the full potential of this passive income strategy.
Paying taxes as an American is expensive, and no one person would turn down an opportunity for gaining tax advantages. The good news here is that owning any real estate property offers some tax incentives. For example, the typical expenses you incur from running a property – maintenance, paying mortgage interest, home improvements – all of these can be reported as deductions to lower your taxes. In addition, if you were to sell your investment property, you would be subject to capital gains tax, but using a 1031 exchange, you can transfer the gains to a new property being purchased. The U.S. tax system, therefore, incentivizes you to continue investing in properties and bolster your wealth.
Last but not least, real estate is a tangible asset that can be used for personal benefit. When you have 100K sitting in a savings or investment account – there’s nothing you can do with it! However, when you have your money invested in real property, you have the advantage of being able to use that property. Perhaps your strategy will be owner-occupied, where you live in the property, and maybe even rent out one of your bedrooms to help with the mortgage. Or, you could turn it entirely into a rental property if you already have a home.
Real Estate Investing Precautions
Equity, cash flow, taxes, and personal use are just a few of the many real estate investing advantages. However, before committing to what to do with 100K, it’s always a good idea to consider any precautions. Real estate, in general, is a safe and steady market in which to invest. The trauma we felt as a nation due to the market crash in the early 2000s is nearly gone, and the outlook has been generally confident for quite some time. However, this doesn’t mean that you should invest without careful research and analysis. Before investing in any property, one should first conduct a careful market analysis, an inspection of the property itself, and evaluate the value and condition of the property against others in the neighborhood. These are all crucial steps to be taken before deciding on the exit strategy for that particular property. Minding your due diligence and having the right strategy is the key to successful real estate investing. Find out more about choosing the right exit strategy for your property.
2. Individual Stocks
Stocks are a great way to diversify your investment portfolio. It provides you with an opportunity to invest in various industries and companies around the world. More importantly, returns are generally quite strong. (Hovering at roughly 12.0% per year.) That’s not to say investors can expect similar returns every year, but the benefits of long-term investing in the stock market typically average out to around 12.0%. If for nothing else, returns will vary from year to year. If investors reinvest their earnings, they may even see compounding gains, which only get more attractive as time goes on.
In addition to providing long-term growth opportunities, investors may also remain relatively liquid. Unlike physical assets like real estate, stock investors may liquidate holdings in a matter of hours, if not minutes. As a result, stock traders may gain access to their money much faster than most other investors.
Perhaps the greatest advantage to investing in individual stocks hasn’t even been discussed yet: a relatively low barrier of entry. Those looking to achieve the $100,000 milestone don’t need anywhere near that much to start investing. Investors may start investing with as little as a few dollars. Or, as David Baddeley at Scottish Trust Deed suggests, the quickest path to financial independence is to simply start investing any amount of expendable income.
“You don’t need to have a lot of expendable cash to start with, you just need enough to make a difference. If you have less expendable cash, I would suggest that you invest in several smaller investments,” says Baddeley. The trick is to get started, and good investments will eventually start to compound themselves.
To be clear, stocks can be quite risky. Your money ebbs and flows along with the economy. Because of this, financial advisors typically advise that you invest large sums of money into mutual funds rather than individual stocks.
3. Investing 100k In ETFs & Mutual Funds
ETFs and mutual funds belong to the stock “family,” but they differ from individual stocks in the sense that they are “pre-bundled” on your behalf. This means that when you invest in either an ETF or a mutual fund, you invest in a portfolio of assets that have already been selected for you. ETFs typically follow a particular index (like the S&P 500), while mutual funds are a portfolio of stocks that analysts have carefully selected. Investors who are particularly risk-averse, but still want to invest in stocks, are encouraged to consider mutual funds a strong option.
Investing 100K in ETFs and mutual funds is a great idea for anyone who likes the idea of the stock market but prefers a more hands-off approach. ETFs and mutual funds are relatively passive, as the respective fund predetermines the individual stocks. More importantly, ETFs and mutual funds are picked to mimic the performance of whatever the manager sets as their benchmark. Some mirror entire indexes, while others mirror sectors or the performance of blue-chip companies. Either way, investors won’t have to do a lot, as the stocks are already picked.
Since the companies included in ETFs and mutual funds have likely been vetted, this approach is typically less risky than investing in individual stocks. The diversity alone should be enough to give investors solace. However, their relative safety comes at a cost: upside. Since Mutual funds and ETFs hedge their investments, the upside is limited, at least compared to individual stock investing.
4. Investing 100k In IRAs
IRAs, or individual retirement accounts, are a type of savings account explicitly made for retirement. If you work for a company or organization with retirement benefits, then most likely they offer some type of 401k, 403b, or IRA account to which you can contribute. (Your employer will typically match all or a portion of your contributions.) An IRA is a great way to pad your retirement savings (for example, if you’re already contributing to a 401K). There are two types of IRAs you should be aware of. The first type, a traditional IRA, provides you with a tax credit on your contributions while you’re paying into it, but you’ll be taxed on your income once you retire. The second type, a Roth IRA, forces you to contribute tax income today but allows you to be tax-free when you are on retirement.
5. Investing 100k In Peer-To-Peer Lending
Peer-to-peer lending is exactly what it sounds like: Lending money to people or businesses through internet platforms that connect lenders and borrowers. This particular investment strategy allows individual investors to act as the bank in certain circumstances.
Private money lenders, for example, will lend their own money to real estate investors. In doing so, the borrowers will be able to complete a real estate deal of their own. The private money lender will be paid back their initial investment, plus interest (usually somewhere in the neighborhood of 12.0%).
Peer-to-peer investing has become a very attractive way to invest $100,000 today. The investment window is relatively small (usually a few months), and the risk is justified with the potential to take control of the subject property if something goes wrong. What’s more, this particular strategy is relatively passive; investors won’t have to do much more than vet their borrowers and the subject properties. Vetting borrowers can’t be underestimated, as they will determine your own investment, so make sure you are comfortable with who you are giving your money to.
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Other Investing Considerations
Before you rush into deciding the best investment for 100K, you should also take a step back and evaluate your financial health as a whole. Let us say you recently had a windfall that provided you with access to this great sum. Is investing it, or all of it, the best choice for you? Here are some other considerations before diving into investing. Kevin Miles, a leading specialist from loanadvisor.sg, gives his personal strategy for investing: “I would consider the AI (Artificial Intelligence) sector to be the best place to invest in an inflationary environment. I do suggest investing in various places as it is proven more beneficial as well as profitable”.
Diversifying Your Investments
If you have 100k to invest, consider a diverse range of assets. The best investing advice out there is to diversify. By spreading your funds over a few different options, you can help protect your portfolio from market risks. Financial experts from Life Part 2 suggest that “when investing $100,000, it is important to consider your risk tolerance and investment goals. Diversifying your investment across different asset classes can help you to achieve your investment goals while minimizing your risk”.
For example, if you put all of your funds in one company’s stock, you could be hit with substantial losses if the company suddenly dropped in value. Instead, consider investing a portion of your funds in several different asset types. This can help you maximize growth, and minimize overall risk.
Paying Down Debt
Investing your money is always a great idea, but do you have any outstanding debt before you do so? Debt is something that always hangs over our heads – credit cards, car loans, personal loans, school loans – life can never exactly be stress-free when you owe money to someone or something. Depending on the interest rate, some of the debt grows faster than at which we can keep up. If you have any debt, your best bet is to pay it down before you invest.
Keeping an Emergency Fund
Another smart thing to do with extra money is to set up an emergency fund. Having a nest egg if something unexpected happens – loss of employment, drastic change in income, natural disaster – will help you protect yourself and your family and help you avoid financial blunders in the future. Dave Ramsey provides a great guide on how to build an emergency fund.
Spread Out Your Investments
Instead of investing all of your money at one time, investors utilize a popular strategy called dollar-cost average. This strategy is used to make regular investments over a period of time. Spreading out your investments this way offsets any risk that could accompany buying at a high price. If there is any change in price, you will face less loss.
Minimize Taxes And Fees
Minimizing taxes and fees on your investments is important, as you want as much of your money as possible to be earning compound interest. Fees and taxes take away from this, and over the long run you could be losing a lot of return on your investments simply from paying too many fees and taxes. A tax-advantaged investment account may be a good place to start, which include individual retirement accounts (IRAs) and Traditional IRAs, and Roth IRAs. Roth IRA’s allow you to invest your after tax dollars upfront so that when you withdraw in the future you don’t pay taxes on those funds in retirement. Traditional IRAs are tax-deductible, and allow you to pay the taxes on withdrawals in retirement, usually putting you in a lower tax bracket. This saves you money in the short run and the long run, and allows your full invested amount to grow without any taxes being taken out up front. Two more common accounts that bring tax advantages are Health Savings Accounts and 401k plans. The biggest advantage that all of these accounts have is that they are tax-deferred, meaning you don’t pay taxes on any gains until you withdraw from the account. Each account type does come with its own drawbacks and rules, however, so be sure to do your research before deciding which account is best for you. Also, be mindful of the fees that are associated with any given account type and make sure to factor that in with your final decision.
What Kind Of Investor Are You?
There are multiple ways that you can invest depending of the type of investor you are. If you prefer to do your own research and be heavily involved with the decision-making process for the investments you make, you should consider opening an account with a brokerage. This route will give you access to the information you will need to make informed decisions about your investment options. If you prefer to take a step back and follow a generic investment plan, robo investors are another option. Robo investors invest your money according to your plan and goals while you sit back and watch your money grow. However, they do charge a fee for their services. For investors looking to receive in-depth guidance and a personalized investment plan, consider hiring a financial planner. While financial planners are more expensive than the other options available, they will provide you with an informed and personalized set of recommendations for your investments.
If you’ve come upon 100K of extra cash, consider yourself fortunate. At the end of the day, it is up to you to decide the best way to invest 100K. That’s because every individual’s financial circumstances are so significantly different. Perhaps you’re ready to invest 100K in real estate and start building your property wealth right now. Or, perhaps you’ll choose to diversify and invest a portion in real estate and a portion in other types of investments. Finally, perhaps you’ll decide that you want to finally pay off that grad school loan and build up an emergency fund so that you can ease your mind of stress. The choice is yours, but the good news is that your financial outlook is about to improve significantly.
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The information presented is not intended to be used as the sole basis of any investment decisions, nor should it be construed as advice designed to meet the investment needs of any particular investor. Nothing provided shall constitute financial, tax, legal, or accounting advice or individually tailored investment advice. This information is for educational purposes only.