There are certain milestones in all of our lives that we seek to achieve. One of the biggest ones is landing a job that pays you six-figures per year. With six-figures, you have a lot more room in your budget to pay for necessities and even splurge a little extra on some things that you don’t need but would greatly appreciate in your life. Now, imagine if you could take that potential of having six figures and transferring it over to your investment journey. $100,000 can do a lot when it’s applied the right way.
Every investor needs a little guidance, and this list will help you determine which investments may be the right fit for your $100,000 budget so that you can get the most out of the money that you’re putting into various vehicles. If you’re ready to save for the future and watch your money work for you, here is how to invest $100,000 that will help you focus on both short-term and long-term investment opportunities for comprehensive results.
10 Ways to Invest $100,000
1. As Always, Make Sure That You Start Your Journey With These Fundamental Investment Tools
No matter who you are or how much money you make, there are always a specific set of investments that you should be putting your money into if you’re looking to create a more stable investment portfolio and avoid losing your money over time. Although we do touch on these in each and every guide, let’s go over these fundamental tools for those who may have not read our previous suggestions.
Start By Taking Care of Any Debt and Building an Emergency Fund
There’s a common misconception that a greater income results in having less financial stress. True, while bringing in more money can absolutely make it easier to afford the necessities in life, many forget what it takes to land higher-paying incomes. One survey conducted by Willis Tower Watson discovered that, out of an 8,000-person sample group, 18 percent of workers making at least six-figures were still living paycheck-to-paycheck.
Why? In order to generate this type of income, most will have to pursue higher levels of education at prestigious state schools (which can result in overwhelming debt), move closer to inner cities where the cost of living is much higher, and, for some, try to pursue the lifestyles of those around them in order to reap the social rewards and move up the corporate latter.
While investing can seem like the best way to move up and out of this paycheck-to-paycheck lifestyle, the truth is that the most important thing to take care of are any defaulted loans and debts that are continuing to build as interest does. You may not be able to tackle all of your debt, but with the right payment strategy, you can begin taking care of some of the most pressing debts you owe so that you can start working towards financial freedom.
As someone who may be struggling to afford their necessities, another important item to focus on is developing an emergency fund. The coverage that an emergency fund will be able to provide will depend on your needs, but it’s best to create a fund that will help you afford at least a couple of months of expenses in the event of an emergency. Don’t think it’s necessary? Just look at what Covid-19 did to many individuals.
Investing can sound pressing, and it is crucial to your retirement strategy and financial security. However, if you haven’t taken care of the most important items like paying off any debt you have and having savings in a high-yield savings account that you can tap into when you need it most, these take precedence over any of the suggestions that we make below.
Don’t Forget About Your Family!
When investing, it’s easy to have your mind focused solely on profits, but there are plenty of ways that you can invest in your family’s well-being if you want to see them thrive in the future. If you have children, you can invest in a 529 savings plan (either a prepaid tuition plan that helps you lock in current tuition rates or a college savings plan that works similarly to a retirement account) so that they have the resources necessary to get the education they want in the future.
Interested in helping them learn financial independence? Another idea is to start a savings account for them and make direct deposits yourself or allow them to save by using birthday or Christmas money or even paying them to do chores around the house. If you have your own business, you may even be able to pay them through your business (up to a certain amount per year) so that they can start learning how to manage their money. Then, once they’re old enough, you can open up a checking account with their own debit card so they can start learning smart financial skills.
Individual investments are important, but investments that benefit the collective family unit can go a long way as well. Consider some of the ideas here if you want to keep your family secured financially in the future!
These Are Some of the Best Tools to Help You Get Started
Finally, we come to some of the main investments that you’ll want to consider as you look forward to retirement and beyond. Some of these may be well-known to you while others may be new concepts. Either way, a few of the financial vehicles that you will want to analyze further for your investment journey include:
- Individual Stocks: Choosing to invest in individual stocks gives you the ability to put your funds into high-performing dividend stocks that churn out consistent monthly or quarterly income as well as stocks that have the potential to rise in value in the future. Making sure to diversify your stock picks will help to reduce risk, but as long as you do your research and look for the best options for your needs, you can easily get started by signing up with brokerages like Merrill, E-Trade, or TD Ameritrade.
- Mutual Funds or Exchange-Traded Funds: Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) are collections of securities that typically track a specific index like the S&P 500. These types of funds are the easiest to dive into and are less expensive than other options. As with buying individual stocks, you can invest in ETFs with brokerages like those offered above. Mutual funds, on the other hand, are funds formed by pooling your money together with other investors, which allows you to receive shares of the basket of securities that you’re investing in. These funds are managed by fund managers, so they’re a bit more expensive than ETFs. The level of risk that you experience when you decide to invest in either of these funds depends on the focus of your fund choice. Make sure to look at and understand all fund options before you join as not every fund is built the same.
- Certificates of Deposit: A certificate of deposit (CD) is a loan that you give to a bank in order to allow them to use the money for their business operations. In return, they promise to pay a fixed interest rate over the loan term so that you are incentivized to engage in these investments. The interest rates of CDs will vary from bank to bank, so you will want to shop around to find the highest rate possible in order to get the most from giving a loan to the institution. You can also earn more steadily by building CD ladders, which are formed by entering multiple CDs with different maturity periods so that you are paid out at predetermined times.
- Bonds, Bills, Notes, and TIPS: Bonds are loans that are given to the government (or companies, in the case of corporate bonds) and offer a fixed interest rate that accumulates and is paid out at the time the loan matures. Bonds will typically take decades to mature, so it can be helpful to invest in bills and notes, which will generally mature in a matter of years. TIPS are also another instrument worth looking into as these forms of bonds are designed to adjust to inflation to protect your investment. Given that some bonds can often result in negative profits, this is something to keep in mind if you’re looking to invest in any of the above recommendations.
More traditional investment ideas aren’t as exciting as some alternative investment types you’ll find in our guide. However, when it comes to setting up a more stable future, these are the best instruments at your disposal that will allow you to get the job done effectively.
2. Pay for College or Graduate Education
A lot of people have been disillusioned by the college experience, which is partly due to the fact that some people with a college degree have difficulty landing a job while others are simply overwhelmed by the massive student loan debt that they still have to pay off. But even if you hear that college isn’t worth your time, is this actually true?
The answer depends on what your career aspirations are. There are plenty of career paths that will allow you to get started or even advance to higher roles without needing a Bachelor’s degree to get there. That being said, there are a number of roles that will require you to have a college degree if you’re even thinking of landing that position. For example, engineers, nurses, and therapists are all great examples of the value of college education. Without your degree, you’d have to settle on working in an entirely different industry, and you’d run the risk of never being able to advance without the proper education and experience.
Set aside some time to think to yourself, where is it that I want to be? Whether you have gone to college in the past and haven’t completed your credits or haven’t made the decision to go yet, $100,000 is plenty of money to help you cover your tuition and beyond. If you’re really serious about being frugal while you’re attending university, you can save a great deal of money by deciding to knock out your general education requirements at a two-year community college and transferring over to a four year once these prerequisites have been met.
Perhaps, you’re someone who does have a Bachelor’s degree but feels that it would be beneficial to pursue higher education in order to advance in your industry. Let’s imagine, for example, that you’re a manager for a medium-sized business and you’re looking to shoot up to an executive role. Using your money to pursue a Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) can give you the skills and support that you need to be taken seriously as a candidate (specific programs like this can cost anywhere from $50,000 to $80,000 and a couple of years to complete).
Often, the biggest deterrent to pursuing your education is the cost of attending a university and the risk of not being hired in the future. However, if you already have access to the funds you need to cover most, if not all, of your tuition and believe that a degree would be extremely beneficial in helping you move forward in your career or even giving you what you need to start your own business, this is one investment that will continue to pay off for years to come if you play your cards right and do what you need to do in order to be an expert in your chosen industry!
3. Consider Purchasing a Permanent Life Insurance Policy
Another form of protection that we have yet to touch upon is life insurance. This is due to the fact that buying life insurance can be quite tricky, especially from an investment standpoint. Life insurance will come in two different policy forms: term life insurance and permanent life insurance. Term life insurance offers coverage for 20 to 30 years and acts much like any other form of insurance, allowing you to pay premiums so that your family will receive death benefits in the event that something should happen to you.
The biggest problem with term life insurance as an investment is that, should your coverage end, you receive none of what you’ve been paying for as a result. It can provide you with peace of mind for that brief period, but beyond that, there are limited benefits when you choose term life insurance.
For investors who are serious about their future and believe that life insurance will be the right fit for them, choosing a permanent life insurance policy is a much better option. A permanent life insurance policy is one that continues to offer coverage for as long as you pay your premiums. The advantage, however, is that these policies offer tax benefits like not having to pay taxes on your investment until you use the cash-value aspects of your policy agreement, the ability to accelerate your death benefits in the event that you’re facing a life-threatening illness, and the potential to borrow against your policy, surrender it for a lump sum of cash, or even make small withdrawals out of it when you need it most.
As you can see in the above comparison, a permanent life insurance policy offers you much more potential if you’re looking to be savvy about the way you’re investing your $100,000. If you’re looking to protect your family as well as your assets, consider making life insurance one of your next investment moves.
4. On the Other End of the Spectrum, Look Into Purchasing Viatical Settlements As a Way to Invest
Interestingly enough, investing in your own life insurance policy isn’t the only way that you can make money off of these instruments. Another alternative investment opportunity worth pursuing is something known as a viatical settlement.
The concept can be quite morbid to some, so this idea may not be right for everyone. However, it can be nice to know that it’s an option, whether you’re looking to invest in it or on the other side of it and wish to sell. When individuals have a terminal illness and limited funds to pay for their medical expenses and other essentials, they can sell their life insurance policy to a third party in order to make more than what they would receive from their cash surrender value. These types of sales are recommended as a last resort, but they can be helpful in reducing financial stress and improving their overall quality of life in the meantime?
But what does this mean for investors? Those who invest in viatical settlements are looking for individuals interested in selling their life insurance policy who have a short life expectancy. Why? When you invest in these policies, you are responsible for paying the premiums until the individual passes and the death benefit is paid out to you. The longer you have to pay premiums and take on the responsibility of the individual’s life insurance policy, the less potential you have to make money (or you may even end up losing money altogether should the person live).
Viatical settlements come with their advantages and disadvantages, but for some, it may be their only way out. If you’re interested in investing in these policies, reach out to your state insurance commissioner to learn more about who is licensed in your state to sell these to you or even do independent research to see if you can find companies that are perfect for your own situation.
5. Join Elon Musk and the Rest of the World With Cryptocurrency Investments
As you read through our guides, you’ll most likely see a trend when it comes to this recommendation, and that’s that the interest and prices of crypto appear to be on the rise. At the time of writing, Bitcoin is at an all-time high, with each coin selling for around $47,000 and minor coins like Dogecoin (a meme coin developed in 2013) even making a comeback.
Cryptocurrency can be elusive and mysterious to most investors, but the truth is that a little education can go a long way in making these types of assets feel more accessible to anyone. Cryptocurrency, digital currency that’s built upon cryptographic functions, was designed to develop a currency that did not require the use of a bank. Take, for example, Bitcoin. Bitcoin runs on blockchain technology that developed a decentralized system where you, the user, can completely own your currency and transfer it as you wish without having to deal with problems like long transfer times, high transaction fees, or even the potential of the bank freezing your account. Bitcoin truly put control into the user’s hands, which is why it became such a popular asset and more and more coins began to be developed.
Now, Bitcoin is wildly popular, and there are thousands upon thousands of alternative coins (altcoins) out there that you can invest your time and money into. But why would you? Cryptocurrencies are often valued not only because of their potential in the decentralized finance space but because of their volatility. Crypto can rise tens, hundreds, or thousands of dollars in price in a matter of days (especially since the crypto market operates 24/7). If you invest in an asset with potential when it’s just been released or during a time when it’s experiencing massive gains, you can easily make a great deal of money in the process. Of course, this same volatility is what has cost many others their life savings, which is why it’s so important to do your due diligence and understand the market before you decide to begin investing in these assets (or in any new projects you may have come across).
Let’s Talk About Crypto Commodities
As crypto evolved and more people began finding new ways to use blockchain technology, new types of crypto like crypto commodities started making their way into the market.
Crypto commodities are digital assets that are designed to represent real-world or virtual currencies. Some examples of crypto commodities that you may have already seen include crypto that is backed by gold, crypto that allows you to invest in real estate (with each token representing a piece of real estate available through the company you’re working with), or crypto-backed by clean energy.
Crypto commodities would, technically, inherently be less volatile than normal cryptocurrency as the physical assets they’re tied to don’t have the same speculative value that crypto does. Another option? Crypto collectibles. Crypto collectibles act very much like real collectibles, with the exception that they’re purchased and stored online (unless your crypto is tied to physical items like artwork). One excellent example of this is CryptoKitties, an online asset that allows you to breed and collect digital cats that you can hold and sell to other players.
More games like this have evolved and there is definitely an interest in these types of collectibles, but these may be riskier than commodities that already have a strong demand. If you’re more interested in these types of experimental options, you should consider this market as well!
Whatever your degree of interest in cryptocurrencies, some crypto exchanges that you can sign up with to get started include:
- Coinbase (This crypto exchange has an earnings program where you can learn about new cryptocurrencies and earn a bit of your own in exchange for answering questions. You’ll also find that you can hold certain crypto and receive interest in return, which is something that you can do on many platforms as well.)
- Coinmarketcap (This is not an exchange, but it can point you to exchanges that you may need to sign up with to trade certain assets and offers an earning program similar to Coinbase’s.)
6. $100,000 Is Plenty of Money to Start a Business or Pursue a Dream
Remote work has become the new norm amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. This is partially due to the fact that many companies don’t want to risk the spread of the virus within their own organization and partially due to the fact that many have begun finding their own work from home as a way to make money in the face of job loss. Of course, many may only be putting their focus on business opportunities they can start at home with minimum savings.
However, with $100,000 at your disposal, there are plenty of opportunities that you can start on your own and support until it starts seeing the profitability you need to pay yourself.
- Create Your Own Software and Launch a Startup: Tech is always a great industry to look towards as you can make a substantial profit developing products or services that others need in their day-to-day lives. If you have programming experience or are willing to pay a team to help bring your vision to life, one way to make money is to develop your solution and launch a startup that you can build upon and grow over time. Although the industry is competitive, the right idea can take you a long way.
- Start Your Own Online Store: E-commerce is another profitable idea that has helped others grow their wealth exponentially. Dropshipping takes far less money than starting your own store either sourcing wholesale products or starting your own product line, but the latter gives you greater control over the direction of your business and the overall quality of your products. If you’re someone who’s always dreamed of owning their own online store (or may even want to expand to a retail location in the future), this can be an excellent way to grow your wealth with relative ease as there are plenty of resources out there to help you get started.
- Work on a Book or Similar Creative Project: Many recommend working on creative projects like e-books or online courses as a way to not only make money in the short-term but over time through passive income. The problem? The amount of work that you put into it can be quite substantial, especially if you plan on writing something more experimental like a novel. Rather than focusing on using your money solely for business operations, consider also using some of it to support yourself while you’re taking time away to work on this project. Although this could be considered more of a self-investment, it may just pay off once the work is done!
- Consider Investing in One of These Franchises: It’s important to remember that deciding to open your own small business, whether that be a restaurant or a bookstore, is one great use of your money if you have the business experience. However, getting your business off the ground and recognized locally or nationally is the hardest part of the process. Instead, you may want to look into opening up your own franchise location instead. This gives you the power of the brand name you’re opening up your business for. $100,000 is a substantial investment, so you can expect to see even better brands with this amount of money. If this interests you, here’s a list of franchises under $100,000 that can help you get started.
- Launch a High-End Brand of Products: Luxury costs the buyer, but it also may be quite expensive to produce. Are you a fan of high-end automobiles, fashion, or even furniture? Although you may require more money in the future, using $100,000 to start your own luxury brand for your favorite goods can help you tap into a market that is willing to pay more for the quality that you’re offering them.
- Change the World With a Sustainable Brand of Your Own: Sustainable brands make a splash because they resonate with an audience that’s looking to buy responsibly. Take, for example, brands like Thrive Market. This online food store has made quite the impression and comes with many benefits by making the decision to buy with them that not only apply to the customers. But why haven’t we included starting a sustainable brand in any of our other guides? Sustainable brands can be expensive to start and operate, which means you’ll likely need more money if you want to launch a responsible company. However, once you gain the traction you need, it’s worth it for everyone involved.
There’s a lot of learning and self-investing that goes into starting your own business. But if you’re willing to make the leap, you can use a few of the awesome ideas listed above as inspiration.
7. Invest in Other Businesses or Individuals
The deeper you dive into the world of investing, the more creative and exciting the investment opportunities become. One option that is especially appealing to individuals with plenty of investment income to tap into is investing in other businesses or individuals.
Starting with one of the most accessible ideas, you can grow your wealth through something known as peer-to-peer lending. Peer-to-peer lending allows you to grow your money by pooling it with other investors and lending it to individuals who may be looking for a loan and can’t receive it through traditional lending channels. Although these opportunities may be higher-risk (depending upon the individuals whom you choose to lend money to), the interest rates make it worth it as you receive growth on your invested capital.
Meanwhile, equity investing is designed to help you make money by investing in businesses that have yet to produce a product or profit (although you believe that their future production will inevitably be worth putting your money into their company). These types of investments also come with a great deal of risk as you never know whether or not a startup will achieve the growth needed to become profitable. However, the rewards can be just as great. Some platforms worth looking into if you believe that investing in businesses is a better route include AngelList, CircleUp, and SeedInvest.
Due diligence is required for both of these suggestions before you get started as the risk far outweighs the potential when it comes to investing in individuals or startups.
8. Invest in Whole Properties or Through Syndications
When it comes to the best bang for your buck, real estate is always a great investment to consider. The thing about real estate is that, as long as you invest in places of value, there’s always going to be a demand for it as someone needs a place to live. With that in mind, the types of investment opportunities that you choose will play a role in how successful your investments end up being.
One choice you have is to invest in whole properties like single-family homes. Single-family homes are greater properties to consider as they’re often more affordable than apartment buildings, meaning that you can easily purchase the property outright (if possible) or get a mortgage for your home to help you land the property. Many homes will require a bit of remodeling before it’s in the best shape possible, at which point you can either choose to flip it at a price greater than your total investment and renovations or rent it out for consistent income over time.
Each of these comes with advantages and disadvantages. If you choose to flip a house, there’s no telling when you will find an interested buyer or if you can overcome certain factors against you that are out of your control. If you make the decision to rent, you have to brush up extensively on your own rights as well as the tenant’s rights and prepare for that process. Should you not be able to find a tenant or should you go long periods between tenants, you run the risk of completely losing that income that you rely on until you can fill that empty property.
Another excellent option is to consider investing in real estate with other individuals, which is known as the syndication model. To understand how this works, think of a piece of property as though it were a company. When you pool your money with other interested investors, you then receive equity in return, which means that you’re getting a stake in said property and receiving a portion of those earnings over the period in which the property is being rented out as well as when it’s sold. This is a bit different than another avenue, which is real estate crowdfunding, where you may receive profits in equity or in loan repayments
When it comes to real estate syndication, arguably the best form of this is when you’re investing in apartment buildings. This is due to the fact that apartment buildings don’t face the same issues as single-family homes and, the larger the apartment building, the more income is flowing through these properties, especially if the syndication should decide to sell it for a great deal of money at some point in the future. Syndications are a bit more difficult to get into as you may need the connections to find the right ones to begin investing in (side note: apartment syndications can often be accessed with as little as $50,000 if you really want to kickstart your investing journey and diversify your portfolio). However, with a bit of research and outreach, you should find an opportunity willing to take your money to purchase the desired property.
Both options can offer you the recurring or active income that you’re looking for, but both processes are extremely detailed and must be fully understood before you decide to engage in either opportunity. Scams abound in crowdfunding and flipping a home or preparing to rent it out may not be as easy as it seems. If these lucrative real estate opportunities appeal to you, find the right support to help you understand how to get from point A to point B in either scenario so that you’re not putting your $100,000 at stake.
9. Take Property to the Next Level With These Types of Alternative Assets
Owning property can be exciting, especially in the cases above where you either rent or flip single-family homes or even invest in apartment syndications to receive passive income that helps you afford your basic necessities. Of course, when it comes to property, whether that be a physical house, land, or something else that you can own and hold, not everything is so cut and dry. There are plenty of alternative investments worth looking into that can help you develop lucrative short-term and long-term investment options.
But where do you get started? Here are a few alternative asset types you may find yourself interested in at your current investment level.
- Raw Land: Land is limited, which means that, when there is a demand for it, people are willing to pay what they must in order to create the structures that they need to. Investing in raw land can be tricky as you’ll need to focus on areas where others plan on developing or finding those who simply need to rent for a specific period over time. However, with the right strategy, this can be a great way to earn passive income or make a quick profit.
- Artwork: You don’t need to look further than well-known museums to understand just how valuable certain pieces of artwork can be to collectors. This won’t necessarily be an investment worth putting tons of money into as it’s not as fluid as most investments. However, it can serve as a way to hedge against volatility and ensure that the value of your investment doesn’t depreciate greatly over time.
- Farmland: Farmland can be even more valuable than raw land as we rely on it to grow the food that we put on the table. You can use platforms like AcreTrader and FarmTogether to start investing in these types of properties and receive recurring income in return for your capital.
- Collectibles: This falls into the same vein as artwork, with the exception that collectibles are a bit more volatile as you never know when they’ll fall out of favor. If you are considering investing in collectibles, it’s best to do so with the goal of finding stuff that you love and hoping that they retain their value over time. Otherwise, you can end up with a massive supply of goods that are far less than what you initially paid for them.
- Marine Properties: Certain aquatic properties are rarely considered as investment properties but can also be another route to consider when you want to diversify your portfolio. You can use platforms like Yieldstreet to find investment opportunities like this.
- Wine: Wine enthusiasts are very serious about the bottles that they purchase, and companies can make a great deal of money catering to the needs of this audience. Vinovest is arguably one of the best platforms to use if you want to diversify your portfolio with these delicious options.
Alternative investments span a massive amount of instruments that fall outside of the traditional investment portfolio. If you want to experience true diversification, look to some of the suggestions that we mentioned above.
10. Use Your Money to Do Good While Also Reaping the Tax Benefits of Your Actions
Preserving your wealth is sometimes as important as growing your wealth, and one suggestion that we make on here that isn’t necessarily an investment but is still a great way to do good and protect your finances is investing in charity.
Investing in charity not only helps you use your wealth for a helpful cause but experience tax breaks in the process that reduce how much you’ll have to pay in taxes that year. Looking to get a bigger deduction? You can actually donate appreciated property like stocks to avoid paying income tax on these items, which benefits both you and your chosen charity.
The goal of investing is to grow your wealth. But like every step of your financial journey, picking up on helpful tips that help you become more financially successful is the overall goal. Top your investment strategy with charitable donations to create a strategy that has a greater impact on your financial wellness!
Start Your Investment Journey Now!
Setting aside $100,000 to invest comes with a great deal of responsibility. Fortunately, you have plenty of options at your disposal to consider and allocate your funds towards for a more diverse portfolio. Whether you’re just starting your journey or are looking for new ways to use your money and grow your wealth, the guide above will direct you towards some of the best investment ideas for your investment level. With the right strategy, you’re well on your way towards financial success!