Investment Guide

INVESTMENT OPTIONS for 2016 beyond stock market

The stock market isn’t the only option for making worthwhile investments, and since the recession, alternative investments are on the rise. Many see the stock market as too complex or risky, so they seek alternatives that appear more straightforward and secure.
Ultimately, investments come down to a trade-off between risk and payoff. And it is largely accepted that diversifying your portfolio stands to help reduce risk and increase payoff. The best investments, considering the current economic climate, are always up for debate. But it’s essential to recognize that you often cannot predict what the market will look like down the road. Thus, every investment comes with a certain amount of inherent risk. But if you are looking to invest without playing the stock market game, here are some worthy alternatives to consider.

Savings accounts
While you certainly aren’t going to get rich on the interest gained from a savings account, it’s a very secure, low-risk option that will produce a small amount of interest. Particularly if you are a member of a credit union, interest rates may be better than you think.

Real estate
Real estate is attractive to those who prefer to invest in something tangible. If you are knowledgeable about the realities of the housing market, investing in real estate may be a good option. Some choose to purchase income property, which can be used for regular rental income.

Peer-to-peer lending
Peer-to-peer lending is a newly popular investment opportunity, so it should be approached with caution. That said, many investors are seeing decent returns with websites such as Lending Club and Prosper. Essentially, investors lend what could be very small sums to peers, and they pay it back with interest. The risk with peer-to-peer lending is that your loans can go into default, which leaves you at a loss. However, when you decide to invest a certain amount of money with Lending Club or another lending site, you can split up that sum among many borrowers, thereby keeping your portfolio diversified.

Commodities and collectibles
If you are looking to invest in something a little more concrete, there are a number of options besides real estate. Some choose to invest in gold ETFs, so they don’t have to worry about stashing actual gold in the closet. Gold and other commodities can be risky, but there are other options such as wine, art, comic books, and antiques that — for knowledgeable investors — can mean a healthy payoff.