Congratulations, it’s no easy feat to save $10,000. The good news is that you are no longer living paycheck to paycheck. Now the question becomes, what is the best way to invest $10,000, so it can work for you and make you some money?
Pay off your high interest debt
If you have high interest debt, like a credit card, then it can be a good idea to put the money towards that. Many credit cards have interest rates as high as 20% and that’s a pretty good return on your investment to avoid paying those bank fees. I think there is some sort of hesitancy to do this type of thing, because it feels like the money is gone, but if you put the money that you would have put towards the credit card, back into your savings account then it will come back to you, and you will save thousands of dollars. Another thing you can do if you have a hesitancy to pay off the debt is to put 25% of the money towards the credit card, this way you have made progress on that front, but you still have money to invest.
High yield bank account
If you think you are going to need the money quickly and need a safe place to put it then you could put the money in a high yield savings account.
Five higher yield savings accounts
Live Oak Bank – %60 APY
Vio Bank – %57 APY
Quontic Bank – %55 APY
Ally Bank – %50 APY
Marcus by Goldman Sachs – %50 APY
Having the money in one of these accounts is great, but you’re not making much money, for the most part you are keeping up with inflation and preventing your money from deflating away. If you are willing to jump through some hoops then, you can sign up for a high interest checking account and make 3-4% APY. They typically have limits on how much money you can earn, and they require you to use their debit card a certain number of times a month.
Five higher yield checking accounts
La Capitol Federal Credit Union – 4.25% APY on balances up to $3,000. 2.00% APY on balances up to $10,000
Consumers Credit Union – 4.09% APY on balances up to $10,000
Evansville Teachers Federal Credit Union – 3.30% APY on balances up to $20,000
Market USA Federal Credit Union – 3.01% APY on balances up to $15,000
Lake Michigan Credit Union – 3.00% APY on balances up to $15,000
It’s possible that you can find a house cheap enough to use the 10k as a down payment, but realistically, you are going to need more money. However, that does not have to stop you from investing in real estate. Here are some ways you can get in on the action without actually owning a property:
REITs – These allow investors to pool their money into real estate investments and receive profits through dividends. You can buy them through your stockbroker. Here is a list of top REITs to own, if you are interested in learning more.
Fundrise – Fundrise invests in residential properties. For many years, they have had high yearly returns of 8.76% to12.42%. You can choose between an investment style that prioritizes cashflow and another that prioritizes growth. The downside of Fundrise is that you cannot withdraw your money without a penalty for 5 years, so you are locked in. In a real estate crash, they could actually keep you from withdrawing your money as well. The benefit over a REIT is that it is much less correlated with the stock market, so it’s a great way to diversify and level out stock market crashes.
Realty Mogul – They allow you to invest in REITs that are not publicly traded. The initial investment needed would be $5,000, and you can withdraw your money without penalty after 3 years. Their returns have been around 4.5% to 8% annualized. This is a great review of Realty Mogul if you are interested in learning more.
The stock market
The stock market can be a great way to make money and there are different styles for all investors, depending on the amount of time they want to commit and the level of risk they are willing to assume.
Robo-investing turns your money over to an algorithm, that picks a mix of investments for you based on your risk tolerance. They are typically much cheaper than using an investment account managed by a human and when done right can greatly outperform a typical savings account. Lastly, they don’t require personal time from the user to manage the investments.
SoFi – No management feeds. Automatic rebalancing. Doesn’t support tax loss harvesting.
Betterment – Low investment fees. No account minimums.
Ellevest – Geared towards women. No account minimums. Goals focused. No tax loss harvesting.
Wealthfront – Low expense rations. Tax lost harvesting. Automatic rebalancing. Does not support fractional shares.
This is a bit more hands on then robo-investing. Here you are buying a mix of stocks. You might buy an ETF that contains stocks that have a high dividend return or an ETF for stocks that benchmark the SP500.
These are companies that are experiencing how levels of revenue growth, year over year. Stocks are tied to earning and if you get in on a growth stock, you can really see a great return on investment.
One of the biggest growth stock combos of recent times has been the FAANG + T stocks (Tesla, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, Google and Tesla).
These are high risk stocks that can experience 10x growth in a short period of time. If your interested in learning more, here are some criteria for picking a good penny stock.
Invest in yourself
Go back to school
If you pick the right degree, then going back to school can really pay off. You likely could only afford an associates degree from a community college with 10k, but it could also get you started on a bachelors degree. I did this myself, and even though I was still in the process of taking classes, just being able to put on my resume that I was pursing the degree helped get my foot in the door.
Buy an online course
Learning a new skill can be one of the best investments. This is especially true if that skill will help bring in money. Another type of course that can be worth it is a class that focuses on mindset. Oftentimes, 90% of what holds people back from successful is mental.
If you are not investing in your 401k enough to get the employer match then you are throwing away a lot of money. The employer match will often be 50% to 100% of your money, and it’s also before taxes. A 401k can be a great way to multiply your money.
Start a Business
Amazon is a great opportunity for starting a business. 80% of being successful in business is finding customers. With Amazon, they will bring the customers to you, and you can focus on creating an excellent product, which is a lot more fun. You can learn more about this opportunity at their Seller Central homepage.
If you have a niche you are passionate about, a blog can be a great business to start. Keep in mind, that it can take a while for traffic to come in and it could be 9-12 months before you are seeing any real money from your investment.
I tend to focus on online business, because they have lower startup costs and high upside, but there is nothing wrong with starting a local business as well.
Bitcoin and altcoins
You could invest money into Bitcoin and other altcoins. Bitcoin is more stable, but has less upside potential than some altcoins. With altcoins, you have a higher risk of losing all of your money.
The most stable altcoin right now is Ethereum and some people think it might actually surpass Bitcoin in value, in the near future.
Crypto banks store crypto then loan it out for a profit and pass some money on to the person who is storing crypto at their location. For example if you deposit your Bitcoin into Nexo they will pay you 6% annually to hold it. Bitcoin is a bit more of a speculative investment for an emergency fund and the volatility is more than people could typically stomach. An alternative you can do to Bitcoin are stable coins. In particular if you buy USD Coin it is backed by dollars and its value does not fluctuate, it’s always worth $1. The interest rates on USD Coin you can get can be upwards of 10%. There are 3 big players in this space right now:
BlockFi – 8.6% interest on USD Coin.
Nexo – 10% on USC Coin.
Celsius – 10.51% on USC Coin. Use referral code 102635c86a to get $40 in BTC.
What would I invest in?
If I thought I would need the money for a near term purchase, I would likely put it into a high yield savings and a small portion in crypto banks.
If I did not think that I needed the money anytime soon, I would invest in a growth stock like Apple. Had you invested 10k in Apple 10 years ago, you would have $107,544, so you can see that the money would multiply quickly. This is a winning strategy in almost all cases and pretty low risk, a company like Apple is not going out of business anytime soon.
If the 10k, was easily replaced, meaning you were having a 10k surplus every 3 months, I would consider investing in a penny stock or an altcoin. The risk is higher, but if you take the time to learn both of these fields the return could be significantly higher.