For a lot of people, the word “investing” is synonymous with the stock market. We imagine green and red stock tickers, busy daytime hours on CNBC, and complex trading platforms where we can manage our portfolios.
We recently wrote about how to successfully start trading online, and for a lot of people many of the tips probably seemed like the quickest and easiest path toward strategic investment. For others the stock market can seem too busy, complicated, or even untrustworthy. If this is how you feel, you aren’t alone. But you should take heart because there are plenty of ways to invest your money without setting up a traditional stock portfolio and we’re going to get into a few of them right here.
Different people think of different things where commodities are concerned. To give you a broad understanding of this market, one article that was arguing for the purchase of commodities pointed to a range of natural resources including oil, wheat, copper, timber, coffee, zinc, and even pork bellies in addition to the more traditional precious metals like gold and silver. Some would even add the digital currency Bitcoin to this list.
Where some of these resources are concerned, you still need to invest through stock in providers or sellers of the products. In other cases, as with Bitcion and precious metals, you can literally purchase the resources themselves and hold onto them, either physically or through an online platform, until decide to sell. These kinds of commodity exchanges are a lot simpler to deal with than entire stock market trading platforms.
Forex trading is the option that is arguably the most similar to traditional stock market investment, but it’s still much less complex in many ways. Chief among them is that trading is made simpler thanks to the low number of major pairs. Eight currency pairs comprise 72 percent of the total volume of the forex market. That’s like saying only eight stocks made up the same percentage of activity in the Nasdaq. It doesn’t make the actual trades any easier to profit on, but it does mean there’s less to keep track of, and that the overall market is a bit less complicated. Trading currency pairs still involves a lot of financial analysis, as well as the ability to handle a trading platform, but it’s easier to wrap your head around than the stock market.
Peer-to-peer lending is another interesting alternative to the stock market but it may carry the most risk of any of these options. It’s something you can arrange independently, but there are also a number of online services that facilitate lending in a hassle-free manner. The idea is to find a borrower you believe in—either an individual in need of funds or a business looking for an influx of cash—and then lend what you can. When all goes well, you’ll be repaid with interest according to a plan you draw up at the beginning. Again, it’s risky, but it’s entirely separate from the stock market, which makes it appealing to a lot of people.
Then here’s real estate investment, which is a little more expensive and more involved than most other beginning financial endeavors, but can pay off in the long run. One point that is often made with regard to real estate when treated as a means of investment is that it should be treated as a business. You won’t do well casually purchasing property and trying to flip it without truly putting in some time and energy. It takes a great deal of practice and skill to recognize opportunities to profit in this market, and to take care of the little things that make for a net gain in transactions. Real estate investment shouldn’t be seen as less complex or less difficult than the stock market, but it is significantly different than the stock market, which might interest some people
These are just a few of the alternatives that are out there. Each one carries the same potential risks and rewards as the stock market but in a different style that you might find suits you better than Wall Street.