Five Alternative Investment Opportunities in 2019

If you’ve thought about investing before, but more traditional investments like stocks and bonds don’t appeal to you, there may be options that are a better fit. Alternative investment opportunities might give you better returns or let you invest smaller amounts to take less risk early on. They might even help you better diversify traditional investments you already have. Here are five alternative investments you should consider.

Peer-to-Peer Investments

Peer-to-peer investments are when you give personal loans to another individual without banks acting as a middleman. These investments can be large, but depending on the platform you invest through you might be able to make micro-investments—as little as $25 through platforms like Prosper where loans can be crowdfunded. This may be a good place to start if you’ve never invested before.

Cryptocurrency Investments

Cryptocurrency investing has gained popularity in recent years thanks to the visibility of Bitcoin. But there are numerous other “altcoins” you can trade such as Ethereum, Litecoin, and Ripple.

These are digital assets that can be traded similarly to stocks, used for payments between individuals, or used to pay businesses accepting them. They serve as decentralized currencies built on blockchain technology, which means there’s no central authority such as a government or banking system controlling value or supply.

Tax Lien Investments

When a property owner fails to pay taxes on that property, the municipality can place a lien on it. They then issue a tax lien certificate, which is auctioned off to private parties who pay off the lien amount and then collect that amount, plus interest, from the property owner.

While most property owners settle this debt and the investor profits by earning interest, if they fail to satisfy the repayment terms, the lien holder might have claim to the property itself.

A perk of tax lien investing is that they often come with high interest rates. If you wanted to invest in a Mississippi tax lien, for example, you would see an 18% annual return with the amount invested due to be repaid within two years. This amount varies from one state to another.

Personal Small Business / Private Equity Investments

Another alternative investment is to put your money behind a small business, either your own or someone else’s. If you have a profitable product or service to sell, investing in your own business can be a smart option. If you aren’t interested in going into business for yourself, consider privately investing in a family member or friend’s business for equity in the business, or invest in start-ups through an equity crowdfunding platform like SeedInvest.

Real Asset Investments

Real asset investing deals with physical assets rather than financial ones. This might include investing in art, jewelry, precious metals, or even land and real estate. You purchase these things—assets—in the hope their value will increase later. Real asset investing can be a longer-term option if you don’t need high liquidity in your assets. If you’ll need cash quickly, financial assets will be a safer bet.

Whether you’re new to investing or already have a strong portfolio, and whether you have a lot of money to invest or just a little, there are plenty of alternative investment opportunities available. One of these might be your ticket to higher returns.

Illustration: Freepik

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