Here at Do Not Save Money, we believe that all money should be invested or spent, but never saved. When most people think of investing, their mind usually jumps to buying index funds that track the S&P 500. While this is definitely a great place to park your money, it’s far from the only option. In fact, there are dozens of other places where you can earn a financial return.
Let’s take a look at 26 other places where you can invest your money instead of the stock market.
Real estate is a great option when it comes to investing money because you can earn a return in two ways. First, by renting your property to others. Second, through the appreciation of the land. However, buying your own property can be a little intimidating if you’ve never done it before. Luckily, the following platforms make it much easier to get started investing in real estate.
Residential real estate investment platforms
Roofstock is a global marketplace where buying a property is as easy as buying a share of stock. They focus mainly on residential properties and have processed $5 billion in total transactions.
Fundrise is a company that owns a portfolio of properties that investors can buy shares in. Fundrise currently has 300,000 investors and is open to anyone over 18 (no accreditation required).
DiversifyFund operates similarly to Fundrise except it focuses on multifamily properties. Using DiversifyFund, you can invest in their portfolio of properties and earn passive income via dividends.
Peerstreet is a two-sided marketplace for investing in real estate debt. You can browse properties and filter by yield, term, and LTV ratios. Its marketplace consists of both residential and multifamily properties.
Modiv owns a portfolio of income-producing, single-tenant properties. It seeks to provide monthly dividends to investors that are interested in passive income.
RealtyMogul lets you invest in institutional-quality multifamily, office, retail, and commercial real estate deals in dozens of markets across the country. A big perk of using RealtyMogul is that it lets you filter based on your investment interests (passive income, capital preservation, growth, etc).
1031 Exchange Investing is a platform that focuses specifically on properties approved for 1031 exchanges.
Commercial real estate platforms
Crowdstreet is a platform that lets investors get access to commercial real estate properties. It was founded in the wake of the 2008 recession but has more than $3.41 billion invested in 656 projects.
Concreit is a commercial real estate investment site that pays dividends weekly. Its mission is to make investing in income-producing real estate more accessible.
Cadre’s platform is used by both professional money managers as well as individual investors. It gives both parties access to real estate funds and deal-by-deal offerings.
Streitwise manages a tax-advantaged portfolio of commercial real estate assets. It also boasts 21 straight quarters of averaging 9.2% annualized returns.
Farmland real estate platforms
Acretrader gives investors access to investments in land that’s used exclusively for farming. This asset class is typically ignored by most investors but is known to generate an 11% return annually.
Harvest Returns is another platform that lets you invest in farmland and agribusiness.
Investing in businesses
After real estate, another profitable place to invest money is in a business. This is typically done by either starting your own venture or buying stock in public companies. With that said, there are plenty of other ways to invest in businesses if you don’t want to buy stock.
Here are a few ways that you can invest in local businesses:
Nextseed (AKA Republic Local) allows you to invest in “main street” businesses all over the U.S. In other words, you can invest in small businesses through either term notes or revenue sharing notes.
SeedInvest allows retail investors to invest in startup companies, an asset class that has traditionally been reserved for accredited investors. Notably, Heliogeo (a SeedInvest company) just went public at a $2 billion valuation.
OurCrowd is another platform that lets you invest in startups. It has funded 17,000 companies and currently has 215,000 investors on its platform.
WeFunder is a startup investment marketplace that lists pretty much every type of business (“from coffee shops to flying cars”, as they put it). You can also get started investing with as little as $100.
MicroVentures is a platform that offers equity investing in startups as well as a secondary market for trading those shares. It currently has approximately 900 investment opportunities.
Investing in alternative assets
After real estate and businesses, you can also invest in alternative assets. Alternative assets are assets that do not fit into conventional categories. Here are a few platforms that allow you to do this.
Royalty Exchange allows you to buy and sell music, film, and art copyrights. For example, on Royalty Exchange, you can buy the rights to things like Empire State of Mind (Jay Z), Trading Places, or the music from the Shrek franchise.
Masterworks is democratizing the investment market for fine art. Traditionally, fine artwork is only available to the very wealthy. However, by buying and securitizing famous pieces, Masterworks is opening up this asset class to everyone.
Investing in Peer-to-Peer Lending
There’s a chance that you’ve visited a P2P site before to apply for a loan. But, did you know that you can also use these sites to invest in people’s personal debt?
Prosper offers a two-way marketplace for peer-to-peer lending. This means that loan seekers can apply for fixed-rate short-term loans or between $2,000-40,000 and investors can invest in these loans and earn attractive returns.
StreetShares is a peer-to-peer lending service that focuses on small businesses.
Kiva is a nonprofit lending service that seeks to support entrepreneurs fighting for social causes (education, refugees, COVID-19, etc). It crowdfunds money for these entrepreneurs and then the investors receive interest on their loans.
Investing in cryptocurrency and NFTs
Finally, there are dozens of ways that you can invest money into digital assets. This is such a broad topic that it would really require its own article. However, we will touch on three of the best ways to invest in cryptocurrency and NFTs.
Coinbase and Crypto.com are two of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges. You can use these platforms to instantly buy Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Dogecoin, and a number of other cryptocurrencies. Additionally, Coinbase is a publicly-traded company. This means that you can also buy stock directly in Coinbase and share in the success of their business.
OpenSea is the largest marketplace for buying and selling non-fungible tokens (NFTs). NFTs are still a very unproven asset class. Just like cryptocurrencies, their prices are known to fluctuate rapidly in value.
Keep in mind that both cryptocurrencies and NFTs are highly volatile and speculative. You should only ever invest in either of these asset classes with money that you can afford to lose.
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