If you’re looking to make money on the side, you could try consulting or working at a local cafe for a little side income.
Or you could try investing, which could make you money in your sleep. This doesn’t mean you need a lot of cash or a huge time commitment. There are many forms of investing that require little of both with excellent returns. If you’re in the market for a little extra cash on the side, here are some excellent investment side hustles to try.
1. Rental Properties
Rental properties are considered to be among the best forms of real estate investing. They offer higher leverage, multiple profit streams, higher ROI, great tax benefits, and they’re relatively easy to maintain.
“Real estate investing is one of the most stable and profitable investment pursuits you can do,” says an article from the real estate team at Green Residential. “You have solid equity that can be used to maximize your earnings, and the housing market is typically more stable than the stock market.”
You can choose your form of rental property, be it residential or commercial, but both have the potential to bring you high returns with little effort, especially if you hire a property management team. It’s also easier than ever to put a rental on the market, thanks to sites like Airbnb, Homeaway, and VRBO.
2. Retirement Plans
Though you won’t be able to touch your retirement savings until you’re done working, it’s still a great way to save for the future. If you have an employee sponsored retirement plan, put in the maximum amount that your employer will match – or more if you can afford it.
If you don’t have an employee-sponsored plan, you can still build up your savings in a traditional IRA or Roth IRA. Put in the maximum contribution each month for the maximum benefit when you retire. It’s an excellent, very-low risk way to invest your money.
Jill Cornfield, financial investor and contributor for Bankrate, also recommends diversifying your retirement portfolio to get the best return on investment.
“Instead of choosing one or the other, hedge your bets by diversifying and keeping some of your retirement money tax-deferred and some in a Roth account,” she says. “When you mix things up across the different categories, you’ll have more flexibility when it comes time to pull the money out.”
3. DRIPs or DRPs
A dividend reinvestment plan, often called a DRIP or DRP, lets you buy stocks directly from companies without the use of a broker. It reduces the amount you pay for a stock and increases your personal dividend.
You’ll invest a small dollar amount (as low as $10) on a monthly basis. This leads to a long-term investment that can be reinvested repeatedly in your holding. You’ll have more money in more stocks as you go, increasing your payout with little to no fees and very low risk.
“[DRIP investing] leads to a very happy cycle: as you buy more shares, you generate higher dividend payments—which you use to buy more shares,” advises Brett Owens, a contributor for Forbes. “And because of the periodic nature of the investment, you get more shares when the stock is cheap and fewer when it’s pricey.”
All in all, it’s a great way for those with little extra cash to maximize their investments.
4. Online Brokerage Firms
Did you know that you can open an online brokerage firm account for less than $1,000? Charles Schwab, TD Ameritrade, E*trade, and a few other online brokers require no minimum or very little minimum deposits to open a new account.
Once you’ve established your account, you’ll have access to a wide variety of investment opportunities. Many of these choices aren't available in a standard brokerage firm or through direct investing.
“For younger investors, discount brokers are probably the best bet…Today's online discount brokers are widely used and typically provide a vast array of tools for inexperienced investors who aren't sure about their next steps,” says Jonas Elmerraji of Investopedia.
He also argues that online brokers help investors learn a measure of self-reliance. Assuming you begin slowly, you'll learn a whole lot more about investing if you do some of the work yourself,” he says.
Some online brokers are better than others, so carefully do your research and read reviews. Look for a firm that meets your current financial needs while also working in your favor.
Investing can be a tricky business, but if you use your money wisely and do a little research, you can learn about the investing world and how to make a little extra cash on the side.