Since I began working as a full-time employee, I realised early on that I wouldn’t be able to sustain myself financially on the income from a salary alone. Not unless my boss triples my pay!
The only way I could get out of the rat race was to have my money work harder for me through investments that had good capital growth potential.
In fact, the concept of investments have been around almost as long as humans have. Hundreds of years ago Muslim Moorish merchants were trading salt ounce for ounce with gold and tripling their value of their investment instantly. The Egyptian Empire – rather dubiously – invested heavily in its slave population and in return got some of the most astonishing pieces of architecture ever constructed.
The world has changed dramatically since then, and so has the type of investments we can make. To help you cut through the complex world of investing, here are 5 concepts to make your money work harder for you.
Gold, a precious metal and finite commodity, was the currency of the world up to as recent as the early 1900s. As gold is a finite resource, it has proven itself to be an asset known to grow in value over time, albeit slowly. In 1934, it cost just $35 for an ounce but today an ounce costs $1298. Gold, as an investment, is also known for its ability to retain value in financially troubling times. If you are looking for long term capital growth, having some gold bars (or coins) to your name would be the perfect investment.
2. Property investments
As Mark Twain once said, “Buy land – they’re not making it anymore!”. Look around Melbourne (and Australia) nowadays and you will find a very noticeable desire amongst the population to live in urban areas where available land is very limited. House and land prices in big cities have been climbing fast as a result so there has never been a better time to start thinking about investing in property. It is important to note however that property investors do take on a significant risk by borrowing large sums of money to begin with, but as long as it is tenanted with the right individuals and located in a desirable area, your chances of making capital gains will be high.
If you are good with company financials and number crunching, the stock market is a place where you could make good use of your skills. By studying a company’s financial reports closely, you can work out the intrinsic value (real worth) of a company. If this value is more than the market value (a company’s worth determined by market), that means the general public hasn’t yet realised the true potential of the company and has undervalued it. Buying an undervalued company can get you a low purchase price and set you up to make capital gains when the rest of the market realizes the full potential of said company and starts investing and pushing up the prices. If you wanted risker stock investments, there are Contracts for Difference – or CFD – where you can leverage your capital multiple times to maximize your gains (or losses). You can head over to CMC Markets to learn more about CFDs.
It has to be said that a penny saved is a penny earned, and that a careful savings plan can lead to good capital gains. While you may think that the 2% interest rate return on savings accounts is not much, money left untouched in a high-interest savings account enjoy the magic of compounding interest, often called the 8th wonder of the world. Even Tony Robbins recognizes its power in his book Money: Master the Game, where he highlighted the importance of compounding, and how an investment of $10,000 could turn into $1,000,000 if you let it.
5. Write an eBook
Busy people today like convenience, even in books. They want small, pocket sized notebooks which they can tackle without feeling too overwhelmed. And nothing is more convenient than eBooks, an increasingly lucrative industry to participate in.
Let me give you an example. A few years ago one of my friends wrote an eBook about how to carve a face into a pumpkin. It may be a bit of a niche market, but every October, his bank balance jumps up by a few thousand dollars – thank you Halloween! And ever since, that book has been available to purchase all over the net.
If you want to join the e-book party, you can do so very easily. Think about a topic which you are passionate about, or which you think others would be interested in learning more about. And just start writing. Very little capital needs to go into it as there are many free online tools to help create eBooks. Once it is up on different websites like Amazon and Lulu, and with some decent marketing, you could start to see your minimal capital outlay grow into something substantial.
These are just a few creative ways you could make your money work harder for you and benefit from capital gains. The beauty of Australia, the lucky country, is that it is a country full of capital investment opportunities. Don’t be afraid to play the field, find out what works best for you, and just go for it!