Below are seven income producing assets that you can invest in to start earning you passive income.
I’ve split the list up into two ways: Safe and risky. The former are assets I consider to be more conservative and proven that you can start investing in. The latter are a bit more aggressive — but can yield great results if done right.
Safe income producing assets to invest in
These are conservative, low-risk income producing assets. The trade-off to its low volatility though is that you won’t earn as much as more aggressive assets. It’s still a good idea to have a few of these in your portfolio to ensure proper diversification.
Asset #1: Certificates of Deposit (CDs)
A certificate of deposit, or CD, is a low-risk financial investment offered by banks.
How they work is simple: You loan the bank money for a set amount of time known as a “term length” and you gain interest on the principal during this time.
A typical term length is anywhere from three months to five years. During this time, you won’t be able to withdraw your money without taking a penalty hit. BUT it’s pretty much assured that your money is growing at a fixed rate.
The interest rate varies on how long you are willing to invest for. The longer you loan money to the bank, though, the more you can earn.
And since CDs are insured by the FDIC up to $250,000, they’re incredibly low risk.
But there are a few drawbacks:
- Inflation. The average inflation rate in the U.S. over the past 60 years is 3.7% — which stands on the high end for most CD interest rates. This means you can actually lose money if you keep your money in CDs because of inflation.
- Low aggressiveness. If you’re young, that means you can stand to be a lot more aggressive with your investments (because you have more time to recover from any losses). Your potential for growth is much higher. This allows you more wiggle room to invest in riskier assets and potentially earn more money.
- Length of investment. You might not be able to part with your cash for a long time — especially if you have other financial goals in the near future (buying a home, vacation, weddings, etc.).
If you want a low-risk investment that ensures you peace of mind, CDs might be for you.
Asset #2: Bonds
Much like CDs, bonds are like IOUs. Except instead of giving it to a bank, you’re lending money to the government or corporation.
And they work similarly to CDs as well — which means they’re:
- Extremely stable. You’ll know exactly how much you’ll get back when you invest in a bond.
- Guaranteed a return. You can even choose the amount you want a bond for (one year, two years, five years, etc.).
- Smaller in their returns, especially when compared with aggressive investments like stocks.
If you want to know exactly how much you’re getting back, bonds are a great investment.
For more check out our article on bonds here.
Asset #3: Real estate investment trusts (REITs)
The U.S. Congress established real estate investment trusts, or REITs, in 1960 to give people the opportunity to invest in income producing real estate.
REITs are like the mutual funds of real estate. They’re a collection of properties operated by a company (aka a trust) that uses money from investors to buy and develop real estate.
They’re a fantastic choice if you want to get involved with real estate investing but don’t want to make the commitment of purchasing or financing property. Like with most blue-chip stocks (more on those later), REITs pay out in dividends.
REITs also focus on a variety of different industries, both domestic and international. You can invest in REITs that build apartments, business buildings, or even healthcare facilities.
(NOTE: There are some taxable implications for REITs.)
In all, they are a straightforward way to get involved with real estate without having to eat the upfront cost of buying property. To get started, go to your online broker and purchase a REIT like you would a typical investment.
One I suggest? The Vanguard REIT ETF (VNQ). This is Vanguard’s ETF fund that tracks a REIT index from MSCI Inc, a noted investment research group.
If you don’t know how to do that, that’s okay! Check out our article on mutual funds to find out exactly how you can open one.
Risky income producing assets
The following are riskier investments that might require more active management on your part. The earning potential for these investments is high. If you put the time and effort into these assets, you might find yourself with a nice sum of money to show for it.
Asset #4: Dividend yielding stocks
Some companies pay out earnings to their shareholders each quarter via dividends. These are known as “blue-chip stocks” and tend to be reliable and able to weather most economic downturns.
Many investors like to add a few dividend paying securities via blue-chip stocks in their portfolio to ensure that they receive earnings consistently throughout the year. And while some like to hand pick individual shares to invest in, you can get started by investing in index funds that specialize in high-yielding dividends.
A few suggestions below:
- Vanguard Dividend Appreciation Fund (VDAIX)
- Vanguard High Dividend Yield Index Fund (VHDYX)
- Vanguard Dividend Growth Fund (VDIGX)
- T. Rowe Price Dividend Growth Fund (PRDGX)
Asset #5: Property rentals
Renting out property seems simple enough:
- Buy a house or apartment building.
- Rent out the rooms to tenants for a nominal fee.
- The rental checks come in like gangbusters each month while you sip piña coladas and make passive income.
Hell, that DOES sound awesome — but it’s also a complete oversimplification. In fact, renting out property is anything but relaxing. That’s because you’re responsible for all facets of the building you’re renting out as the owner. That includes repairs, maintenance, and chasing down tenants who don’t pay you rent.
And god help you if they do miss a rent payment. If that happens, you’ll have to find another way to pay your monthly mortgage payment.
You CAN make money from renting out properties (many people do!). It’s just that doing so can negatively affect your finances in a BIG way. Check out our house poor article for a good example of that.
If you’re interested in purchasing properties to rent out, be sure to check out our article on buying a house for more.
Luckily, with the rise of services like Airbnb, you can just rent out a spare room in your house and not worry about buying a separate apartment unit. You simply sign up for the platform and take advantage of short-term rentals. You’ll still have to deal with certain pains of property management but you’ll be able to leverage property you already own (e.g., spare bedroom in your house).
Asset #6: Peer-to-peer lending
Also known as “crowdlending,” peer-to-peer (P2P) lending allows investors to essentially act like a bank. You loan money to others via a peer-to-peer lending platform (such as Lending Club), and later they pay you the money back with interest.
Unlike a bank though, the person seeking the loan doesn’t have to deal with financial background checks or incredibly high interest rates due to things like bad credit history.
P2P lending isn’t without risks though. In fact, relying on someone with crappy credit to pay back a loan might be one of the riskiest financial investments you make. But if you’re willing to devote yourself more to learning about the platform and use money you don’t mind losing, it could be a very fruitful financial investment.
Asset #7: Creating your own product
This is one of my favorite ways to make money. Not only is it low cost but it’s also easily scalable — meaning the sky’s the limit for your earning potential.
And you don’t need engineering or carpentry skills to create your own product either. In fact, you probably use products every day that you can create too:
- Online courses
These digital information products are perfect ways to earn money without sacrificing overhead.
BUT they come at a cost: Your time and energy. Not only do you actually have to create the product, you also have to make sure that the product will sell.
That’s why we’ve devoted our sister site, GrowthLab, to helping entrepreneurs create, grow, and scale their businesses. Check out the site today for more information on how you can get started with information products too.
Earn more money today
Income producing assets are a great way to supplement your income through your investments.
If you want to learn how to make even more money, my team and I have worked hard to create a guide to help you earn more today:
- Create multiple income streams so you always have a consistent source of revenue.
- Start your own business and escape the 9-to-5 for good.
- Increase your income by thousands of dollars a year through side hustles like freelancing.
Download a FREE copy of the Ultimate Guide today by entering your name and email below — and start earning more today.