A Bakers Dozen: Ideas for Investments Not on the Stock Market

June 20, 2022

We believe in diversifying investment risk across different types of investments, including those not on the stock or bond markets. Here are some ideas to consider for investing on your own that can increase your diversification into assets not on the stock or bond markets.

  • Invest in yourself by taking classes, obtaining a new degree, gaining skills or a certificate. You may be able to increase your earnings, change jobs, and enhance what economists refer to as human capital.

  • It’s also a great time to change jobs due to low unemployment and a big demand for new hires. Possible rewards to job changing could include a higher salary, better benefits, and/or flexibility in working remotely.

  • Maintaining health through staying active and eating well pays off through feeling better now. It’s also a great long term investment by lowering future health costs, including long term care costs. One of the best things we can do for our future selves is to take good care of our current selves.

  • With student loan repayment scheduled to resume September 1st, it might be a good time to pay down those higher interest rate loans now. With many loans ranging from 35% to 7%, paying the loans down faster gives you a nice “return on your investment.” Contact us if you’d like us to recalculate your student loan repayment options.
    
  • In prior blog posts, read about one of our favorite investment platforms with MyCNote.com, which is program for investing in CD like instruments. CNote helps institutions invest capital into underserved communities at scale. Currently, their Flagship Fund is paying 2% interest.

  • Available through your IRA or investment accounts at TD Ameritrade, you can invest in an organic farmland REIT through Iroquois Valley Farmland REIT. Read our blog post about this very different type of investment.

  • We’re also excited about the 9%+ annual returns that the Federal government’s Series I bonds are paying. As described in a prior blog post on our website, individuals can purchase up to $10,000/year worth of these bonds on the Treasury Direct website and another $5000 in paper bonds through a tax refund.

  • MainVest is a peer-to-peer lending website where you can invest in start up businesses ranging from restaurants to food trucks to cannabis farms to craft breweries and mixed use residential properties. You can find out more about them on their website https://mainvest.com/. As with all investments, do your own due diligence before investing.

  • If you weren’t able to refinance your mortgage before rates suddenly rose upwards to 6%, consider adding a bit more to your monthly mortgage payments for a “guaranteed” rate of return approaching the interest rate on your current mortgage. Certainly, a mortgage at 4% gives you a better “return” than paying down a super low 2.75% mortgage.

  • Another way to invest in your own real estate asset is to do home renovations. Depending on what you renovate, you can increase the value of your home while also enjoying your enhancements. Renovations that can have the highest return on investment include bathroom and kitchen remodeling. Find lists of renovations to consider by googling “home renovations that add value” and start making your renovations list. In our home, we are looking at “aging in place” projects that would allow me and my husband to safely stay in our own home even as mobility becomes more challenging. This entails what’s called Universal Design and you can read more by googling “universal design home modifications.”

  • With Fundrise, you can invest in a low-cost, diversified portfolio of institutional-quality real estate. More about this real estate investing program can be found on their website: https://fundrise.com/ Please note that we have not "vetted" this investment and that all investments include risk of loss of principal and earnings. Do your own research before you invest.

  • Also available on the TD Ameritrade platform as well as individually are Calvert Impact Notes. These are CD like loans to organizations who fund community development projects. Learn more on our blog post and find out what the current payouts for your loan at their website: https://calvertimpactcapital.org/investing/community-investment-note The financial return for these notes is modest, below market rate, and are best thought of as partially a charitable donation on your part. You can certainly make a larger financial return on your investment elsewhere.

  • Annuities can be a useful tool for creating an income stream for future “retirement paycheck” cash flows. By exporting the risk of part of your monthly income streams to the insurance company, you can create peace of mind for yourself as well as invest other parts of your retirement savings into higher risk, longer term investments.

  • Delay Social Security. Each year you delay gains you on average 8% larger future benefit payments. Let us know if you’d like us to run updated Social Security projections for you. We can discuss how your benefits fit into your larger retirement income plans.