Smart Investments to Consider Right Now
Looking to get started with smart investments, no matter your investing style? Here are some of our favorite smart investments right now.
The best time to invest is now. Yes, right now. And if you’re telling yourself you’ll hold off until the markets look stable or when you earn more income, you’re costing yourself big.
In fact, financial experts estimate that 40% of people have experienced considerable financial loss simply due to procrastination.
It’s time to invest in your financial future. Here are our favorite smart investments right now.
For Savers: High-Yield Savings Accounts
In investing, interest is your best friend. And for those who are better at saving than taking risks, high-yield savings accounts are a great tool.
A high-yield savings account is a bank account that pays you interest on your cash balance, distinguished from traditional savings accounts by the fact that the interest rates are higher than what you would find in standard savings accounts. To be clear, this is not a high interest savings account, just a savings account with higher interest rates than you would find in most savings accounts—the difference of 0.01% in a traditional savings account versus 2% in a high-yield savings account.
That difference adds up. Let’s say you have $1,000 burning a hole in your pocket. If you drop it in a traditional savings account with a 0.01% interest rate and don’t touch it, you’ll have $1,000.01 by the end of the year. If you drop the same amount in a high-yield savings account with a 2% interest rate, you’ll have $1,020 by the end of the year.
This type of account is great for those who don’t like a lot of risk. You won’t get high returns, but you won’t lose your money on the market either.
For College Planners: 529 Plan
For those who are worried about sending their kids (or grandkids or nieces or nephews) to college, a 529 savings plan is a must-have. This is a tax-advantaged savings plan designed to help parents (and other relatives, too) put money away for future education costs.
The nice thing about these accounts is the deterrent against early withdrawals—you get penalized for any non-qualifying withdrawals, which is pretty much anything that isn’t educational costs.
There are two types of 529 plan: prepaid tuition plans and education savings plans. Prepaid tuition plans allow you to purchase units or credits at a participating college or university for future tuition, typically for public and in-state universities. Education savings plans allow you to save for a future beneficiary’s qualifying educational expenses (tuition, mandatory fees, and room and board) without any limitations on where the beneficiary goes to school. All 50 states and the District of Columbia have their own plans, and you are not limited to the plan in your home state, so choose the highest-performing plan you can find.
For Diversifiers: Index Funds
For those who are comfortable with the stock market but need diversification in a hurry, index funds are a great option. In fact, index funds are one of the easiest ways to enter the stock market with strong diversification, especially if you’re not familiar with stocks.
An index fund is a type of mutual fund or exchange-traded fund (ETF) that tracks a particular market index. The beauty of index funds is that you can have a strong portfolio with good returns while still being pretty hands-off. That’s because index funds don’t try to beat the market or earn higher returns than market averages—index funds try to be the market, or at least a specific subset of the market.
Take one of the most popular index funds, the Standard & Poor 500 Index. This is an index fund of the 500 largest publicly traded companies in the U.S., widely regarded as the best gauge of large-cap U.S. equities. When you buy into any index fund, you buy into every company in the index—in the case of the S&P 500, that means you would immediately own stocks in 500 of the largest companies in the country.
For Passion Investors: Art
For those who are willing to branch out of the stock market (and want to invest in something they love) turn to the most successful form of passion investing: fine art.
Art is a type of alternative investment that has long been used by the wealthy as a hedge against inflation. Blue-chip art, specifically, which is high-value art expected to retain value or appreciate in value regardless of economic conditions, typically made by art world heavyweights with proven auction track records (think Picasso and you’re on the right track).
The good news is that blue-chip art investing is now more accessible than ever before. That’s thanks to the invention of crowdfunding. These days, many firms now allow you to own a share of a blue-chip artwork, kind of like owning a stock and profiting off the sale (that’s what we do here at Masterworks).
For those who are interested in building their own collection outside of blue-chip art, there are other ways to earn small returns. If you can afford it, look for original paintings by early-career artists in local galleries, with an eye toward the artist’s media coverage—if they’re not getting coverage, they likely won’t go up in value over time. If you can’t afford originals, giclees (museum-quality copies of the original) are the next best thing, but keep in mind that a piece’s rarity dictates its value, so if you have a copy, it will always be less valuable than the original.
Get Started with Smart Investments Right Now
At Masterworks, we firmly believe that blue-chip art investing should be accessible to everyone. So, we serve as your expert partner in the art world. We perform research with Citi Bank and Bank of America to identify high-growth artist markets with the best potential risk-adjusted returns, handle the purchase and authentication process, file with the SEC, and then allow investors to purchase shares in multi-million-dollar artworks starting at just $20 per share. Ready to build a stronger financial future? Time for smart investments, right now. Fill out your membership application today to learn more.