In the last few years, investing has become accessible to a wider segment of the population. It’s no longer just for the likes of Gordon Gekko and those wolves of Wall Street. In uncertain times like these, being able to diversify one’s earnings is critical.
High-risk investments can pay off well but they also carry the real possibility of creating further financial instability. The temptation of high reward overcomes many people’s sensible concerns about the dangers.
Investing is never completely risk-free but there are investment options that have a much lower risk. The returns on these investments are probably not going to be as dramatic as the returns on higher-risk options but they are much more likely to actually pay off in the end.
In this article, we’ll look at some of the best types of investments with the lowest risk.
While they might sound a bit old fashioned and conjure up images of your grandparents buying bonds to help with the war effort in the 1940s, they’re actually a great modern investment. Today, savings bonds are one of the investments with the lowest risk.
Since savings bonds are government issued, they vary by country. The savings bonds issued by the United States government are among the safest and the most popular. Since they can be purchased and withdrawn online, they are also the most easily accessible.
There are two main types of savings bonds – fixed rate and inflation-indexed. Both function the same way but accrue interest at different rates. One other positive of investing in bonds is that their interest payments are tax exempt.
One important thing to consider with savings bonds is that there are limits to how many you can purchase in a year. There is, however, no restriction on how much you can own in savings bonds.
High-yield savings accounts
Having a savings account is one of the first steps anyone should take when they want to start saving or investing. Not every savings account has the same interest rate so it is smart to shop around before settling on where to open an account.
A high-yield savings account is very low risk because banks in the United States are all FDIC insured. Since your money is in an account under your control, you can also withdraw money whenever you need to, without any penalties.
A high-yield savings account probably shouldn’t be the only type of investing you do if you want to build a strong financial foundation. It is, however, a very important piece of the investing puzzle.
Certificates of deposit (CDs)
When we talk about CDs in investing, we’re not talking about buying up limited edition albums. CDs are certificates of deposit. These are deposit accounts that allow you to deposit your money at a set rate. What sets them apart from regular savings accounts is that they have a fixed period of time to mature.
You can withdraw money from a CD prior to the account maturing but this will typically trigger a penalty fee. If you can comfortably leave your investment in the CD, there is a chance to make a serious return on your initial investment. Since CDs are also protected by the FDIC, they are very low risk.
This investment opportunity is a bit more niche and not as low-risk as the others. It is, however, definitely more fun. Whiskey is one of the most popular drinks and the best whiskeys require years of cask conditioning and aging. Investing in whiskey is a relatively new opportunity.
When you invest in whiskey, your investment grows as your whiskey ages. In most cases, you can sell at any point and the price you make depends on the whiskey market at that moment. There is a slightly higher risk than with some of the other options discussed here, because the market could fluctuate. However, the popularity of whiskey and the esteem in which the best distilleries are held keeps the market relatively stable.
Investing is one of the best things that you can do for your financial future. However, you have to make smart choices when investing. As attractive as they seem, high-risk, high-reward investments are usually just too unsafe for the average investor.
Starting small and making smart, low-risk investments is the best way to develop a healthy portfolio. Savings bonds, high-yield savings accounts and CDs are three of your best options for low-risk methods of growing your capital.