Sounds simple, don't it? The truth is one of the simplest and safest methods of investing is probably right at the local branch of your bank of choice. There's usually some fairly good long-term savings accounts options with either fixed or variable interest rates. Though the fees can be rather high if you choose to do anything other than let your cash sit there and accrue interest, if you've got a fair amount of money and you're not planning on spending it for a while, this is probably your best bet. Or at least your safest bet, anyway.
A term deposit is a cash investment agreed with a bank or credit union for a set rate amount of interest and a fixed amount of time (hence, “term” deposit). This term can vary from months to years, but in that time the interest rate will remain fixed at the agreed upon level, regardless of what the Federal Reserve Bank decides to do.
The money can usually only be withdrawn at the end of the term. Though if you really need it, you can withdraw early and be slapped with some kind of fee or penalty. Again, this is a fairly safe investment, as it is free from the fluctuations of the stock or real estate markets. You know exactly what you'll get, and when you'll get it.
Real Estate Investment Group
Want to rent out a property without the hassle of becoming a landlord who has to shake down tenants for rent or hire the plumber when the sinks stop working? Well, a real estate investment group is the simplest option.
A real estate investment group will buy or build a block of apartments, and then re-sell them to prospective investors. When you do buy, you become a part of the group. You can own several of the apartments in one block, but it's the group that will take care of all the nitty gritty details... for a percentage of the monthly rent, of course. That being said, if simplicity is what you're after, then that percentage may definitely be worth it.
Also known as the fixed-interest market, bonds used to be rather limiting, as the minimum you had to put down to buy a bond used to be so high that only the wealthy or institutions could use them as a method of investments.
However, you can now buy government and corporate bonds for as little as 100 bucks a pop. As with some of the above options, it's a relatively safe bet, as the bond market operates completely separately to stocks, market fluctuation, etc. Though the fixed-interest may be limiting, you know exactly what you'll get and when you'll get it.
Simple, but also the least safe option on this menu. Stocks essentially allow you to own part of a business. As a stock-owner you'll receive a tiny proportion of a company's profits per share you own, as well as being able to sell the shares on for personal profit should they increase in value.
With the rise of the Internet, it's become very easy to become involved in the share market, but if the company whose stocks you bought fails... well you can consider your money a long-lost memory. With greater risk, however, comes the chance of greater reward. It's up to you whether you think it's worth it.
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