In this blog, we navigate the often perplexing world of investments, meticulously sorting them from those you might want to avoid to the crème de la crème of financial ventures. And as we close out the year, I’m sharing my best investments for 2024, and some of the platforms I use to make them.
Whether you’re a seasoned investor or new to the game, understanding the pros and cons of each investment type is crucial. Let’s dive into the complex yet rewarding world of investments, starting with those that you might consider steering clear of as we get ready to welcome in 2024.
.Now, bear in mind that this list is based on my own personal experience as a seasoned coin and precious metals investor (I’ve got a buying guide for that too) and an MBA grad. This by no means should replace qualified financial advice.
OK, enough with the jibber jabber!
Investments to Avoid
25. Forex Trading
At the bottom of our investment ranking is Forex trading. This world of foreign exchange trading is fraught with challenges, including a high risk of loss, significant market volatility, and unfortunately, a breeding ground for scams. Forex trading requires not only an in-depth understanding of global economies but also the ability to predict market movements – a feat even experienced traders find daunting. The allure of high leverage can turn sour quickly, leading to substantial financial losses. For the average investor, the complexities and risks associated with Forex trading often outweigh the potential benefits.
24. Copper Bullion
Copper bullion, often touted as an affordable alternative to gold or silver, lands in our lowest tier due to its limited investment potential. Unlike its more precious counterparts, copper’s lower value and bulkiness make it less practical for investment purposes. Additionally, the market for copper bullion is less established and more susceptible to manipulation and misleading sales tactics. Its industrial use drives its value, but as an investment, physical copper lacks the stability and growth potential typically sought by investors.
This tier highlights the types of investments that are generally considered high-risk or low-return in the current financial landscape. As we progress through the rankings, we’ll explore a spectrum of options, each with its unique set of characteristics and potential returns.
Collectibles, such as trading cards, occupy this tier due to their highly speculative nature. While some collectors have reaped significant rewards, the market for collectibles is notoriously volatile and influenced by trends and niche interests. The value of collectibles can fluctuate wildly based on factors like rarity, condition, and the whims of the collector community. For those without deep knowledge or passion for the collectible in question, it can be a risky venture with no guaranteed return.
22. NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens)
NFTs, representing unique digital assets on blockchain technology, have created a buzz in the investment world. While they have offered incredible returns for some early adopters, the market is still in its infancy and highly unpredictable. Concerns over environmental impact, market saturation, and the speculative nature of digital art and assets place NFTs in this higher-risk category. As a nascent market, it’s a territory where only those comfortable with ambiguity and potential loss should tread.
21. Peer to Peer Lending
Peer to Peer (P2P) lending platforms allow individuals to lend money directly to others, bypassing traditional financial institutions. While this can offer higher returns than some traditional investments, it also comes with a higher risk. The lack of a guarantee, potential for borrower default, and regulatory uncertainties make it a riskier option for your portfolio.
20. Watches as Investments
Luxury watches, often seen as a symbol of status and wealth, can sometimes appreciate in value. However, investing in watches requires a deep understanding of the market, brand trends, and the specific models that hold or increase in value. The market is niche, and the risk of depreciation is high, especially if the watch is not kept in pristine condition or if the market trends shift.
19. Government Bonds
In this middle tier, we find government bonds, traditional staples of conservative investment portfolios. They offer a fixed interest rate and are generally considered a safe investment, albeit with lower returns. Government bonds, backed by the stability of the issuing government, are especially low-risk, making them suitable for cautious investors seeking steady, albeit modest, income streams.
18. Corporate Bonds
Iif you’re not sure what the difference is between a corporate bond and a share, here’s a brief explainer:
If I buy a share of Coca-Cola, I actually own a tiny part of Coca-Cola. On the other hand, when I buy bonds of Coca-Cola, I’m buying a part of its debt, lending it money that it eventually pays back with interest.
I’ve never personally invested in corporate bonds, but they’re not as exciting as some of the investment opportunities below. That said, if you’ve had some success here, I’d love to hear from you in the comments section.
16. Art Investments
Investing in art can be rewarding, both financially and culturally, but it’s not without its challenges. Art markets can be unpredictable, and value appreciation is not guaranteed. Success in art investment often requires extensive knowledge of art history, current market trends, and an eye for identifying undervalued pieces. This investment type is best suited for those with a passion for art and a willingness to engage deeply with the art community.
These investments highlight a range of options that, while not without risk, offer varying degrees of potential returns and excitement. They require a balance of knowledge, passion, and caution, making them suitable for investors who are willing to delve a bit deeper into specific markets or industries. As we continue our journey through the investment tiers, we’ll discover options that offer a different balance of risk and reward.
15. Generic Silver Bullion
Now, long-time followers of my channel will know my slogan – “Silver is Silver!”. But I’m actually not a huge fan of generic silver bullion. Since there are so many different makers, designs, and weights, it makes it very difficult to sort out fake stuff from the real deal. And even if you do have real silver on your hands, it’s much harder to sell, given how suspicious people are about it. That said, again, silver is silver! If you can get it at or below spot, it’s worth it. There are better investments, though, as you’ll see below.
14. Commodities Trading
Commodities trading, involving essential goods like oil, gold, and agricultural products, presents a unique investment opportunity. While it can offer substantial returns, this market is also subject to global economic fluctuations, political events, and even weather patterns, making it somewhat volatile. Skilled traders who can navigate these waters and understand market trends may find commodities trading a lucrative but challenging investment path.
Cryptocurrencies have emerged as a new frontier in the investment world. Digital currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum offer the potential for significant growth, given their increasing acceptance and integration into the financial ecosystem. However, they are also highly volatile and subject to regulatory changes, making them a somewhat risky investment. Ideal for tech-savvy investors who are comfortable with uncertainty and have a long-term investment horizon.
12. General Stocks
Investing in the stock market remains a popular choice for its potential for solid returns over the long term. While individual stock picks can be risky, a well-researched and diversified portfolio can yield substantial rewards. Stocks are suitable for investors who are willing to ride out market fluctuations and have a longer-term investment perspective.
17. Mutual Funds
Mutual funds, managed by professionals who pool money from many investors to buy securities, offer a way to invest in a diversified portfolio. While they provide easier access to a broad range of assets, their performance can be inconsistent, and fees can impact overall returns. They’re a solid choice for those who prefer a hands-off approach to investing but don’t expect the high returns that riskier investments might promise.
11-9. Gold & Silver Jewelry, and Government-Issued Silver Bullion
Precious metals like gold and silver have been traditional safe havens during times of economic uncertainty. They are known for maintaining their value over the long term and serving as a hedge against inflation. Gold and government-issued silver bullion are tangible assets that can diversify an investment portfolio, offering stability in turbulent markets.
8. Junk Silver
Here is where I really say “Silver is Silver”. Old US or World coins are a great investment. You get the best of both worlds. Low premiums, but the safety of know that what you have in your hands is government-issued. I’m a huge fan, and I’ve written a ton about this, including my latest guide on valuing old coins.
Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) and individual stocks in strong, well-established companies present a more balanced risk-reward profile. ETFs, in particular, offer diversification and lower fees, making them a solid choice for many investors. Carefully selected individual stocks can also provide excellent growth opportunities, especially when chosen with an understanding of the company’s potential and market trends.
6. Certificates of Deposit
Certificates of Deposit are low-risk financial instruments offered by banks, providing a fixed interest rate over a specified term. While the returns are not as high as other investments, CDs offer safety and are FDIC insured, making them an attractive option for risk-averse investors looking for steady, guaranteed returns.
5. Small Cash Businesses
Investing in small cash businesses can provide a steady income stream and the potential for significant returns. These businesses often require hands-on management and a deep understanding of the specific market. However, for those with entrepreneurial spirit and business acumen, this investment can be both rewarding and profitable.
Investing in startups can be a high-risk, high-reward venture. While many startups fail, a successful one can offer exponential returns. Investors in this space need to be comfortable with risk, have an eye for potential, and ideally, possess knowledge of the industry in which the startup operates.
These investment options represent a broad spectrum of opportunities, each with its distinct risk and return profile. They are well-suited for investors who are willing to balance risk with the potential for higher returns and who have a clear understanding of their investment goals and risk tolerance.
The Best Investments
3. Roth IRA
The Roth IRA stands at the apex of our investment list. It’s a retirement savings account offering significant tax benefits, particularly for those who expect to be in a higher tax bracket in the future. Contributions are made with after-tax dollars, meaning the money grows tax-free, and withdrawals during retirement are not taxed. This investment is highly regarded for its flexibility, as it allows for a wide range of investment choices within the account and can be a cornerstone of a long-term wealth-building strategy.
2. Real Estate
Real estate investment remains one of the most reliable and lucrative investment options for 2024. It offers a unique combination of capital appreciation and the potential for rental income. Real estate is a tangible asset that provides a hedge against inflation and can be leveraged to enhance returns. Whether it’s through direct property ownership, real estate investment groups, or REITs, this sector provides opportunities for both passive income and long-term wealth accumulation.
Investing in education is often overlooked but ranks highly for its long-term benefits. This includes pursuing higher education, acquiring specialized training, or even investing in self-learning and skill development. The returns on education are manifold – higher earning potential, improved career opportunities, and personal growth. In a rapidly changing job market, continual learning and skill development are invaluable.
Get Your Money Working With the Best Investments in 2024
As we conclude our exploration of the best investments in 2024, it’s clear that each tier offers distinct opportunities, challenges, and, in some cases – serious pitfalls. From the high-risk ventures to the highly promising option, the key is to align your investment choices with your financial goals, risk tolerance, and investment timeline. Diversification across different types of investments is also a prudent strategy to mitigate risk and enhance potential returns. Remember, while this guide serves as a comprehensive overview, personal research and possibly financial advisement are essential steps in making informed investment decisions.