so you have $3k in your hands. cold! Unless you obtained it through less than legitimate means and are currently on the run, give yourself a big pat on the back. Saving any amount of money is not easy, and $3,000 is no small feat. now it’s time to figure out what to do with it.
first two nosy questions. Are all your credit cards paid? Do you have three to six months of living expenses set aside in case you can’t work for a while? If the answer to any of these questions is no, we strongly recommend that you put some or even all of your $3,000 toward these two goals before you invest, because both scenarios involve actual and potential credit card debt and the credit card interest rates will almost certainly outweigh any gains you might see from investing. if you have those things in charge, then you can get down to business and start investing, that’s how.
Reading: How to invest $3000
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factors that dictate how to invest $3000
First, you’ll want to assess a few factors that will dictate your next move before investing your $3k.
1. objectives and time horizon:
The first step is to understand what you intend to do with this significant amount of cash. Is this $3,000 the money you hope will be your first big push to keep the lights on, the cat fed, and the refrigerator stocked during your retirement in thirty years? Or is this Aunt Beatrice’s miracle inheritance that you’re going to use for a down payment on a bigger apartment so you no longer have to live in a place where the bathtub is in the kitchen? The goals mean what you intend to do with the money, and the time horizon is how long you intend to hold a particular investment. In general, a person who is going to need the money five years from now will probably want to avoid investing heavily in stocks (also known as equities). In general, the value of stocks fluctuates much more than other investments, such as government-backed bonds. If you need your money short-term, the last thing you want is to have to withdraw it all when the market is down.
2. circumstances and risk tolerance:
Circumstances cover how much money you have now and how much money you anticipate making in the future, through factors like inheritance. Money can be liberating: If you feel like you’ll have a cushion to fall back on in case your investments drop momentarily, you can afford to be more aggressive in your strategy. Along with the time horizon, your circumstances will directly affect your risk tolerance, a term that simply means how much of your investment you can afford to lose. If your $3,000 was abducted by aliens and your life would not be materially affected in any way, you have an incredibly high risk tolerance. If without your $3,000 you won’t be able to pay next month’s mortgage, your risk tolerance is extremely low. In a situation like this, you’ll want to put all of your $3,000 in an incredibly safe place, a cash equivalent that earns some interest, like an investment savings account.
If you’re scratching your head wondering how all this applies to your investment strategy, it might be a good time to take a risk survey offered by many automated investment services. they will then create a custom portfolio for you based on these factors and more.
the best accounts to invest $3k
Don’t underestimate the power of choosing the right investment account to store your $3,000 in. Taxes are like investment termites: they will chew up your investment if you let them. Ideally, you should do everything you legally can to lower your tax bill. In fact, the government has created tax breaks to encourage citizens to save for retirement and other important life expenses. You can save an incredible amount by investing as much as possible in what are known as “tax-advantaged” accounts. These investment vehicles allow investments to grow within them tax-free or are only taxable when you withdraw money years after retirement. As long as the time horizon of these accounts fits your goals, get as much “free money” as possible by maxing out these accounts first.
Think of tax-advantaged accounts like the best glasses in those trendy champagne towers; only after the top cups are filled will your money trickle down into other types of accounts. If you don’t need your money right away, you should have no problem investing most, if not all, of your $3,000 in a tax-advantaged account.
401(k): If you have a full-time job, you most likely have an employer-sponsored 401(k) that will allow you to make tax-deferred deposits into the account and Most employers will contribute a fixed annual amount or a percentage in matching funds. The amount you can contribute to a 401k changes every year. employers often match part of your contributions. If you don’t need the money you plan to invest for a while, you should consider contributing your money to a 401k to benefit from tax breaks. if that’s not an option, max out your traditional rage, sep-rage, and/or your roth rage.
If you expect your $3k to be used to fund your child(ren)’s education, invest in your state-sponsored 529 plan. Not only will the investment grow tax-free, but your state may also offer other tax breaks on contributions. some states’ plans are better than others. But remember, when in doubt, it might be a better idea to fund a retirement account; your child will be able to borrow money for school, but you will not be able to borrow money for retirement.
Personal Investment Account: If none of the tax-advantaged accounts meet your needs, you can always open a Personal Investment Account. this is an account that allows you to buy and sell stocks, shares, and bonds, but it doesn’t come with the nice tax advantages of the other accounts.
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where to invest $3,000
Finally, we’re ready to invest that $3k of yours. there are endless ways to invest your money: alpacas, anyone? You need to be warned that investments are speculative and past results should never be understood as predictors of future performance. That said, these are the smartest destinations for your $3,000.
here is a totally indisputable opinion. If history is anything to go by, one of the fastest potential ways to have grown your $3,000 would have been by investing in the stock market. but what stocks should you have bought? Chances are you’ve heard stories about a guy who invested a thousand dollars in Amazon in 1997 and now lives in a castle. What you don’t hear much about though are the stories about another guy who’s totally into snapchat and now lives in his mom’s basement. stock picking is extraordinarily difficult. Famous and wealthy stock picker Warren Buffett has spent the last few decades dissuading almost everyone not named Warren Buffett from trying to make money by picking individual stocks and has, in fact, encouraged his heirs to invest most of their inheritance in low-cost, highly diversified stocks. stock funds.
bonds are another option for your savings. Bonds are almost like a loan agreement: Essentially, one party gives money to another party with the understanding that it will be repaid in the future with interest. There are many types of bonds, from government bonds to municipal bonds. Bonds are generally considered a less risky investment compared to something like stocks. As a result, many investors hold some of their investments in bonds. It could be seen that investing some of your money in bonds offsets the volatility of the stock market. While getting into the nitty-gritty of bonds isn’t for the faint-hearted, investing in them is a bit easier. Bonds can be purchased directly from the government, through discount brokerage, or online as part of an investment portfolio offered by investment platforms.
Watch enough cable TV and you’ll assume that anyone with a tape measure and a barrel of hair gel can make millions selling real estate. in reality, it is a hugely risky business that has been known to bankrupt reckless speculators. $3,000 may not be enough to cover a down payment on a house or apartment, but there is a way to benefit from the real estate market without having to buy a property; Real estate investment trusts, or REITs, are companies that sell shares in their various real estate investments. real estate can be part of some investment portfolios created by robo-advisors.
Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are a general term to describe baskets of stocks that can be traded on a stock exchange, so telling someone that your investment strategy is to buy ETFs is a bit like answering ” food” when someone asks you to describe your diet. The great thing about ETFs is that since many of them invest their money in hundreds of stocks, you’ll minimize risk by not putting all your eggs in one basket. And not only that, buying even one share in a company like Apple or Google is very expensive and may even be outside of your $3,000 price range, but many ETFs will be within your budget and contain chunks of those same shares. Some ETFs contain stocks, others bonds, and some feature real estate investments. ETFs that seek to mimic much or all of the stock market are particularly valuable parts of a balanced portfolio, since if one sector isn’t performing well, it won’t drag down your entire investment. there are many etfs to choose from. index etfs mimics an index like s & amp; p 500, so for a price you can buy snippets of the 500 most valuable publicly traded companies in the united states. But an ETF doesn’t make a diversified portfolio; You’ll need several different ETF orders to achieve the kind of diversification that most financial advisors recommend. If the idea of building a balanced portfolio sounds as challenging as performing microsurgery, you might be a good candidate for a Robotic Advisor, a company that specializes in building portfolios for people just like you.
If the sound of buying stocks, ETFs, or any other type of investment sounds confusing, let alone trying to pick them yourself, automated investing might be a solid option to consider. Online investment platforms, often called robotic advisors, allow you to take a risk survey and build a portfolio that fits your investment goals. Instead of worrying about the details, you can have a special portfolio created according to your risk tolerance and goals and get back to the truly important things in your life, like those dragons in Westeros. And while some robotic advisors have minimum dollar investments to join that can be higher than your $3,000, some of the best of them all allow you to build an entire balanced portfolio of ETFs with just one dollar.
the best way to invest $3k
investments are nothing like the blanket your mom bought you; One size absolutely doesn’t fit all (and she probably won’t try to give away her investment again), so without knowing her specific situation, it’s hard to tell you precisely where to put her $3,000. That said, there are some best practices that we recommend for all investments.
keep fees low just like taxes, fees are also like investment termites; left unchecked, they will devour everything you value. If you can become a cold-hearted fee exterminator, you won’t believe how much money you’ll save in the long run. It is not uncommon for an actively managed mutual fund to have an administrative expense ratio (MER) of 1%. This means that each year, regardless of the fund’s performance, 1% of the entire fund will be deducted to pay the salaries and expenses of everyone who works in the fund. One or two percent may not seem like a large sum, but one investment adviser showed that a fee of just 2% could cut investment earnings in half over the course of 25 years. Play around with a fee calculator to see how trading a 2% mer for a 0.5% mer could affect a hypothetical $3,000 investment.
invests in a passive portfolio
wait, you might be thinking. If mutual fund managers are very good at picking the best performing stocks, their fees shouldn’t be an issue, as the funds will return returns that far exceed those of the stock market as a whole. the problem is that they are not. Most studies show that professionals who are paid to pick stocks will fail to outperform the general market over the long term. So if active collectors can’t beat the stock market and still collect fees, what’s a better route? For most goals, time horizons, and risk tolerances, a particularly effective way is through passive investing. this can be done using robo-advisor. Instead of trying to beat the market, most robotic advisors try to mirror the market by investing your money in many different ETFs. that’s a job easily handled by a computer algorithm. Low-fee passive ETF portfolios can be designed with any goal, time horizon, and risk tolerance in mind.
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how to invest $3000 safely
If it’s security you’re looking for, you’ll want to look for low-risk investments, though you should know there are no guarantees when investing. Stocks, being naturally risky, will fluctuate in value. In exchange for taking this risk, investors will generally be rewarded with the potential for higher returns than they would from less risky investments. If you absolutely can’t risk any fluctuations, you’re best served with a savings account or savings product, which usually carries little or no risk. That said, you can’t expect the kind of return you might get from investing in ETFs made up of stocks, bonds, and real estate. in fact, interest rates have been so low lately that inflation is likely to outpace the interest rate, and in the long run, you’ll essentially lose money if you keep your money stuck in one.
Government bonds generally carry less risk, but also provide comparatively low returns. Stocks behave a bit like a penny tossed in the air; the more times you do it, the more likely you are to get a one-to-one heads-up, and the longer you hold a stock, the more predictable the results will be. The range of results tends to narrow over time, so in the past, those who held a variety of stock investments for more than a decade were likely rewarded with returns that offset any short-term risk.
Conventional wisdom is that the longer your investment horizon, the higher the ratio of stocks to bonds your portfolio can contain. If you don’t need to withdraw money any time soon, you can afford to ride the stock market wave.
how much can you earn by investing $3000? If only we knew!
Without the use of the dark arts, how do you turn $3,000 into so much more? There is no sure answer to this question. if there were, we would all be rich. With investment you can make money, but you can also lose. That said, if we dust off the history books, we can see how this could have happened in the past. Between the years 1950-2009, the stock market (S&P 500) grew an average of 7% per year. So if you had invested $3,000 during that time, the compounding miracle could have turned your $3,000 into around $8,546 in 15 years.
This is based on historical market growth. When it comes to investment advice, there’s a very good reason why you often hear “past performance does not equal future results.” it is because past performance is by no means equal to future results. That said, if you’re disciplined, your risk is minimized through a highly diversified portfolio, and fees are kept low, you may be very happy with what your $3,000 will turn out to be in the long run.
Although we are biased, we believe that the best way to invest $3000 is with simple wealth. We offer state-of-the-art technology, low fees and the kind of friendly, personalized service you may not have thought imaginable from an automated investment service. get started or learn more about our portfolios.