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10 Ways To Invest Money While You Have A Full-Time Job

10 Ways To Invest Money While You Have A Full-Time Job

Most of us don’t necessarily love the jobs we have. We all had wonderful plans for ourselves growing up. But our jobs pay, so here we are. But wouldn’t you just want to break away from all this charade? Do the things you’ve always wanted to do? Sure, who wouldn’t? But that requires money, the only source of which right now is your job.

But we do truly live in a golden era where anyone anywhere could make small investments and possibly make money off of it. Even though investing on oneself, one’s education, skills, health etc., would still be the best investment for the long run, most of us are looking to make investments that could actually make us money right now.

So, here are ten ways you could invest money while also maintaining a full-time job.

1. Peer-to-peer lending

This is possibly the easiest investment you could make. Peer-to-peer lending involves you lending some money to a peer in hopes of making a profit out of the interest in the returns. Now of course this peer has to be someone you know or trust, so that alone reduces the pool of potentials. In a way, this method could be deemed as risky as it is simple. However, if you abide to the golden rule of lending anything including money, “Don’t lend something you can’t afford to lose”, the risk is definitely worth the simplicity and potential profit.

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2. Investment in precious metals

Precious metals are a very controversial investment. Some deem them the best investment one could make, others deem them the worst. Truth is, they could be a little bit of both.

The fluctuation in their prices aren’t as predictable as other things since they’re mostly dependent on the rise and fall of the dollar. However on the plus side, if a small investment is what you wish to make, the potential profit usually balances out the potential risk. Besides, precious metals like gold and silver are among the last remaining material investments one can physically hold on to.

3. Trading forex

Forex or the foreign exchange market is the world’s largest financial market. Everyday trillions of dollars are exchanged through forex and that is vital to the economy. Businesses, governments and investors use forex. Businesses use them to facilitate foreign trade, governments to implement policies and investors study the market and predict the rise and fall of the exchange rates and capitalize on this.

For as little as 25$ you could get started on foreign currency trading. The basic idea is that you buy a certain amount of a foreign currency and sell it at a higher price when its valuation is higher than what you originally paid.

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4. Trading options

Options trading is a process that lets you control a stock or an asset without actually owning it, letting you capitalize on its price chances. An options contract allows you the right to buy the shares owned by another person for a certain price known as the strike price before a certain date in exchange for a certain premium.

If the value of the share rises, then you can buy the shares for a price cheaper than the market price and then sell it at the market price to make an overall profit. If instead the value of the share falls, then you may decline from buying the stocks but you lose the premium you initially paid.

Options trading can make a great investment if you understand the market.

5. Trading futures

Futures trading involves investing in a volatile market and capitalizing on the fluctuations while providing stability to the businesses you have contracted with. With the pay of a full a time job, you can possibly afford to contract with small local businesses.

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If the market prices drop and the businesses can manufacture cheaper, then you get the profits. However, if the market prices rise and the manufacturing becomes more expensive, then you lose money. Once again, like options trading, if you are well educated about the market then futures trading make great investments.

6. Investment on real estate

Real estate prices continually rise and fall. And like precious metals, they are assets you can physically hold on to. If your pay can’t afford to invest in real estate around you, there are options around the world.

Many countries allow foreigners to invest in their real estate and if you’ve assessed the risks well enough, they may potentially prove to be a great investment. This is specially true for developing countries where a cheap real estate can be worth a lot more within just a few years. Once again, this requires great research.

7. Crowdfund investments

This could possibly be the best option for someone with a full time job. In crowdfund investment you are only require to invest a small portion of the required amount, and your future returns depend on the amount you have initially invested. This gives you the option to invest on big businesses that could potentially make a lot of profit. Furthermore, since you’re only investing a relatively small amount you could invest in a number of businesses and expect at least some of those to make you a profit.

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8. Buying stocks from established corporations

Stocks of established corporations are usually a safe bet. Let’s say you are willing to invest a thousand dollars a month from your salary. You could buy 20 stocks worth 50 dollars each. Since big corporations are constantly at work to try and increase their profits, stock prices are sooner than later bound to increase too. You could then sale some or all of the stocks you own to make a profit.

For an established corporation, worst case scenario may be the drop in stock prices by 5 or 10 dollars, because they don’t usually go below that. You’ll only be losing a $100 or $200 of your initial investment.

9. Being a silent partner in small businesses

Small businesses don’t usually require a lot of money to operate. The $1000 you agreed to invest in stocks in the previous point could very well help run a small business somewhere else.

Furthermore like real estate, you are not restricted to invest in businesses near you. In a developing nation, the $1000 could mean a lot and could help establish a number of businesses that could in time grow to be profitable. Becoming a silent partner means you don’t have to worry about the operations of the business. But once again, you need to be sharp on your assessment of the business and the person running it before you invest.

10. Buying penny stocks

Penny stocks are common stocks that are valued at less than a dollar. Investing in penny stocks is therefore considered highly speculative. They seldom make a good investment so unless you’ve run out of options, you should stay away from them. However since they are already so cheap, there is no other place for their prices to go but up. If you buy a lot of them (since they are all so cheap), at least some of them are bound to make you some profit. At least, these are the general assumptions surrounding investment in penny stocks.

Featured photo credit: Investing Money via upload.wikimedia.org

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Nabin Paudyal

Co-Founder, Siplikan Media Group

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Last Updated on August 20, 2019

How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

Finances can push anyone to the point of extreme anxiety and worry. Easier said than done, planning finances is not an egg meant for everyone’s basket. And that’s why most of us are often living pay check to pay check. But did anyone tell you that it is actually not a tough task to meet your financial goals?

In this article, we will explore ways on how to set financial goals and then actually meet them with ease.

5 Steps to Set Financial Goals

Though setting financial goals might seem to be a daunting task but if one has the will and clarity of thought, it is rather easy. Try using these steps:

1. Be Clear About the Objectives

Any goal (let alone financial) without a clear objective is nothing more than a pipe dream. And this couldn’t be more true for financial matters.

It is often said that savings is nothing but deferred consumption. Therefore if you are saving today, then you should be crystal clear about what it is for. It could be anything like kid’s education, retirement, marriage, that dream vacation, fancy car etc.

Once the objective is clear, put a monetary value to that objective and the time frame. The important point at this step of goal setting is to list all the objectives, however small they may be, that you foresee in the future and put a value to it.

2. Keep Them Realistic

It’s good to be an optimistic person but being a pollyanna is not desirable. Similarly, while it might be a good thing to keep your financial goals a bit aggressive, going out of the line will definitely hurt your chances of achieving them.

It’s important that you keep your goals realistic in nature for it will help you stay the course and keep you motivated throughout the journey.

3. Account for Inflation

Ronald Reagan once said – “Inflation is as violent as a mugger, as frightening as an armed robber and as deadly as a hitman”. And this quote sums up the best what inflation could do your financial goals.

Therefore account for inflation whenever you are putting a monetary value to a financial objective that is far away in the future.

For example, if one of your financial goal is your son’s college education, which is 15 years hence, then inflation would increase the monetary burden by more than 50% if inflation is mere 3%. So always account for inflation.

4. Short Term vs Long Term

Just like every calorie is not the same, the approach towards achieving every financial goal will not be the same. It is important to bifurcate goals in short term and long term.

As a rule of thumb, any financial goal, which is due in next 3 years should be termed as short term goal. Any longer duration goals are to be classified as long term goals. This bifurcation of goals into short term vs long term will help in choosing the right investment instrument to achieve them.

More on this later when we talk about how to achieve financial goals.

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5. To Each to His Own

The journey of setting financial goals is an individualistic affair i.e. your goals are your own goals and are determined by your want to achieve them. A lot of times we get on the bandwagon of goal setting only to realize later on that it was not meant for us.

It is important that your goals are actually your goals and not inspired by someone else. Take a hard look at this step at all the goals you’ve set for after this step, you will be on the way to achieve them.

By now, you would be ready with your financial goals, now it’s time to go all out and achieve them.

11 Ways to Achieve Your Financial Goals

Whenever we talk about chasing any financial goal, it is usually a 2 step process –

  • Ensuring healthy savings
  • Making smart investments

You will need to save enough; and invest those savings wisely so that they grow over a period of time to help you achieve goals. So let’s get down to ensuring healthy savings.

Ensuring Healthy Savings

Self realization is the best form of realisation and unless you decide what your current financial position is, you aren’t heading anywhere.

This is the focal point from where you start your journey of achieving financial goals.

1. Track Expenses

The first and the foremost thing to be done is to track your monthly expenses. Use any of the expense tracking mobile apps to record your expenses. Once you start doing it diligently, you would be surprised to see how small expenses add up to a sizeable amount.

Also categorize those expenses into different bucket so that you know which bucket is eating the most of your pay check. This record keeping will pave the way for cutting down on un-wanted expenses and pump up your savings rate.

2. Pay Yourself First

Generally, savings come after all the expenses have been taken care of. This is a classical mistake which almost everyone of us do. We pay ourselves last!

Ideally, this should be planned upside down. We should be paying ourselves first and then to the world i.e. we should be taking out the planned saving amount first and then manage all the expenses from the rest.

The best way to actually implement is to put the savings on automatic mode i.e. money flowing automatically into different financial instruments (for example – mutual funds, retirement corpus etc) every month.

Taking the automatic route will make us lose control of our money and hence will compel us to manage in what’s left with us thereby increasing the savings rate.

3. Make a Plan and Vow to Stick with It

Budgeting is the best to get around the uncertainty that financial plans always pose. Decide in advance how spending has to be made.

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Nowadays, several money management apps and wallets can help you do this automatically. It’s easy and who knows, you may just end up doing what people fail to do.

At first, you may not be able to stick to your plans completely but don’t let that become a reason why you stop budgeting entirely.

Make use of technology solutions you like. Explore options and alternatives that let you make use of the available wallet options and choose the one that suits you the most. In time, you will get accustomed to making use of these solutions.

You will find that they make it simpler for you to follow your plan, which would have been difficult otherwise.

4. Rise Again Even If You Fall

Let’s be realistic. It’s not like the world will come to an end if you made one mistake. This isn’t called leniency but discipline.

If you fail to meet your budget for a month, don’t give up the entire effort just like that. Instead, start again.

Remember that flexible plans are the most realistic plans. So go forward and try to follow your financial goals as planned but if for some reason, the plan gets out of hand for you, do not give up on it just yet. This has a lot to do with your psychology rather than any material commitment.

All you have to do is to stay on the road and vow to stay on it, no matter how much you fall down.

5. Make Savings a Habit and Not a Goal

In the book Nudge, authors Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein advocate that in order to achieve any goal, it should be broken down into habits since habits are more intuitive for people to adapt to.

Make Savings a habit rather than a goal. While it might seem to be counter intuitive to many but there are some deft ways of doing it. For example:

Always eat out (if at all) during weekdays rather than weekends. Usually weekends are expensive. Make it a habit and you would in turn be saving a great deal.

If you are travelling buff, try to travel during off season. Your outlay will be much less.

If you go out for shopping, always look out for coupons and see where can you get the best deal.

So the key point is to imbibe the action that results in savings rather than on the savings itself, which is the outcome. Focusing on the outcome will bring out the feeling of sacrifice which will be harder to sustain over a period of time.

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6. Talk About It

Sticking to the saving schedule (to achieve financial goals) is not an easy journey. There will be many distractions from those who are not aligned with your mission. And it would be rather easy to lose the grip over your discipline.

Therefore in order to stay the course, it is advisable that you keep yourself surrounded with people who are also on the same bandwagon. Daily discussions with them will keep you motivated to move forward.

7. Maintain a Journal

For some people, writing helps a great deal in making sure that they achieve what they plan.

So if you are one of them, maintain a proper journal, where you write down your goals and also jot down the extent to which you managed to meet them. This will help you in reviewing how far you have come and which goals you have met.

Use this journal to write down all essential points such as your short term, mid term and long term goals, your current sources of income, your regular expenses which you are aware of and any committed expenses which are of recurring nature.

When you have a written commitment on paper, you are going to feel more energised to follow the plan and stick to it. Moreover, it is going to be a lot more easier for you to follow you and track your progress.

At this point, you should be ready with your financial goals and would be doing brilliantly with savings; now it’s time to talk about the big daddy – Investments.

Making Smart Investments

Savings by themselves don’t take anyone too far. However savings when invested wisely can do wonders and we are at that stage where we will talk about making smart investments.

8. Consult a Financial Advisor

Investments doesn’t come naturally to most of us therefore rather than dabbling with it ourselves, it is wise to consult a financial advisor.

Talk to him/her about your financial goals and savings and then seek advice for the best investment instruments to achieve your goals.

9. Choose Your Investment Instrument Wisely

Though your financial advisor will suggest the best investment instruments, it doesn’t hurt to know a bit about them.

Just like “no one is born a criminal”, no investment instrument is bad or good. It is the application of that instrument that makes all the difference.

Do you remember we talked about bifurcating financial goals in short term and long term?

It is here where that classification will help.

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So as a general rule, for all your short term financial goals, choose an investment instrument that has debt nature for example fixed deposits, debt mutual funds etc. The reason for going for debt instruments is that chances of capital loss is less as compared to equity instruments.

10. Compounding Is the Eighth Wonder

Einstein once remarked about compounding,

Compound Interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it… He who doesn’t… Pays it.

So make friends with this wonder kid. And sooner you become friends with it, quicker you will reach closer to your financial goals.

Start investing early so that time is on your side to help you bear the fruits of compounding.

11. Measure, Measure, Measure

All of us do good when it comes to earning more per month but fail miserably when it comes to measuring the investments; taking stock of how our investments are doing.

If there is one single step where everything (so far) can go wrong, it is at this step – Measuring the Progress.

If we don’t measure the progress timely, then we would be shooting in the dark. We wouldn’t know if our saving rate is appropriate or not; whether financial advisor is doing a decent job; whether we are moving closer to our target or not.

Do measure everything. If you can’t measure it all yourself, ask your financial advisor to do it for you. But do it!

The Bottom Line

This completes the list of tips for you to set financial goals and actually achieve them with not so great difficulty.

As you can see, all it requires is discipline. But guess that’s the most difficult part!

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Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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