When saving for a goal or retirement many people quickly realize that they can get much closer to their long-term savings goal by having their money work for them. The way to do this is through investments; however, investments covers a large number of different assets, and most people will want to narrow down their criteria at least somewhat so that they can select the asset class that works best for them. Assets include things like stocks, bonds, real estate, and even precious metals. All of these different asset types have their own benefits and drawbacks and most can only be acquired in specific ways.
Stocks are one of the most common investments, as they are found in almost every retirement account and are widely reported on through the news media. Stocks are a share of ownership in a particular company; many of which will pay dividends if they are profitable. A dividend is a payout that a stock will pay to its owner when the company makes money and has no way to efficiently reinvest it. Stocks have over long periods of time had fairly consistent returns and helped many people achieve their retirement goals.
Precious metals are much different than stocks in the way that the provide value to the investor. Precious metals are usually used to guard against downturns in the stock market due to the fact that it is presumed that they will hold at least some value even in a worst case scenario. The way most people invest in precious metals is through buying coins, many of which will have collectible and or antique value beyond that of the precious metal that they are made of. A good way to analyze these coins is to see if there is a coin shop near where you live; this can be done by simply searching the internet for something such as “silver coin shops Colorado“.
Real Estate is another asset that many people choose to invest in, however it can be more complicated than the other assets previously mentioned. The way that many people invest in real estate is through the purchase of rental properties. Buying a rental property can be expensive, but once it has a tenant in place can provide consistent monthly income over the long term. Another downside to investing in rental properties is that the owner may have to deal with tenants who can be uncooperative from time to time. Thus, real estate can be a difficult asset class to hold without proper systems in place to properly manage the investment.
Any asset class is likely to provide at least some value over the long term. The question that each investor must answer for themselves is which asset class fits best into their lifestyle and aligns with their goals. Perhaps for some the higher risk and reward arena of real estate or the stock market is the way to go. On the other hand, an investor looking for a set it and forget it asset to hold may choose to invest in precious metals like silver or gold.