There are no guarantees when it comes to investing. Whether you invest time, money or energy, there is always a risk that things will not work out.
That being said, there are things that are no problem for investors looking to get ahead.
In a tough stock market, here are five investments you can make that are almost guaranteed to produce net positive returns in your lifetime.
1. The S&P 500
It may not be tomorrow, next week or even next year, but if history is any indicator, the S&P500 is heading for higher ground in the long term.
When the market turns sour, as it has recently, it’s helpful to look at a historical chart of the S&P 500 for much-needed perspective.
^ SPX data by YCharts
The conclusion is quite simple: investing in the 500 largest companies in the United States turns out to be a net benefit if you devote enough time to it.
2. Side shoves
Side hustles are one of the easiest ways to increase your income. From walking dogs to driving for Uber Where Lyft, imagine what you could do with 10% to 15% more each month. That money could mean a well-deserved vacation, boosting your emergency fund, or extra money to invest for your future.
Side hustle is also a great gateway to entrepreneurship. The risk of quitting your job to start your own business is high, but side-working on weekends is relatively low risk, and if you’re willing to work, it can certainly turn into a full-time job one day.
TwitterSlack (now part of Selling power), and Craigslist are notable businesses that started as hustles for their founders.
3. A higher salary
One of the fastest ways to increase your wealth is to increase your salary. The problem is that most people approach this investment the wrong way.
Instead of just asking for a raise, you should approach the issue more strategically.
Even if your boss is sensitive to difficult situations such as cost-of-living increases, companies are all about making money, so the boss probably won’t have to give you a raise. You’re much more likely to succeed by pitching an idea to your boss that will add value to the business and make everyone’s life easier. The two most obvious ways to do this are to cut costs and increase sales.
The simple pitch might look like this: “If I can accomplish X, which will make the company more money, can I get a raise?”
You’ll have to get creative, but if you know how to add more value to the company, higher pay will likely follow.
4. Invest knowledge
Stock market crashes can be humiliating. Many decide to exit the markets for good, but savvy investors use bear markets as a cue to invest smarter.
Increasing your knowledge of topics such as writing an investment thesis, analyzing financial news, and researching stocks will have a huge positive impact on your long-term portfolio performance.
5. Things that bring you joy
Although it might not show up on a profit and loss chart, investing in things that bring pleasure into your life can definitely pay dividends for your overall health and happiness.
Pursuing new hobbies, spending time with family and friends, or starting new non-work related projects not only adds variety and balance to your life, but it also keeps your brain busy. away from the markets for a while. And for long-term investors, getting away from constant short-term market hedging can be a powerful advantage.
Every time we allocate resources, we invest
Buying stocks or other assets is not the only definition of investing. Anytime you allocate resources to something, it’s an investment. Besides money, our most precious resources are time and energy, and how we spend them can have massive implications for our overall health and happiness.
The Oracle of Omaha, Warren Buffett, said it best: “The most important investment you can make is in yourself.”
Investing in yourself is at the heart of becoming smarter, happier, and wealthier.