About half of Americans never invest at all. At least that’s what the headlines say.
In reality, if you’re living and breathing, and have the power of decision-making, you’re an investor; you invest your time and money in stuff and pursuits. Whether these pay off in a way that is measurable is another thing entirely — but every choice that you make is itself a kind of investment. You’re taking finite resources, like the time you have left in your life, and putting it toward something or other. If you have any money at all, you are investing every time you spend it, even if it’s just on a pack of gum.
This, of course, is different than Investment (capital ‘I’), with its emphasis on measurable returns and thoughtful allocation. That’s something that not everybody has the stomach for. With its emphasis on long term thinking and big payoffs, Investment may seem as distant a possibility as going to the moon. But this isn’t the only way to think about investment. Sure, you want to make money and build wealth, but it doesn’t have to be about big returns decades down the line.
There are ways that regular people get investment payoffs at all different times. Here are three examples:
- Day Trading. There are a lot of ways to pursue day trading, which gives you results in hours or even minutes rather than years or months. Probably the easiest way to get involved in day trading is through ETX Forex Trading. With Forex, you’re not really buying anything, so you don’t have to wait for sales and payouts and that kind of thing. Instead, you are making wagers on the near-future value behaviors of things like currencies and stocks. You’ll select a window of time for value changes in a currency pair, for instance, and receive dividends if you guess the right direction of value growth or loss, in proportion to the amount the product gained or lost value in the direction your chose. If you get it wrong you lose your investment. It’s easy to gain or lose a lot of money very quickly this way, but its also possible to use demo accounts as well as limit your investments, so you regulate how much you have at stake at any given moment. This is the Immediate Results investment option.
- Real Estate. This is an intermediate investment, especially if you are living in a home that you buy. Buying a first home is a huge investment, specifically because most or all of the money that you put into the home, through mortgage payments and improvements, stays with the home. Plus, with the average home increasing in the value 4% to 5% every year, your down payment will grow in value, as will each payment you make on your premium every month. This is the Near Future benefit type of investment.
- Mutual Funds & ETFs. Funds like these mature over decades. These are the investments that you want to plant now in order to harvest decades down the line. It’s good to put a lot of money into these, but balanced with the other investment types I’ve described, you can see how you won’t be limited to the distant future when it comes to investment.
So there you have it. Don’t get caught up in the length of time that investments can take to mature. Invest in your immediate and near future. And remember, it’s possible to do this without bringing money into the picture too.
Photo Credit: 401(k) 2012