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ilovedrums's avatar

What's the best way to invest $20K ?

Asked by ilovedrums (25points) November 18th, 2010

i’ve been able to save up a little over $20k. i’m looking to invest in something that’ll obviously bring the most return with the least amount of risk. Any suggestions in how to creatively invest that much money? what’s the trend these days?

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12 Answers

Rarebear's avatar

Have you paid off all your consumer debt—credit cards, car loans, etc.?

ilovedrums's avatar

no consumer debt. just a leased car, school loans, and a mortgage.

GeorgeGee's avatar

as a rule the higher risks go with the higher rewards. If you want safety you get near zero returns.
That being said, here are some possibilities whose risks most people would consider “acceptable:”
Ireland bonds, paying about 8.5%
GE Stock, currently paying an annual dividend equal to 2.99%
Coca Cola stock, currently paying an annual dividend equal to2.76%

submariner's avatar

Paying down debts (school loans, mortgage) will probably have the greatest return/risk ratio.

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
Rarebear's avatar

If your school debt is tax deductable then that’s okay to keep. If it’s not, pay it off. Keep your mortgage as you can deduct the interest.

Look for an investment with the right risk mix for you with low costs. I recommend low cost index mutual funds from a company like Vanguard.

If you have an employer sponsored retirement plan such as a 401K use that first. Max out IRA contributions second, either a Roth, or traditional IRA. Third, invest it outside of retirement plans.

If you’re going to invest it in stock mutual fund outside of retirement plans, make sure to look at the turnover ratio. Actively managed funds tend to have higher turnover ratios and you pay more tax on that—they’re also more expensive with higher management fees compared with index funds.

mrlaconic's avatar

You worked hard to save it…so do something fun.

I say invest in a time share (buy them used you can get killer deals).. that way you will be able to take more vacations for cheap.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

Welcome to Fluther.

Congratulations, first of all. It’s not easy saving that much money.

There’s no ‘right’ answer to your question. If you want high returns, then you have to accept a certain amount of risk. If you want your capital to be rock-solid secure, then you’re not going to be rewarded with much of a return. So what is ‘best’ is going to depend on several factors:
1. What you know—the industries you feel comfortable investing in, should you decide to buy stocks or invest directly in a business;

2. What you can or want to learn—in terms of investing in your own ability to learn things you don’t already know about industries, businesses and investment vehicles themselves;

3. The amount of risk you’re willing to take on—as your knowledge and confidence grow, then so should your ability to control for various risks and accept more risk knowledgeably and willingly;

4. Your age and earning ability—obviously if you’re at retirement age or disabled, then you won’t be working much, if at all, and won’t have a fallback source of income, but if you’re young and already employed, then you should definitely consider higher-risk investments, because you have the luxury of time to turn iffy or bad investment decisions around, and a chance for ‘seedling’ investments to grow strong.

I always recommend learning about the stock market and investing that way. Start small—baby steps—and gain confidence from good decisions, and learn from the bad ones… and be ruthless about cutting off losing investments. If you make a stock purchase expecting it to go one way and it goes, say, 7–10% against your thoughts, then sell it without a second thought and learn from the mistake.

Ride your winners as long as they keep on winning.

thekoukoureport's avatar

I would suggest finding some dividend paying stock and use the dividends to purchase more stock. Take about half and do that and over a period of years you will reap quite a lovely profit. Take the other 10k and go see Europe a place where things are old. It’s obvious you hv a great head on your shoulders expand your mind.

wundayatta's avatar

The most money for the least risk—the Shangri La of investments.

How much time do you want to spend messing with your investments? Are you going to watch them day by day; hour by hour? Are you going to research the hell out of each bond or company you want to buy a share of? If you do that, you can make a lot more money a lot faster. But you have to learn a lot to do that, and the markets are very unforgiving. I think I spend about fifty K learning I didn’t have the knowledge necessary to play that game.

What my wife and I do is mutual funds. Vanguard mutual funds because they take the least out for administrative costs. They have a couple of funds that they manage for you that try to keep the risk fairly low. One is the Star Fund which balances bonds and stocks. The Asset Allocation Fund is a little more aggressive, and we have a lot of money in that. The Asset Allocation fund moves money back and forth between stocks and bonds as the economy warrants.

I’m in the “park it and forget it” school of investing. I’ve learned that active management is not for me. We don’t just forget it, because there is money we have to use, but it’s as little hassle as we can get without leaving in in a savings account or something.

Cruiser's avatar

Buy a condo or townhome and live in it or better, rent it out. Housing prices are at least 30% off their highs and you could cash in big time in 3–5 years.

talljasperman's avatar

Keep an 8 month emergency fund and invest in something safe like government bonds in Canada they pay .4% but you wont lose any unless the world economic system crashes. You could always call Suzie Orman and ask her what to do with it…. or you can pay of my student loans and put me through college and take 10% of my income as payment for 10 years.

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