Top 22 Best Investments to Make Money for 2017

We asked 22 financial bloggers what their “ideal” investment would be. Some gave us ideas on how to make money. Others came up with passive income ideas. Finally, some gave us tried and true principles of getting money to work for you. Whatever it is you are looking for you are sure to find some great nuggets of knowledge below on the best investment ideas from around the globe.

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Best Investments for 2017 and Beyond


1. Mark Struthers –

For young professional (age 25 to 35) the goal is to take advantage of their two biggest assets: 1) time-horizon and 2) human capital. Both should grow with inflation if invested in and nurtured properly.

So, if you are looking for career investments:

  • Additional education
  • Growing soft skills
  • Technological expertise
  • Industry Designations (like my CFA and CFP®)

Traditional Investments that grow with inflation:

  • Equities

o Common Stock of companies

  • Greatest wealth building vehicle over the long-term

o Higher growth areas

  • Small-Company Stocks
  • Emerging Markets
  • Foreign Developed Companies.

o I-Bond

  • Safe and grows with inflation – tax deferred

o Tip (Treasury Inflation Protection Security)

  • Safe and grows with inflation — more volatile than I-Bond

Young professionals should keep their core strong by having an emergency fund, investing up to the 401k Match, and then Roth IRA; with the 401k and Roth focused on long-term growth and inflation-sensitive assets. Roth is the King Kong of accounts for most young people. It acts as a back-up emergency fund, a college fund, and is all tax-free after 59 1/2, after that, invest in career.

If you were to pick two things that would offer the biggest bang for your investment buck, it would be investing in career and small-cap stocks.

For those who want a hands-off approach — a target-date fund is nice but is not the best scenario.

2. Evan R –

Best investment for young professionals – I know it is going to sound terribly old fashioned, but the best investment would be the time it takes to understand their expenses and budget.

If you are living paycheck to paycheck, or worse running a deficit, you won’t be able to invest in anything.

3. Erin Lowry –

The best investment when you’re young is to invest in yourself and an employer-matched retirement plan.

Consider learning new skills in your field, or in another field, to make yourself competitive and don’t be afraid to wisely invest in yourself.

4. Sam Dogen –

My best advice for young professionals is to BRAND themselves online by starting your own website. Why should LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and everybody else own your brand when someone search for your name?

Own your own name! Once you develop your own platform, you can connect with like-minded people. You can find amazing consulting opportunities or new job opportunities. Work on your site long enough, and you might even be able to negotiate a severance and be your own boss.

What’s better than living and working anywhere because of the internet while making your own decisions? Nothing!

5. Amanda Steinberg – DailyWorth and WorthFM

The best investment you can make is in yourself. Understand your underlying motivations around money — they’re not the same for everyone — and learn how to balance liquidity, debt repayment, and investing to grow your entire net worth, not just your investment portfolio.

Take our proprietary (and free!) MoneyType(tm) financial personality assessment to get started.

6. Rick Kahler –

Safe long-term investing:

Wise long-term investing in the stock market is anything but gambling. Instead of trying to buy and sell a few stocks as their prices go up and down, wise investors neutralize the impact of market fluctuations by owning a vast assortment of assets.

This is accomplished with a two-part strategy. The first is to invest in mutual funds rather than individual stocks. With just one mutual fund that invests in an index of stocks, you might own thousands of different companies. Your hard-earned fortune isn’t dependent on the fortunes of just a few companies.

The second component is asset class diversification. An asset class is a type of investment, such as U. S. and International stocks, U. S. and International bonds, real estate investment trusts, commodities, market neutral funds, Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities, and junk bonds. Ideally, a diversified portfolio should include nine or more asset classes.

By holding small amounts of a great many different companies and asset classes, you spread your risk so broadly that the inevitable fluctuations are small ripples rather than steep gains or losses. As some types of investments decline in value, other types will be gaining value. Over the long term, the entire portfolio grows.

7. Kevin Mercadante –

Start investing with little money – like low initial investment mutual funds:

Mutual funds are investment securities that allow you to invest in a portfolio of stocks and bonds with a single transaction, making them perfect for new investors.

The trouble is many mutual fund companies require initial minimum investments of between $500 and $5,000. If you’re a first-time investor with little money to invest, those minimums can be out of reach. But some mutual fund companies will waive the account minimums if you agree to automatic monthly investments of between $50 and $100.

Automatic investing is a common feature with mutual fund and ETF IRA accounts. It’s less common with taxable accounts, though its always worth asking if it’s available. Mutual fund companies that have been known to do this include Dreyfus, Transamerica, and T. Rowe Price.

An automatic investing arrangement is particularly convenient if you can do it through payroll savings. You can typically set up an automatic deposit situation through your payroll, in much the same way that you do with an employer-sponsored retirement plan. Just ask your human resources department how to set it up.

8. Ramit Sethi –

Save for personal investments (a course, a book, a trip, etc…) that can help propel you beyond everyone else.

Some examples of personal investments:

  • My friend Paul Singh puts aside $3,000 per year to travel and meet interesting people. Any time he needs consulting work, he makes a phone call and he has a new job.
  • Charlie Hoehn invested his time into working for me for free — as well as Tim Ferriss, Tucker Max, and many other people — and has done work that none of his peers can match. (He then wrote an ebook about how he did it.)
  • In college, I flew across the country to meet Seth Godin, which led to an internship, which led to 2 published books, TV exposure, and much more.

9. Ryan Guina –

How to invest $1,000:

Investing can seem complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. Determine whether you should invest your money, or use it for more immediate goals, create your investing goals, then find an investment to help you reach those goals.

There is still a lot of work you need to do to investigate the exact investment to purchase, but following these steps will help you eliminate most of the noise and help keep you on track. If you are just starting, then keep things simple. Start with a target date fund, then learn more about the stock markets and investing. Once you have more money to invest and a better understanding of how things work, you can venture into different types of investments.

10. Peter Anderson –

Start Investing ASAP, And Stick With It For The Long Term:

There are a lot of ways that you can put your money to work for you. You can invest in stocks and bonds, or just deposit your money in a bank at a set rate of interest. You can invest in real estate, or invest in your peers via P2P lending.

When it comes down to it, however, most people are going to get the best returns on their money by investing in stocks and bonds for the long term using a proven strategy like buy and hold index fund investing. It may not be sexy, or get the most headlines, but sometimes slow and steady does win the race.

11. Gretchen “LivingOnFifty” –

Investing in your 20’s:

The bottom line is this: save something, even if it’s just $100 a month. Take a few surveys online, secret shop, or start a blog to come up with that money if you’re strapped for cash, and pick an index fund.
Don’t get caught up in the complicated, just invest in something during your 20’s. When you’re in your 30’s and finally feel responsible enough to make investing decisions, you can fine-tune your strategy.

12. Joan Concilio –

Build an Emergency Fund:

My best suggestion is NOT to set aside small amounts from each paycheck. Later, that’s great, but you’ll spend two years building a modest emergency fund and probably get hit with five “emergencies” in that time if you do it slow.

There are two key ways to get a base emergency fund established, and then a couple additional ways to keep it growing or rebuild it after it’s used. So, to establish your fund…

Once you have a minimum of $1,000 in savings, you can keep selling crap and hustling to get to the dollar amount that makes you most comfortable in your present phase of life.

13. Todd Tresidder –

Invest in your Financial Education:

You must learn before you can earn.

Every investment in your financial intelligence will pay dividends for a lifetime.

I recommend that clients regularly contribute to their financial intelligence by taking courses, reading, and researching so that their financial intelligence grows faster than their wealth.

The earlier you learn your lessons, the less they will cost you. You’ll gain experience on smaller investment decisions, where mistakes can be offset by new savings.

The longer you wait to learn these lessons the more they will cost you. That cost comes in the form of years of missed opportunities and mistakes made with big investment decisions later in life that can’t be offset by savings.

What you know influences how much you earn. Don’t forget to invest in financial education.

14. Robert Farrington –

Frontload your life:

Frontloading your life is working hard now so you don’t have to work so hard later.

You have to work hard up front, and in anywhere from 10 to 30 years (depending on how much you invest and how smart you are about the way you invest), you’ll earn a good amount of passive income (through owning multiple rental properties, investing in dividend stocks, and even building businesses and outsourcing the work).

15. Jeff Rose –

Create multiple income streams:

Even if you love your job, creating multiple income streams is a form of income insurance. For that reason alone, it needs to be on your list of good financial goals.

But here are even more reasons:

  • One of those income streams could be the part-time cash flow that enables you to semi-retire at an early age
  • If you want to start your own business – but don’t want to quit your job – starting a side business could be the way to do it
  • The extra cash flow from any additional income stream could be used to help fund your retirement savings
  • It could also be used to help you pay off your debts
  • Several income streams could provide you with an income portfolio, that means that you’re not dependent on a single source of income – ever!

16. William Cowie –

Every successful investor will tell you the same thing: Successful investing is boring. Success comes from patience, diligence and perseverance more than anything else. Brilliance and aggressiveness are more likely to cost you than add anything to your bottom line.

Even Warren Buffett famously admitted that the secret of his success is that he mastered “the art of doing nothing,” his phrase for doing simple things and being patient. In short, let compounding do its work by giving it time and staying out of its way.

Even if you start with small investments to begin with, they will grow to a sizable sum if you stay the course. Investing is not rocket science; it amounts to paying yourself first every month, even if you have to do without some small thing in the short term.

17. Rob Berger –

Invest with little money:

Save up the cash so that you can buy a Vanguard fund. This may not be what you expected, but Vanguard mutual funds are extremely inexpensive to own. The Vanguard 500 Index fund mentioned above has an expense ratio of just 0.17%. That means that for every $1,000 you have invested in the fund, your annual cost will be just $1.70.

If I were advising my children, I’d recommend that they start saving as much as they can in a high interest savings account. Once they saved $3,000, invest in the Vanguard 500 Index fund. It offers excellent diversity at a low cost.

18. Miranda Marquit –

Cultivate Marketable Skills: Your 20s is a good time to cultivate skills and education that can benefit you down the road. Consider what skills will be in demand in the coming years, and consider what you enjoy.

I am fortunate enough to have earned a degree in Communications, and go on to acquire a M.A. in Journalism. These skills allow me to work from home as a freelance writer, supporting my family while my husband works on a Ph.D. — so that he can enter a field with growth-potential: the environment and public health.

19. J. Money –

Keep investing as simple and as stupid as possible. Then move on with your life!

  • Start with index funds.Because I’m a licensed investment advisor I have a choke-hold around my neck from saying the name of any index fund. What I CAN say, though, is that index funds are a great starting point because they are really low-cost. Choose an index fund(s) that has a low expense ratio less than .5%. I’ve even seen less than .1%!
  • Strategize:Know your target asset allocation mix. Rebalancing is very important because it will help you stay aligned with your target asset allocation. It will help you sleep better at night, too!
  • Know why you pick that investment.Write out a few short sentences of your reasons for buying into a particular investment. Maybe something like, “I am investing in this {insert name of investment) because the expense ratio is low, research has shown most actively managed mutual funds fail to beat the passive index funds, blah blah blah.” Then, review your choices periodically and be mindful of your basic reasoning for it.
  • Turn away from the negative media. I think it’s safe for me to say you know what happens if you listen to too much negativity. It will lead you to making emotional and irrational decisions.

20. Paula Pant –

Investing is best approached as a zen practice: one that’s marked by peace, detachment and acceptance.

This is my ultra-simple investing plan:

1) Earn more, save more, invest more.

2) Choose investments with risk levels you accept, such as index funds or rental properties.

3) Let go of the outcome. Accept that whatever happens, happens.

Focus on the amount you invest each month (within your control) rather than the performance of those investments (outside your control).

21. Jacob and Vanessa –

There are two really important investments to make at a young age:

First, invest in your own human capital. You have a long time horizon to work and earn labor income, so take every opportunity to improve your earning ability. That includes continuing education, networking, and branding.
With the internet’s continued growth and importance, I believe everyone should purchase their name as a domain, and start a basic WordPress website. I think it’s also important to choose a career that you care about. Life is short, and no job (or paycheck) is worth 40+ hours of misery each week.
Second, grow your financial assets. Young professionals have a long time horizon until retirement, which means many years of potential investment. Everyone knows the effects of compound interest, which highlights the importance of saving and investing at a young age. If you want to begin investing, your have two options – DIY or hire an outside party. I honestly believe that many young professionals should focus on building their human capital, while outsourcing the management of their financial capital.
Firms like Betterment and Wealthfront do asset management very well, for as little as 0.15% annually. If you don’t enjoy learning about investments, outsource the task and focus on building your human capital and growing your income.

22. Steve Gibbs –

We’ve all heard the phrase, “failing to plan is planning to fail”. Nowhere is this more true than in formulating a family wealth protection plan.

But what does it mean to have a great wealth protection plan in an uncertain world? Clearly, Wall Street, Washington and the banks have failed to offer real security.
How about IRA and 401(k) accounts? Are these really the best long term planning vehicles out there?
Maybe it is time to question conventional wisdom and discover different avenues to wealth building outside of the status quo.
I suggest we start with reviewing some history. What vehicle has stood strong, weathering every financial storm and providing seed capital for some of the most prolific companies in operation today?
What vehicle can do this while providing stability and protection for loved ones, business partners and employees?
What vehicle goes hand in hand with your other estate planning goals providing asset protection, business continuity and estate tax protection?
If you answered “cash value life insurance,” then I commend you. If not..don’t take my word for it…do your research for yourself, your loved ones and your legacy.

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We hope you enjoyed our article on the top 22 best investments for young professionals brought to you by some of the webs best financial gurus.

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