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Creative Investments for Young People

How to Earn Income on Your Own

If you have read my previous articles at all then you will know that I advise to just “be creative” at least 20 times per article. There is a reason for this. I have found that the best and most lucrative investments come from being creative, and that makes sense when you think about it. You can’t expect to make as much money in a field that is already saturated with investors as you can in short term no one else has yet thought of. This is why people always talk about the millionaire innovators. It's easiest to make money if you are the first or only one in your field.

Obviously I’m not going to be able to give you the next huge innovation that will make you the next Steve Jobs, that you have to figure out by yourself. However, what I can do is give you a few of my favorite investment strategies that are less well known and less saturated than things like the stock market.

Equipment Leasing:

Equipment leasing has been a niche form of investing for a long time and has been the inspiration behind many small businesses. Industrial equipment, medical equipment, and large vehicles all fall under this category, but if you are creative, you can find a way to make this work for you. For instance, I have a friend who spent about $500 on the equipment to create a recording studio in his basement. He now charges aspiring artists and musicians $40 an hour to record here. They get professional recording quality at half the price of a fancy studio and he gets an extra $200-300 a week by essentially doing nothing. Another idea which I have considered doing myself is buying a screen printing machine and charging to print shirts and clothes for people. I know at least five people at the moment who aspire to start their own fashion line. Obviously, the type of equipment that would be best for you is dependent upon the type of people you know, but if you are innovative and use what you know, you could potentially make a good amount of supplemental income.

Peer 2 Peer Lending:

Perhaps you have considered getting a loan before, but if I had to bet, I would say that you have never really considered yourself in a position to issue a loan. Well, the good news is that if you have $25, you have enough to become a lender. There are a number of websites out there that offer peer 2 peer lending services. Essentially, this is a place people can go to get a loan without dealing with the hassles of going through a major financial institution. This is also a place where you as the investor can go to invest your money by issuing a loan with a high interest rate. Personally, I use lendingclub.com and I recommend it for a number of reasons. First of all, they allow you to customize what type of loans you want to give and what type of people you want to give them to. Secondly, and perhaps most importantly, they used a sort of crowdfunding strategy to allow you to only provide part of a loan with a minimum amount of $25. This means that you can begin investing in peer 2 peer lending with relatively low income. It also means instant diversification as, if you have $1,000, you can potentially spread it out of 40 different loans. Obviously, some people are going to default on their loans but if you spread it out, you will make much more money than you lose.

Flipping:

Chances are you have probably seen about 20 different TV shows about this exact concept. It seems HGTV has nothing other than house flipping shows, and other shows such as Pawn Stars and American Pickers are even more popular. Basically, these shows all revolve around the concept of making money by buying something, improving it in some way (not always a necessary step), and then selling it at a profit. The thing about flipping is that it can be done with literally anything, and you don’t have to own a pawn shop to make money doing it. One of my favorite things to do early on in my venture into investing was to go to yard sales on the weekends and pick up peoples' old electronics and whatnot. Then, throughout the week, I would sell these items on apps like LetGo and OfferUp for about double what I bought them for. With this strategy, I got to where I could turn 200$ into 400$ in less than a week. Another example is a friend I have who makes thousands of dollars a month reselling used designer street brands. He offers people cash for their old Yessy’s and Supreme t-shirts then resells them at a ridiculous profit. Just like equipment leasing, the type of flipping that would be most profitable to you is dependent upon your interests and social network, but the possibilities are endless.

Websites:

This is a market that I was completely ignorant of six months ago. But there is an entire community of people on the internet that make money buying and selling websites. The biggest website for this is flippa.com. On Flippa, you can buy and sell websites, domain names, and even apps. What's more is that there are a number of strategies you can use to make money buying and selling these. The first strategy is to buy an existing website that either has traffic or has good potential for traffic and monetize it to create passive monthly income. This can be dangerous though, as there are a number of unscrupulous people on these websites trying to sell websites that are essentially worthless. All investments require you to be diligent in doing your research, but buying a website is even riskier than most. The second strategy is to buy or create websites with good traffic potential, then improve them and sell them for a profit. This is probably the most surefire way to make money, but it does require a certain set of technical skills. However, if you are knowledgeable about computers and how to run a website, then this is probably one of the best short term investments for you.

Commodities:

This is the only strategy that overlaps from my list favorite short term investments. There is a reason for this. Commodities have long been a popular form of investing. However, when most people use this term, they are referring to gold and silver investing. When I say invest in commodities, I use that to apply to a much broader set of commodities. For instance, you could buy cattle. A calf can be bought at around $500 and then sold for beef at around $2,000 a few years later. Another good idea is to breed purebred dogs or other animals. A good purebred dog can cost you thousands of dollars, but if you breed them, you can sell their puppies for just as much, if not more, making your initial investment back in one litter. This means that every litter after that would bring you thousands of dollars in profit. Obviously, for these specific examples there would be some requirements such as land for cattle or the desire to own and take care of a dog, but there are tons of other options and commodities you can choose that will work for you. 

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