Investing money is much easier nowadays thanks to the internet – but most of us don’t take advantage of the opportunities out there. Not only has the internet brought about new commodities, it’s also made many traditional styles of investing easier. The internet has also made it possible to invest on any budget. Here are just ten ways to use the web to grow your money.
Let’s start with cryptocurrencies given that they’re currently all the rage. These are digital currencies (the most famous being Bitcoin), originally developed as a universal currency to get around foreign currency transfer rates, but now mainly an investment commodity. You can acquire these currencies in three different ways – by accepting them as a payment, by trading them for money or by mining them. The number of cryptocurrencies is growing day by day – as of January 2018 there were 1384 different ones.
Already certain cryptocurrencies have risen and fallen. Bitcoin witnessed a boom in value last year – some people multiplied their investment tenfold. February of this year meanwhile saw a crash in value. This volatility has put off a lot of people – few really understand what makes these currencies rise and fall in value unlike other commodities which can be predicted to an extent. It’s therefore a bit of gamble, but unlike many other investment strategies you don’t need to contribute a lot of money to get involved. Old-skool investors claim it’s a bubble, whilst many investors of the modern era see it as a growing field with a good future.
Trade real currencies
You can also trade real currencies online. You’ll find many forex brokers on the web that trade foreign currencies. Some can advise you on the best currency transfer rates of the moment so that you make the biggest return. Being physical and more regulated, these currencies may appeal to some people more than cryptocurrencies. You also don’t need much money to get involved in this kind of investment with many forex broker offering low minimum investments.
Try peer-to-peer lending
Peer-to-peer lending is a new form of investment made possible through the connective power of the internet. It involves lending money to other people online as a loan with interest. Over the following months, you get your money back in instalment along with interest allowing you to make a profit. You’ll find lots of peer-to-peer lending sites out there such as Zopa in which you can choose who to lend money to based on whether or not you like their cause. It’s best to use popular and secure lending sites – this way you know you’re going to get your money back and you know that your details won’t be misused.
Get involved in crowdfunding
Crowdfunding is a method of investing in which lots of people group together to invest in something. This is a great way of taking advantage of high return investments that would usually cost too much to invest in alone. Crowdfunding existed before the internet, but the web has made it much easier to get involved. There are sites that list various crowdfunding investment opportunities out there, allowing you to choose the causes that you believe in the most, whilst contributing as little or as much as you like. Some sites have also combined crowdfunding with peer-to-peer lending, allowing you to contribute small amounts to a loan and make money through interest. Because you are sharing the investment with lots of other people, the return is likely to be lower than were you to go at it alone. However, for many people that can be worth the lower minimum payment.
Invest in domain names
Domain names are the latest investment commodity that people are going crazy for. This is a means of buying web addresses and selling them for a profit. Certain domain names can sell for a lot of money (‘insure.com’ sold for $16 million in 2009). Generic words, professions and locations are some of the biggest sellers. Some investors have even gone so far as to buy domains that future events may profit from such as 2022olympics.com. Domain names are thought to become more expensive in the future as available URLs become harder to come by. Many investors will buy lots of domain names for cheap in the hope that one of them will get bought for a huge amount, enough to make a profit from.
Buy and sell collectibles on eBay
There are many collectibles that have become popular investments. These include limited edition items, antiques and celebrity memorabilia. Collectors can pay a lot of money for certain items, whether it’s a special edition Disney VHS tape or a professional boxer’s signed gloves.
It’s possible you may already have items that are worth a lot of money in your attic. If not you can always get involved by searching for undervalued items being sold. By scouring online selling sites, you may be lucky enough to find prize collectible that are being sold at a much lower price than they’re actually worth – if you can buy these items before other collectors and investors discover them, you may be able to sell them for the amount that they ought to be sold out, making yourself a profit. Online auctions are also great places to find these items.
Getting into this form of investment does involve educating yourself in the collectible to the extent that you’re practically a guru in the field. Most investors are collectors themselves, which is where the danger lies – collect more than you invest and you won’t make a profit.
Invest in property online
The world of property investment has also benefited from the internet. A number of online realtors and listing sites have sprung up, which have made looking for property to buy across the world easier. Whether you’re looking for a flat or a terrace house, you can find it using these sites. Unlike high street agents, some of these sites don’t charge commission, which can be a significant pull factor when selling a property through these sites. Some sites also offer virtual tours – if you’re buying a property and don’t want to make the journey to visit the property in person, you may be able to get an idea of what it looks like by taking a tour via Youtube video or a VR tour made from photos (agents are also now using video-communication to do viewings remotely).
Meanwhile, sites like Airbnb have made it possible to get involved in holiday home rentals more easily. Such sites advertise your property, screen guests and accept payment. You’ll likely still need to hire a local property manager to exchange keys, clean the property and maintain it, but the marketing and booking side can done yourself.
Use a robo-advisor
Many investors are trading human investment brokers for robo-advisors. These digital programmes are able to monitor thousands of investment opportunities to find you the best investment deal based on hard stats. By offering unbiased advice, robo-advisors can seem more trustworthy to many people. There are lots of different robo-advisors out there – all with their different pros and cons. Some programmes come with fees but low minimum account balances, whilst others have no fees but high minimum balances. Each programme also requires a different level of investment knowledge, whilst some are suited to novices others may be better aimed at experts that know all the lingo
Use micro-investment apps
Micro-investing is a way of investing your spare change. There are now ingenious apps such as Moneybox that can save up this money for you by rounding every purchase up to the nearest dollar and then depositing the leftover cents into a savings account. The app then recommends ways to invest this money similar to a robo-advisor. There are lots of apps out there to look into, some with fees. This on-the-go form of investing can be used by anyone on any budget, although it’s not a strategy for those wanting to make a huge return.
Shop for online savings accounts
For those that want a low risk investment strategy, setting up a savings account is always the best option. Many banks and trusts now offer savings accounts that can be entirely managed online. This prevents you having to head into a physical bank every time you want to move money to this account. There are lots of comparison sites that can help you to find a high interest savings account that meets your needs. For example, some may need a minimum balance whilst others may require a minimum monthly payment.