Do you consider yourself an investor? Have you been keeping up with the latest trends throughout 2022, or have you felt a little lost as of late? Personally, for a long time I felt myself falling into the latter category. Keeping track of things has been increasingly difficult, especially seeing as it seems as if a new cryptocurrency releases every few months. How are we supposed to keep track of it all?
Do not feel bad if you are in the same boat as me. Thankfully, there are still ways that we can keep ourselves informed on the market without it taking up all the time in our days. If that is something that has caught your interest, be sure to stick around. I will explain it all in due time!
What Investing Looks Like Right Now
Let us begin by taking a peek at the state of investment as it is right now. I will focus on the United States, but just keep in mind that thanks to increased levels of globalization, the whole world is connected economically. What impacts one country will often trickle down to others as well, so this information will still be helpful on an international level.
You could get a start by reading this article, https://www.cnbc.com/2022/10/18/stocks-and-bonds-both-down-what-to-do-with-your-money.html, which offers some perspectives on the more “traditional” styles of investing. These are, of course, known as stocks and bonds. Since their invention, they have been something that businessmen and women flock to.
Stocks and Bonds
Why is that? Well, when you purchase “stock” from a company, you are essentially buying a portion of the business ownership. Thus, you share in their profits. Unfortunately, though, if they start to lose money, you will also lose out.
Bonds, on the other hand, are something that we “buy” from the United States government. I put quotation marks around the “buy” part because in truth, we are giving them a loan. If you wondered how a bond can earn you money over time, that is why. They end up paying interest on it depending on how long we have held it.
When I was a kid, my grandma gave me a savings bond as a birthday gift. I was probably two or three years old. I remember being so confused, and rather disappointed, considering the present was just a piece of paper to hold. Now that I am older, though, I can truly appreciate the value behind that gift.
Now, all of that being said, it is important to keep in mind that a lot of economists are warning investors against these assets right now. This is advice for both experienced and “rookies” who are looking at their finances currently and deciding they want to make some changes. What are some alternatives, then?
By now, I would be shocked if you have never heard of cryptocurrencies before. They have gained immense popularity in the past few years, and the months of staying cooped up inside during the covid 19 pandemic certainly have not changed that. In fact, I would say it only encouraged more “bitcoin farming,” which is how those who are excellent with computers manage to generate the currency.
For most people, though, this method is not overly accessible. It requires access to strong computers with high end components, for one thing. Additionally, the programming knowledge required is not exactly a “beginner friendly” aspect. Instead, investors end up purchasing the currency outright with the United States dollar or their own applicable ones.
As the name of them implies, they are not a tangible form of money. Most brick-and-mortar stores still do not accept them as a payment method. However, a lot of online vendors have started to accept the mainstream coins, so that is something to keep in mind.
Overall, though, they are typically not a friendly investment for newcomers to the scene. Part of it is trying to navigate the overall landscape. The number of coins that have been created is almost overwhelming at this point. If you intend to try it out, I will just recommend doing the proper research to ensure you do not get ripped off.
I will not linger overly long on this topic. I find this form of investment to be a rather pointless one, but it is hardly fair to cover the current scene without mentioning them. You can find out more on this page: https://www.theverge.com/22310188/nft-explainer-what-is-blockchain-crypto-art-faq. There is a lot of controversy surrounding them and trust me when I say that this is for good reason.
For one thing, a lot of them that are being sold on the sketchier markets are in fact stolen artwork from independent artists who did not consent to it. Additionally, their value has still not been demonstrated, especially considering how easy it is to replicate them. So, it is not something that I would recommend unless you have a tangible plan on how to make money in this method.
This is admittedly where things get a bit more complicated, since there are a variety of assets that can be considered within this category. Crops, precious metals, and energy are just a few of them. Even real estate is sometimes added, though I would somewhat argue against that. It is personal preference to some extent.
When it comes to energy, this includes both “fossil fuels” and greener sources of power. Some common ones that come to mind are crude oil, coal, hydro power, and wind power. In general, though, these are not markets that most consumers decide to enter.
On the other hand, precious metals tend to be considered easier to start investing in. You can read about it in a Monetary Metals Review if you are curious about it, since reading testimonies from other investors is something that can be valuable for us. How does it work, though?
Typically, you find a broker that you want to purchase your metal from. Often, they sell it in the form of bullion, since it makes it easier to transport and trade or sell later down the line. From there, it will be up to you on how to store it. Some opt to entrust it with a custodian, while others simply keep it at home.
You can even put things like gold in a retirement count if you choose to do so. It is your decision on how you want to handle it if you do decide to invest in them, though, so it is probably not a bad idea to plan ahead. The selection is generally between gold, palladium, platinum, and silver.
As you can probably tell based on this article, the state of investing is a bit messy. That is putting it lightly. However, this should not discourage us from trying to save for the future via intelligently selected assets.
The key is to continue to educate ourselves on what are sound choices. There is no way to entirely erase risk, and some people like that aspect of it. However, if you are hedging your future on this sort of thing, the less risk involved the better (at least in my opinion). Try to consider that as you make your decisions.