Interest in investing has skyrocketed recently, and for most people the stock market is the obvious place to put their hard-earned cash.
However, there are actually a lot of other options for investment aficionados that newcomers might not know about, so here is a look at a small selection of the most appealing alternatives to consider.
If you are looking for good investment returns for your money, then mutual funds might be an appealing option. As the name suggests, these are funds that combine several stocks under a single price to the buyer, and as the linked article explains they are attractive because an experienced manager will handle the hard work of making tricky investment decisions.
Mutual funds are essentially an equivalent to stock market investing which does not require as much input from the investor, although of course choosing a fund from the thousands available is a challenge in its own right.
An ancient and established form of investment, real estate is generally a safe bet so long as you have sufficient capital to get started and are also willing to cope with the complications that come with the territory.
Buying a home or commercial property to rent out is possible even if you have to get a mortgage to cover the asking price, and the rental payments will ideally be able to accommodate whatever expenses are associated with dealing with this debt and also addressing maintenance issues.
Unless you are a full time property investor and developer, you will probably not be able to make money quickly in this sphere, but anyone seeking a long term prospect should definitely look into real estate.
Starting a business of your own in order to make your fortune is a daunting prospect, but thanks to the world of franchising you can fulfill your entrepreneurial ambitions without having to build a brand from scratch.
From hotel chains to major fast food outlets, lots of different internationally-known organizations allow third party investors to launch their own franchises.
To generate serious amounts of cash from this approach, you will need to have a decent sum to start with. This is a major barrier, but with the right approach the returns can make the risk justifiable.
In recent years the rise of peer-to-peer lending has created an intriguing alternative to traditional financing options for borrowers. And if you have capital to spare, then you could leverage one of a number of P2P platforms to offer it to others.
Of course not all P2P solutions are created equal, so you need to scrutinize any you come across carefully to ensure that you are satisfied with their legitimacy and resilience before putting any money on the line.
Lots of investment experts are wary of what cryptocurrencies represent; a lack of regulation or central control means that while there are opportunities for major returns, there are also a whole host of concerns ranging from scams to outright money laundering.
The ups and downs of the crypto market are undeniably jarring, yet the long term growth seen for mainstream currencies like Bitcoin and Etherum in the past decade are helping to bring a little respectability to this otherwise wild ecosystem.
From collectible memorabilia to classic works of art, investing in antique items is always popular, and gives you a combination of a fairly low-risk way to make returns along with a tangible talking point to boot.
As with any type of investment, do your research and only risk money you are willing to lose, whether you are buying antiques or trading crypto.