- Pad Your Emergency and Opportunity Funds
- Max Out an IRA
- Contribute to a Taxable Brokerage Account
- Diversify Your Portfolio
- Fund a Health Savings Account
- Invest in a 529 Plan
- Get Schooled
- Start or Grow a Business
- Free Your Time
- Add Equity to Your Home
- Pay Your Debt
Investing a lump sum can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. To make it easier, we’ve narrowed down the possibilities to make this list of the best ways to easily invest $10,000.
Picking an investment strategy is challenging even when you have a smaller lump sum. Consider my last tax refund.
It was about $1,000 and my husband and I decided to invest it. Easy, right? Nope. It was the perfect scenario for analysis paralysis.
Even when we decided how to invest, we still had to choose a financial institution. The options were endless, and we spent weeks on the final decision.
Every day your money isn’t invested is a wasted opportunity, and I don’t want that to happen to you too. Find something that aligns with your needs and go for it.
Short Term or Long Term
If you haven’t saved enough money to cover three to six months worth of your expenses, do it now by investing in your emergency fund.
You can also invest in an opportunity fund, which is a great way to invest $10,000 in the short term. Save for larger investments like a down payment on rental real estate through Roofstock or a personal residence.
Your short-term investments should have a rate of return of at least two percent. While these funds give you lower returns than other investments, they also provide lower risk.
For example, Betterment will invest in U.S. Treasuries and corporate bonds, or you can try their high-yield Everyday Savings account.
If your emergency fund is complete, good for you! But there’s more to do. The next step is saving for retirement with an Individual Retirement Account, one of the most important long-term investments.
The 2019 IRA contribution limit for those under 50 is $6,000. With $10,000 you could max out a Roth or Traditional IRA.
So which is better, Roth or Traditional? Like all good answers, it depends.
Go with a Roth if you expect your taxable income to be higher in retirement than it is now. You’ll pay income taxes today, but your withdrawals will be tax-free. This means you won’t pay taxes on your earnings.
The opposite is true for Traditional IRAs. You’ll get a tax break now, but you’ll pay taxes in retirement on both your contributions and earnings.
Once you decide which type of IRA is right for you, decide where to invest. Vanguard and Betterment are fantastic because of their low fees and ease of use.
Broaden Your Investments
Reap the rewards of your investment now by contributing to a taxable account. The real question here is whether you want to DIY it or fuggedaboutit.
Betterment offers a hands-off approach. They’re our Robo-Advisor of choice because of their tax-loss harvesting and low fees. An excellent option if you want to invest $10,000 with minimal hassle and effort.
You could also invest through Vanguard. I’d recommend their exchange-traded funds (ETFs) over their mutual funds because of lower fees and because you’re investing a lump sum rather than a series of payments. That being said, mutual funds are still good options.
If you’re a fairly established investor, consider using $10,000 to diversify your investment portfolio to match your long-term goals. This includes much more than just balancing your stocks and bonds in your investment accounts.
If there’s something that interests you, chances are you can invest in it. Once you’ve nailed down your retirement and emergency savings, you can have a little fun while still being smart.
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Invest for Your Family
Think having high-deductible health insurance is absolutely terrible? Think again.
Well it does still suck, but it comes with benefits. It means you qualify for a Health Savings Account.
With an HSA, your money is tax-free going in and tax-free going out when used on qualifying medical expenses. These include dental, vision, doctors, prescriptions, and more.
Kid needs braces? That qualifies. Having a baby? Yup, qualifies. Tripped over your cat and broke your arm? It qualifies. And I’m laughing at you.
Very few investments offer tax-free withdrawals and contributions, making HSAs one of the best investments available.
The 2019 contribution limit is currently $3,500 for individuals and $7,000 for families.
If you qualify for an HSA, consider opening an account online with Fidelity or Lively.
Whitney Houston said it best: “I believe the children are our future.” Invest in the future by investing in kids.
They can be your kids, your sister’s kids, or even the kids down the street. Just make sure you fund your retirement plans first.
States and private universities offer 529 plans so shop around. Some states even offer tax deductions and credits for your contributions.
Think of 529 plans like Roth IRAs for school. You won’t get a tax deduction now (excluding certain state deductions) but withdrawals will be tax-free.
The best part of 529 plans is they no longer have to be used for college tuition. Families can now take $10,000 per year per child for K-12 tuition at public, private, and religious schools.
Keep in mind these tax-free withdrawals for pre-college tuition only apply to federal taxes. Some states could tax them, so make sure you know the state laws before making a decision. If you need help in this department, CollegeBacker might come in handy.
Invest in Yourself
Times are a-changin’. The risk of job loss due to automation and artificial intelligence is real.
With $10,000 you could protect yourself later and add additional income now. Invest in yourself by investing in your education.
Take classes to become certified in your field. Learn a new skill like coding to prepare for the technological future. If you already know how to code, learn a different skill to create additional revenue streams.
Have you been toying with the idea of starting a new company? Maybe you already have a business but have been eyeing a new product to increase sales.
Either way, $10,000 could be the boost your business needs.
With a good business plan and a lot of hustle, you have the possibility of earning a better return than the stock market.Tweet This
“Wait, wait, wait. You said these ideas would be easy.” It is easy because spending $10,000 is the easy part. It’s what comes after that’s difficult.
So write that check and get ready for some serious rise and grind.
Everybody has something they do that wastes time and energy. Once your standard investments are covered, consider outsourcing the most inefficient or boring tasks.
The options are endless: Virtual assistant. Housekeeper. Meal prep. Laundry service. The list goes on.
You can use the extra time to work more. If you earn more in that time than you’re spending to outsource, you’re doing it right.
You can also enjoy some free time for yourself or with your loved ones. That’s perhaps more valuable than any investment you’ll ever make. Aww.
Sweat and Debt
Sweat equity is a beautiful thing. Increase the value of your home by doing some improvements. A simple bathroom or kitchen remodel can add value to your home.
If you aren’t planning on moving soon, update your home with efficient appliances and windows. Your expected return will vary depending on where you live, but you’ll be helping the planet at the same time.
I know paying down debt isn’t actually an investment, but I had to put it on the list. Don’t let credit card debt, student loans, or other debt destroy your investment potential.
If you have high-interest debt, pay it off or refinance it as soon as possible.
I’m not kidding. Pay it now.
Your first priority should be your emergency fund and your retirement savings. After that, it’s up to you. You can invest $10,000 to diversify your portfolio or to better yourself.
And for the serious readers out there who are wondering what my husband and I picked for our $1,000 investment, we went with a Roth with Vanguard. We love it.
I believe you’ll be happy with your choice too.
Now channel your inner Shia LeBeouf and JUST DO IT.