Here are 5 of the best types of investments (in no particular order) you can make online to earn passive income.
Note: I'm not a financial advisor, nor do I claim to be one. You should consult a certified advisor before doing any of these investments.
1. Peer-to-Peer Lending
Peer-to-peer lending is a way for you to earn around 5% annual returns on your money by investing in loans.
And of course, the websites still make the loan applicants go through a process to get approved first to make sure they're likely to pay the loan.
With LendingClub, you get started with as little as $1,000. With Prosper, you can start with as little as $25.
Both seem to average around 5% annual returns.
2. Real Estate
Real estate investing has gotten a lot more convenient the last few years with services like Fundrise and PeerStreet.
With Fundrise, you can invest in different types of properties like apartment buildings and earn returns of 8.7-12.4% (they claim).
You can also keep track of you returns and manage most of your account using their mobile app.
As far as fees, they charge about 0.15% in annual advisory fees. So, every year, you would be paying a $1.50 advisory fee for every $1,000 you've invested.
You can also start investing with Fundrise for as little as $500.
With PeerStreet, you invest more in real estate loans than the properties themselves.
As far as how much money you can make, they claim to have around 6-9% annual returns on many of their investments. Not quite as good as what Fundrise claims, but still not bad.
And when it comes to the minimum amount of money needed to invest, it is $1,000.
3. Stocks and Bonds
Stocks and bonds are what most people think of when it comes to investing.
In fact, many of us have portfolios already.
The problem is that most people don't realize how much they're paying in fees, which are minimizing returns.
So, when it comes to traditional investing, you need to find ways to invest with as few fees as possible.
One company that always seems to be recommended when it comes to investing is Vanguard.
Vanguard has some of the lowest fees you'll ever see with an average expense ratio of 0.10%, while the industry average is 0.58%.
You could invest in something like the Vanguard 500 index fund for instance. This is basically their version of the S&P 500 index.
As far as the minimum investment, you'll usually need $3,000 for most Vanguard mutual funds or $1,000 for something like a Vanguard Target Retirement Fund.
Another, more millenial-friendly way to invest is to use an app like Acorns.
This app allows you to automate your investing without having much to start with.
One thing they're known is their system of rounding up your credit card purchases to the nearest dollar. For example, if you bought a coffee for $3.50, it would round up the purchase to $4 and invest the extra $0.50.
This way, you would never really have to think about investing. It would be on autopilot.
Plus, to make it even simpler, they already have the investment types allocated into groups, so that you don't have to be an expert on what particular assets to invest in.
The asset groups are sorted into 5 levels based on how aggressive or safe you want to be.
If you're not sure how aggressive to be, read a book like Money Master The Game by Tony Robbins. In that book, many top investors recommend you invest more aggressively when you're young and more conservatively when you're older.
Now, to fully take advantage of Acorns, you might want to invest more than just your spare change. They also give you an option to automatically invest a certain amount into your portfolio every month to make it grow faster.
As far as fees, Acorns has a different approach than most companies.
They have flat-fee payment plans that either cost $1, $2, or $3 per month.
So, because they don't charge a percentage and instead charge a flat monthly fee, the less money you have in your Acorns account, the higher percentage you're paying and the less your portfolio can grow.
You may want to have around $3,000 or more in your account to compete with or even beat the low fees charged by Vanguard.
One of the ways you can take a little more risk to potentially explode your net worth is by investing in startups.
Imagine if you had been one of the early investors in Uber, Shopify, Netflix, or many of the other companies out there that have changed the world in such a short time.
Just about all of the biggest companies out there these days had to have a lot of investors to get up and running. You could be one of the next startup investors to strike it rich if you play your cards right.
Angel.co is one of the more well-known websites for investing in startups. If you've ever heard of someone being referred to as an “Angel Investor”, chances are they've invested in a company on this site.
The minimum required to invest in startups here is $1,000 for deal-by-deal investments.
They also have an option like the Angelist Access Fund, which is more like an index fund for startups. It requires you to invest at least $100,000.
And last but not least, they have the Professional Investors plan where you would need to invest at least $500,000 per year.
Angel.co's fees include a one-time Transaction Fee per investment starting at $9 as well as a $99 Annual Account Reporting Fee (regardless of investment number) that is charged quarterly.
Another popular site you can use to invest in startups is WeFunder.
Here, the minimum investment is only $100, but they can charge a fee of up to 2% of the investment.
The return on your money can vary as with any startup investment, but here is a breakdown from the WeFunder website on their 4 different classes:
Cryptocurrency, although controversial, has made some people A LOT of money in the last few years.
People seem to either be totally against it. Some claim it has no real-world value and so it can't be trusted. Others say it's one of the greatest ideas ever.
It's hard to know who to believe.
But, you if you are one of those that believes you can make a truck load of money from cryptocurrency, you might try sites like Coinbase or Robinhood.
At Coinbase, you can start with as little as $2.
They specialize in cryptocurrency trading, so you will have many different options to choose from like Bitcoin, Ethereum, or Litecoin.
They even claim they'll give you up to $166 worth of free cryptocurrency on their website if you take these small courses on how many different types work (although they aren't the more well-known ones).
Another thing about cryptocurrency that you will need is storage.
You can either store your cryptocurrency in a hot wallet or cold wallet.
A hot wallet is usually included with the website you invest with. It is usually secure to just keep it stored with the website you bought from, but it can be a target for hackers sometimes.
So, if you're a little worried about hackers, you can get a cold wallet. This is basically a portable device that might be the size of a flash drive for storing your cryptocurrency.
If you are looking for more of an all-in-one place to do some investing, you might check out Robinhood.
This is one of the only investing apps that actually has cryptocurrency available.
Here, you can buy and sell Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin, and others commission-free, 24/7.
Also, Robinhood has a $0 account minimum for getting started, so you don't need to have much money already.
As far as fees, Robinhood is commission-free, but they do make money off of things like a $5 monthly fee for Robinhood Gold (its margin-lending service), a $75 fee to transfer your account to a competing brokerage firm, $5 for paper statements, $2 for paper confirmations, etc.
There will probably be some small fees for sell orders as well because of self-regulatory organizations like the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) require them.