If you’ve got cash in the bank you’re in a fortunate position as there are many simple ways to help it grow.
Despite the economic downturn, not everyone is struggling to make ends meet.
And even a small amount of spare cash could be sufficient to really help it go further.
There are endless ways to do this, and here are 25 ideas for starters:
Think long term
Although the average bank or savings account will do little to bolster your lump sum, there are still good rates to be had on longer term, fixed rate bonds if you’re happy to keep your money in the same place. These could earn you up to four per cent.
Forget bricks and mortar banks, online banking will by far offer you the best rates on your savings as their overheads and administration costs are lower – so they can pass the savings on to the consumer. Check out providers such www.egg.com.
Lend a hand to borrowers
Have you ever thought about the return you could make by lending to the average consumer? There are all kinds of websites which deal in small peer to peer loans, which keep rates cheap by cutting out the middle man. So the borrower gets a better interest loan and the lender gets a higher return. And the risk gets spread because you lend to multiple borrowers. Check out www.uk.zopa.com for more details.
Keep tabs on the performance of other countries’ economies and you could benefit from their own sluggish financial climate. Japan is one country where its decade’s worth of deflation could make the local consumer start to spend, as prices rise.
Think metals – gold has always been a popular choice but silver is an equally safe bet and it’s a metal which has multiple uses, so its versatility is a definite plus and could be worth your cash. Platinum is a great alternative too as demand from the Asian market continues.
The recession has seen a significant peak in the pawn brokering industry, with consumers needing to turn their possessions into cash to make ends meet. The steady rise of this sector is reflected in the stock markets too of course, with listed shares worth closer inspection. Check out www.albemarlebondplc.com for more.
Significant discounts can be had across many investment trusts. For example, a trust trading at 20 per cent discount is equal to paying just 80 pence per one pound of assets.
Up and coming artists
You could discover the next Banksy or Hurst – your bucks could really benefit from spotting burgeoning artists who turn out to become top talent on the arts scene. Check out websites such as www.newbloodart.com to check out some of the latest hot favourites.
Did you know that in the last ten years the FTSE 100 stock exchange and gold have been outperformed by the humble stamp? And the Royal Wedding is set to increase the popularity, and in turn boost sales, of commemorative collections, so get collecting today. Check out major stamp sellers www.stanleygibbons.com for more details.
Hedging your bets
Hedge funds can be a risky way to make money but aim to make positive returns in all kinds of conditions. So if they perform well, they’ll definitely give your investment a major boost. Sound advice is a must though so be sure to get some before you commit.
As the price of food continues to climb, investing in companies which are intrinsic to the consumables process, such as those which supply fertilisers to aid harvests.
Repossessed properties offer an excellent opportunity to the buyer – new builds especially can be bought at an excellent price and kept as an investment until the housing market picks up again.
Look after your pennies..
..and the pounds will look after themselves. One and two pennies pieces made prior to 1992 are around ninety seven per cent copper. The high price of this metal means each coin is actually worth over three pence, so sell them in bulk and you could pocket a fair profit.
We’ve all heard of the BRIC countries as destinations to make a sound investment, but it pays to think outside the box, so go against the stream and consider how Europe could perform.
Markets, as we all know, can be volatile, but if you’re setting aside a regular amount each month, you’re in for a smoother ride as the ups balance out the inevitable downs. For example, a monthly outlay of £100 in something like Gartmore China Opportunities from its inception back in 1983 now has a value of £433,000. So start thinking long term as a regular approach is likely to give you the steadiest return over the years.
Keeping an eye on the general consumer trend can be an excellent indictor of the companies worth investing in. Since the recession hit, dining out in fancy restaurants is taking a definite back seat. A cosy night in with a pizza is now proving the popular, and cost effective, alternative. So it figures that companies like Domino’s Pizza will be performing very well in this climate and are therefore worth some closer inspection beyond the pizza menu.
The humble pension is still a great way to reap massive tax savings – by paying into one each month you can benefit for the huge forty per cent tax relief. There are many providers out there so shop around before you decide on which to invest your hard earned dough in.
House price dip
The continuing fall of house prices isn’t all bad news – for those already on the property ladder, it’s an excellent opportunity to climb higher and get hold of a property that may otherwise have been out of reach.
Spreading the risk
Spread betting can be a risky business, and you’re set to make huge losses if you’re don’t make the right call. But pick well and the gamble (which is exactly what many people see this form of investment as) can certainly pay off, with major financial rewards.
Bet on the betters
Another way to profit from spread betting is to invest in the experts in the field. Firms like IC Group pay a fair dividend although their performance hasn’t been overly strong.
Check out daily tipsters from the likes of The Telegraph’s share tipster Questor for all kinds of ideas of where your money can go. See more at: www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/markets/questor
Funerals and funds
It may be a morbid idea for many, but death is one of life’s few certainties, which is why funeral firms are worth consideration for your spare cash. www.dignityfunerals.co.uk, for example, is performing well on a regular basis and is the favourite of many stock brokers.
Undiscovered markets, and therefore on the whole untapped, can be an excellent investment opportunity. Think of the BRIC countries ten years ago and the associated level of risk, and now look how the economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China have grown. Now think about the next upcoming economies, such as Africa and the Middle East, and get in there early. But be prepared to take the risk as there are of course no guarantees.
Although India hasn’t steered a completely steady path since the start of the year, it definitely presents a clear opportunity for the investor who is prepared to take a risk on this economy full of potential.
It could be you
Someone has to win the lottery, so why not you? Even if you have no significant cash for major investments, the simple one pound purchase of a lottery ticket or scratch card could turn your fortunes around in a matter of seconds. So dig out your spare pennies because it could be your lucky day! www.national-lottery.co.uk