A Few Words On Alternative Investments

by on August 28, 2019

Saving for retirement may not be at the forefront of your mind, but it’s certainly at the back. It lingers there with other little concerns that come with aging, like life insurance or your last will and testament. While people don’t like to contemplate the awful thought, “What if I don’t have enough money when I retire?” though, thinking about it now can help you avoid the worst-case scenario down the road.

There are countless specific things to think about once you begin contemplating your retirement savings, and we can’t touch on all of them here. So instead of focusing on the most basic and fundamental concepts (IRAs, 401(k)s, etc.), we wanted to write a few words about some popular alternative investments these days. Despite not being conventional, these are some areas in which some people are looking to diversify their retirement funds.

Gold

The great thing about gold is that it sin’t backed by any one country’s currency or financial system. It is its own backer, because it holds value entirely on its own. This is essentially why people like to invest in it, and it seems to make sense. Gold generally appreciates in value, while inflation takes away value from a country’s currency; similarly, in times of economic downturn, currency can drop quickly and significantly, while investors flocking to gold to save their money can help the precious metal’s prices rise. Some people say that gold doesn’t grow like stock market investments do, but others argue that it’s a more stable investment. This is not to say we necessarily agree so much as to explain why gold is the first thing a lot of people think of when it comes to alternatives. There are plenty of reasons not to invest as well, ultimately meaning it’s up to each individual to decide whether or not this is a sound strategy.

Cryptocurrency

Bitcoin is still relatively new, though to some it’s already becoming known as a sort of new-age, digital gold. While some love the security of the public and private keys and blockchain technology associated with cryptocurrency, others are still waiting to see if the whole phenomenon amounts to a good (or sustainable) idea. There is a theory among some that cryptos could become hedges (the same way gold is sometimes bought up in times of downturn), and thus make for sensible portfolio diversification. So far though this is largely a theory, with little evidence to back up. And it could be that what cryptocurrency really needs to prove itself as a worth investment asset is for a major company or industry to become a believer. This would lead to more opportunities for use, and in turn more demand, and in turn greater value. If things work out this way, bitcoin and other cryptos could in fact prove to be sensible alternative investments. But their volatility to this point should also serve as a mild warning.

Online Gambling

It doesn’t take an investing maestro to recognize that online gambling of any kind shouldn’t be viewed as an investment so much as a hobby that holds the potential of generating money. And yet, this sort of activity is becoming so available and so popular that it does feel like it’s worth noting. In some cases, this category might refer primarily to sports wagering opportunities, coming primarily from top Irish betting sites and English counterparts. In others, it may mean the casino gaming networks that at this point are basically available the world over. Someone with a clear interest in this game, who believes he or she has the skill or luck to win more often than lose, can indeed start to look at online gambling as something of an investment – a means of spending money now with the hopes of future gains. It can be an interesting thought as far as the idea of generating side income goes, and it can certainly be a good form of recreation. However, here we have to make clear that gambling is not investing.

In terms of diversification, it’s always a good idea to find new ways to invest your money. It makes the risk a little less dangerous, so that if one opportunity tanks, the others are still there, keeping you afloat and giving you peace of mind about your retirement years. While some alternatives to traditional retirement funds are a good idea, though, others should be considered very carefully before they’re trusted. And keep in mind that the examples above only scratch the surface of modern alternative investments to think about.

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