Not so long ago we provided an article with some beginner stock market terms, meant to serve anyone who might be looking for ways to make money on the side while starting (or running) a business. Particularly when you’re just starting out, running your own business can be very daunting financially. Having a secure investment portfolio on the side can be reassuring, so long as you go about it in a strategic manner.
The terms and information in that previous article are absolutely vital if you’re considering starting up your own portfolio and managing it by yourself. However, handling your own investments can quickly become difficult once you’re getting into the day-to-day demands of your own business, no matter what industry you’re getting into. So below, I want to look at a few methods of investment that might be better suited to busy entrepreneurs than ordinary portfolio management or day trading.
Robinhood & Stash
If you’re familiar with the myth of Robin Hood, this may sound like a suggestion that you steal from the rich and stash the money away. But in actuality, Robinhood and Stash are two different services that facilitate stock trading with low fees and unrivaled convenience.
The two services are relatively comparable, and the point here is not to advertise one over the other so much as to recommend that you take a look at both if you’re looking for an easier way to invest on the side. Both programs (which operate as online services and mobile apps alike) offer very real stock trading, along with various tips and advice, risk assessment, and low-fee transactions.
Robinhood and Stash both require that you actually make the decisions regarding your portfolio, and as a result they still demand some real time and commitment. But they’re certainly more convenient than opening a portfolio the old fashioned way through a broker, and may be better suited to busy entrepreneurs.
Mutual funds were mentioned briefly in the previous post providing terms and basics for beginner investors, but here we’ll go into slightly more depth to clarify what separates a mutual fund from what you might call an ordinary investment. One very clear definition of a mutual fund states that it is a fund that pools money from a group of investors, so as to buy stocks and bonds while minimizing costs, diversifying risk, and maximizing returns.
In other words, when you buy into a mutual fund you’re one of many investors doing so. The fund is then managed by a professional whose job is to take all of the investments and use them together to create a strategic, diversified portfolio. It’s viewed often as a lower risk means of buying stocks for more passive investors, and while you’ll owe fees to your fund manager, you can simply put in your money and watch it grow, withdrawing your share when you’re ready. In some respects it’s an ideal option to explore for anyone busy running a business.
To be clear right from the beginning, not all commodities work the same way for investors. If you take a look at the market for commodities, you’ll find everything from gold and silver to cotton and soybeans, such that it doesn’t really seem like one concrete area of investment.
In general though, precious commodities — gold, silver, and lately (in some people’s estimation) even Bitcoin — are frequently eyed as long-term plays that require little day-to-day management. That doesn’t mean you can simply buy up some gold and leave it alone for a year; it’s always wise to stay informed and active with regard to your investments. But resources like these rarely lose significant value in a sudden manner, and often gain value gradually over time.
Don’t make the mistake of believing a precious commodity is “safe” or any sort of guarantee, but if you’re looking for a resource that doesn’t demand daily attention, these are worth exploring.
All three options above can make for perfectly reasonable ways to manage financial accounts despite the high demands of starting or running a business. The simple fact is that entrepreneurs often need to invest for the sake of stability, but rarely have the time to do so. To some extent that just means you have to work as hard as you can to fit everything in, but considering these options may ultimately help you out.