What are the Best Things to Invest in Right Now?
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As we enter a new year, you may find yourself looking for alternate ways of making money. Many make resolutions to earn more, and quite often, having a passive income is a great way to do this while saving you time.
Investing is a great way of doing this. There are numerous ways you can invest money, and which method you choose will depend on your goals, the amount of money you want to invest, and how long you want to invest for.
The UK entered a period of economic uncertainty in the final months of 2022 that is set to continue well into 2023. The cost of living crisis combined with the political upheaval of the Autumn of 2022 led to many tightening their budgets as they entered the new year.
Therefore it’s more crucial than ever to be cautious when investing. There is no risk-free investment strategy, so learning about different ways of investing is important before putting your money anywhere.
With that in mind, we’ve put together this handy guide to help you understand some of the best things to invest in right now and how suitable they may be for you.
We’re going to rank some of the most popular investment methods based on their affordability, their potential for returns, the time it will take to see significant returns, and the risks that you may face.
So, if you are wondering what are the best things to invest in right now in the UK, look no further!
Please note, this is intended only as guidance and general information, not financial advice. Talk to a financial advisor if you are looking for details specific to your financial situation or investment advice tailored to you.
In our opinion, investing in buy-to-let property is one of the best things to invest in right now in the UK to make long-term passive income while avoiding unnecessary risks.
You can earn money from investment properties through two main methods. The first is rental income, where you collect rent from tenants living in your properties. This provides you with a consistent monthly income, which you can earn without doing much work, if any.
You can earn rental income as soon as tenants move into your property. With the high demand for rental properties we are currently seeing, matched by a low supply, this is likely to be a short wait. The Guardian reported in November 2022 that demand had risen by 23% in the past year alone!
The second way you can make money is through capital appreciation. Property tends to increase in value over time, so by the time you choose to sell your investment property, you will likely be able to make a significant profit compared to what you originally bought it for.
Thanks to these two methods of earning returns, investment properties offer the benefits of both a regular passive income and major profit in one go, something that few investment strategies, if any, can also give you.
There are multiple other benefits to establishing a buy-to-let investment property portfolio, making the method stand out from more common forms of investing.
If you want to be hands-off with your investment, you can hire a property management company that will handle the day-to-day running of your investment portfolio in return for a small cost of the rental income. This way, your investment properties will generate passive income and free you up to pursue other ventures.
Because it is a physical asset, property tends to weather times of financial uncertainty in a way other investment methods struggle to. Recent events from the 2007 financial crisis to the COVID-19 pandemic to Brexit have proven that property bounces back faster and stronger than other forms of investing.
Despite the political turmoil of 2022, the UK saw house prices grow by 12.6% from October 2021 to October 2022, according to the UK House Price Index. This is the most recent proof that the past performance of the property market has a track record of enduring events which would rattle the value of other types of investments.
This means you have a level of security when investing in buy-to-let that you cannot rely on with other types of investing.
In fact, as of Spring 2023, the UK property market is reportedly in a much better place than it was four years ago, with Zoopla’s House Price Index for March 2023 recording 11% more sales on the market right now than in 2019, beating pre-pandemic levels and showing that demand for property is still rife.
On top of this, while it may seem daunting to buy a second property on paper, it can be much more affordable than you may think.
There are multiple ways of purchasing buy-to-let properties that mean you won’t need to break the bank.
One of the most common ways in which investors purchase property is by using a buy-to-let mortgage. This is similar to a regular residential mortgage, where you pay a deposit on the property and then pay the rest of the value off over time.
However, the two big differences are that deposits for buy-to-let mortgages are usually higher than those for residential mortgages, so you will need more money on hand to borrow one.
The second difference is that instead of paying off the remaining value of the property during the length of the mortgage, you instead pay off the accrued interest over time. Only at the end of the mortgage is the remaining value of the property touched.
Due to rising mortgage interest rates, this is not as popular an option for investing in buy-to-let as it once was. Instead, many are choosing to invest in off-plan property.
Off-plan properties are still in stages of development or construction when purchased, meaning you can secure the best units in a development early to earn more rent down the line.
This means you cannot usually start earning rental income right away, but you will likely save money as off-plan properties are often sold for below-market prices, meaning you can buy them for cheaper than fully-completed properties.
Payment plans can also be set up when purchasing off-plan so that you can spread out the cost over time without having to worry about spending a large amount of money at once.
For those with fewer funds who still want to invest in property, real estate investment trusts or REITs provide a welcome alternative to buying an investment property outright.
REITs operate like stocks, where a company which owns and operates several investment properties will sell shares on the stock exchange, and in return investors get a cut of the profits that the investment portfolio makes.
As you can see, you can invest in buy-to-let property at a range of price points, and benefit from the unmatched combination of security and long-term returns that it provides, so if you are wondering ‘what should I invest in right now in 2023’, property may be your best answer.
Please read our complete guides to learn more about investing for retirement, buying UK property from the USA or overseas, how to build a property portfolio and the biggest investing mistakes to avoid.
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Made famous by stereotypes of Wall Street and high-flying suits, the stock exchange is an ever-popular way of investing at a range of potential price points, and is historically one of the most popular asset classes to invest in.
Stocks, which can also be referred to as equity, are a security which represents the fraction of ownership of a company. Units of stocks are called shares, and you are entitled to a proportion of the company’s profits and assets based on how many shares in that company you own.
You primarily buy shares on stock exchanges, and there are government regulations which stock trades must abide by to protect investors.
Companies will issue stocks to raise money, and by buying a fraction of ownership through stocks, an investor will be able to claim an equal fraction of the company’s earnings.
If a company had 1000 shares and an investor owns 100 of them, then that investor would own 10% of the company, and be entitled to 10% of the company’s profits, for example.
Stocks will rise and fall in value based on the performance of the company. If a company does well and achieves significant profits, then the price of the stock in that company will increase. If a company starts to struggle, then expect to see the value of that company’s stocks fall.
Investors can manipulate the stock market by buying or selling large amounts of stocks all at once. Selling lots of stock can cause its value to plummet, whereas buying lots of stocks causes its value to rise.
A good example of this kind of practice is how short sellers bet on Gamestop’s stock crashing in 2021 and so dumped large numbers of the stock to cause it to crash. However, the actions of day traders who communicated through sites like Reddit caused Gamestop’s stock to shoot up in value by buying large numbers of stock for cheap due to the drop in value.
Because it is much quicker to buy and sell stocks than other investment options like property, they make for a great short-term investment strategy. You can buy stocks when they are low in value, and then sell them when they are high to achieve a profit.
This way of investing in stocks can be risky, though, and is more like spinning on a roulette wheel than long-term investment strategies like buy-to-let property. If a stock you buy ends up not rising in value as you expect, you may find yourself losing money on a risky investment.
Another popular method is to hold onto stocks for a long time. So long as the shares continue to rise in value, you will receive a dividend from the company you are investing in.
A dividend stock comes in the form of additional shares in the company, meaning you will have a larger stake and be able to make more profit. This investment strategy is best done with companies that have secure financial futures so you will see growth over time.
Thanks to the wide array of companies which operate on the stock market, there are thousands of options for investors looking to invest in stocks, from major corporations to small companies just starting out.
Some of the best stocks to invest in if you are looking for security are large companies that consistently perform well, such as Google or Amazon. These stocks may be more expensive due to how well they perform, but they come with the security that you cannot get from smaller companies.
Alternatively, you could invest in higher growth stocks which may be less stable but offer you a better chance of winning it big. You need to keep a careful eye on stocks of this nature though, as they could dip in value fast.
Beginners investing in stocks are generally recommended to diversify their portfolios. Diversification means spreading out your investment by buying stocks in multiple companies. That way, you avoid the risk of losing all your money if the stock you invest in crashes.
As Warren Buffett once said: “Do not put all eggs in one basket.”
For investors with fewer funds who want to diversify, mutual funds are an alternate method of having a diverse portfolio without breaking the bank. These are group investments made by multiple investors, which hold stocks and shares in several different companies across a range of sectors.
This way, you can have all the benefits of diversification without having to buy each stock individually.
Another way of diversifying your investment portfolio is to invest in exchange-traded funds or ETFs. These operate similarly to mutual funds except you can buy and sell these on the stock exchange like regular shares.
The prices of ETFs fluctuate throughout the day but are generally less expensive than regular stocks.
A diversified portfolio is a good way of avoiding risk, but the stock market does rise and fall at rapid rates.
One of the most popular stocks to trade is Tesla, Elon Musk’s automotive company. Due to various factors, Tesla has seen its stock crash by 65% in the past year alone, showing just how quickly the tables can turn with a liquid asset like stocks.
Current industry predictions for 2023 indicate we will remain in a bear market. This means there is a prolonged drop in investment prices, meaning you might not be able to make as much from stocks as you would have done in the past.
For investors, this means potentially looking for safer investment strategies such as property, as stocks likely are not one of the best things to invest in right now in the UK.
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One of the most exciting and talked about investment strategies right now is cryptocurrency, often shortened to crypto.
Cryptocurrencies, despite the name, are not actual currencies the same way the Pound or the Dollar is. They are online digital assets, based on networks spread out across a large number of computers.
Because of this decentralised structure, cryptocurrencies can exist and operate outside the jurisdiction of governments and central authorities. While some enjoy the freedom this brings, it has turned crypto into something akin to the Wild West of investing, where there is little security for those who are scammed or lose their money.
Cryptocurrencies allow you to cut out the middleman, such as banks, when transferring money, which makes it much faster and easier to send large amounts of funds to someone else. Instead, they are secured through the use of public keys and private keys, which are cryptographic codes and secret numbers used to secure the transaction respectively.
The key to the popularity of cryptocurrency is the blockchain, the technology that powers the vast majority of cryptocurrencies. The blockchain is quite literally a chain of blocks, with each one containing a series of transactions that each member of the network independently verifies.
Experts believe that this technology could be used in multiple industries, such as supply chains and online voting. This is an exciting innovation which could have a wide-reaching impact but is still in the early stages of development.
The most well-known and popular form of cryptocurrency is Bitcoin, which is the longest-running form of crypto. Made available for the first time in 2009, there are over 19 million bitcoins in circulation as of May 2022, with a market cap of roughly $576 billion.
There are younger cryptocurrencies gaining traction, such as Etherium, Solana and Litecoin. These alternates share some similarities with Bitcoin but may also have their organisation and methods of operation. They are also likely cheaper to invest in than Bitcoin.
For example, as of January 2023, one bitcoin is worth £14,176.26, whereas one unit of Etherium, known as ether, is worth £1,088.87.
Thanks to the volatility of crypto, it is easy to see your portfolio rise in value rapidly based on market conditions. This could mean you make a large profit in a very short time, making it an ideal short-term investment option.
However, this volatility is a two-edged sword, as it can mean you find your crypto wallet crashing in value just as fast. Earlier this month, US regulators released a joint statement warning banks against cryptocurrency due to the risks of cryptocurrency.
Because it is not regulated, it is very easy to fall victim to scams, fraud or other underhanded tricks, which could cause you to lose a lot of money with no way of getting it back. If this happens, you are on your own, a victim of the freedom cryptocurrency brings.
One of the most trending pieces of cryptocurrency news occurred last year in November 2022, when the cryptocurrency world was rocked by the collapse of FTX. The second-largest cryptocurrency exchange, FTX, was an app used by many as an entry point into cryptocurrency and was endorsed by celebrities like actor Matt Damon and NFL athlete Tom Brady.
Billions of dollars worth of missing funds were discovered when the company declared bankruptcy, with its CEO Sam Bankman-Fried currently in court facing charges including wire fraud and money laundering which could see him face up to 100 years in prison.
This highlights many of the pros and cons of cryptocurrency in one story. The potential to get rich quickly, but also the potential to see it come crashing down around you just as fast.
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If you are looking for a safe way of investing your money, opening a savings account will be one of the best things to invest money in right now.
The way you earn a profit from savings accounts is by depositing money with a bank or credit union, and then earning money from the interest that the account generates.
Though the interest rates of these accounts are not normally that high, with the average yield for savings accounts being 0.22% APY as we enter 2023, they are a very secure and safe way of storing money away for a rainy day.
In addition, by putting your money in a savings account, you do not need to worry about if it will generate additional profit. This way, you are free to do other things, unlike with stocks or cryptocurrency.
Savings accounts are also popular with investors as you get a tax-free allowance for the interest generated from them. If you have not used your Personal Allowance of £12,750 on wages or pensions, the money you make from savings accounts can go towards this.
On top of this, you get a £5,000 tax-free allowance as a starting rate of savings, so you can earn a sizeable level of returns without needing to worry about tax, unlike other forms of investing.
If your main goal when investing is to keep what you do have safe rather than risk it big to try and win it all, then this should be a strong contender for your investment strategy. Because your money is deposited with a bank or credit union, this is a very low-risk option.
However, you should not invest your money in a savings account if you want to make a serious profit. It will take too long to generate a considerable amount of returns. For example, if you deposited £10,000 in a savings account with the current average yield rate, you would only see a profit of just over £5000 in 20 years.
That being said, savings accounts are useful for investors with lower risk tolerance, and for storing money away for a rainy day or short-term goals like a holiday or a new car. If you are wondering ‘what can I invest in without losing money?’, the best bet is probably going to be a savings account.
Another option for those on the more risk-averse end of the investment spectrum, bonds are a way companies and the government can generate funds quickly and can work as a good method of diversifying your investment portfolio.
You can buy both corporate bonds and government bonds, and both work in the same way. They are debt securities issued to raise funds, and investors earn returns through interest accrued from the bonds.
The backing for bonds is usually the ability of the issuer to generate an income, which is then used to pay the interest due to investors.
Corporate bonds are generally viewed as higher risk than government bonds, and as such will come with higher levels of interest. These are about as risky as bond investments will get, however, so can be viewed as a good diversifier for portfolios.
Government bonds are, in comparison, a lot safer than corporate bonds but will bring you less of a return at the same time. So if you are an investor looking to avoid risk, government bonds would be a solid option.
Another benefit of bonds is that usually, they will pay out regular and steady interest to investors. If you are wanting to supplement a fixed salary or want a consistent cash flow of income, this is especially appealing for you.
Unlike stocks or cryptocurrency, bonds will bring you a set amount of interest over time, meaning you can confidently budget and plan ahead without worrying about whether your investments will generate enough profit for what you need.
On the whole, bonds are a safer method of investing that is low-risk but also low-reward, and is likely best used as a diversifier rather than the main focus of your investment strategy.
Everyone’s investment goals are different. Each investor has their own budget, risk tolerance, and timeframe they want to work towards, and so they will be looking at different investment strategies from a fresh perspective every time.
With that being said, we believe property offers the right combination of high returns, low levels of risk and long-term results to appeal to the vast majority of investors.
Buy-to-let investment properties can bring you both a consistent cash flow of passive income as well as a large single payout thanks to capital appreciation, something no other single form of investment can match.
With this in mind, it is probably the case that property is the best investment for your money right now.
If you are struggling to make a decision about where to invest your money, it may be a good idea to open a savings account.
This way, your money is safe and secure while you do your due diligence and research, while accruing interest and earning you more money. This allows you to wait until you are ready to invest before you have to put your money anywhere.
However, if you’re ready, property investment is a fantastic option for those who wish to make the most of your funds through rental returns and capital appreciation.
If you are focused on getting the highest returns possible in a potentially short space of time, and you have a high risk tolerance, then cryptocurrency or stocks might be your best bet.
However, these are risky ventures, especially if you are chasing profit over security. While you may strike gold and win big, you can just as easily crash and burn.
If you want to balance high returns with stability, property would be your best choice, thanks to the unique combination of two types of return on investent as explained above and the proven resilience of the UK property market.
As one of the UK’s top property investment companies, RWInvest is at the forefront of the buy-to-let property investment scene.
With over 18 years of experience in UK property investment, helping investors along every step of their investing journey, we take care of each individual investor who chooses to work with us thanks to our dedicated teams of staff.
Our hard-working sales team find you the best options for your investment funds on the property market, often in buy-to-let hotspots like Liverpool and Manchester.
Once you have made a concrete investment decision, our Post-Sales and Client Care teams guide you through the purchase and completion of your investment property, helping you to achieve your financial goals.
If you are interested in learning more or investing today, contact our sales team to learn more!
Alternatively, if you want to learn more about different ways of investing, try our free guide on how to invest £100k.
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