Most Practical Places to Invest Money Outside of a Bank

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People are always looking for ways to invest their money to secure their financial futures. Here are some of the most popular investments outside of banks:

U.S. Treasury Bills and Bonds

Once upon a time it was a luxury of high society to own treasury bills. You would have needed a brokerage account and an absolute minimum investment of $10,000.00. Times have changed however, and now all you need is a measly investment of $1,000.00.

Treasury bills work a lot like a Certificate of Deposit do and since treasuries are a direct responsibility of the federal government, they do not possess a credit or default risk. Treasury bonds, however, are issued 30 year terms and pay interest every six months until the date they mature. When your bond matures, you are paid face value.

Liens

Tax liens are a relatively popular way to gain interest on a rather safe investment. Local governments rely on tax revenues to pay their expenses and even if property owners do not pay their taxes the government still needs money to pay its bills. So, they sell tax liens and investors pay the property tax and earn a high interest on it. Therefore, if you invest and are not paid then after a specific time frame you would be able to foreclose on the property and gain ownership.

Gold and Silver

Gold is the very opposite of debt. It is a physical manifestation of the wealth you own. By choosing to invest your money in this precious element you can be sure to keep your money with you in times of financial distress.

Keep in mind though, as the economy rises the value of your gold will go down. In the same way, silver may also be used as an investment although it is no longer considered legal tender in the United States. Also, the gold/silver ratio makes it fairly obvious how much your silver is "worth." The higher the ratio, the less gold is worth. As of November 2009 silver was valued at $16.44/oz where as gold was valued at $1,200.00/oz.

Stocks

Before you can invest money, you must save money. Investing is not a wise idea until you are well secured in your job and have a nice emergency fund with a year to 18 months worth of living expenses. Once you are ready to invest be sure and do research on the stocks you are considering purchasing.

If this seems too time consuming, then consider investing in a mutual fund. Also, just because the stock market has a bad day does not mean it's time to pull your money out. You will probably lose money with this maneuver and besides, over the next few weeks the value will most likely go up.

Real Estate
Even though the housing market has not looked too promising the past few years, it is starting to turn around. One of the simplest ways to get return on real estate is for you to buy a second home and rent it out. Once you have saved at least 25% for a down payment begin to look for a motivated seller. A motivated seller is someone who has to move quickly because of a new job or other various reasons and you can most likely save thousands on purchases such as these.

Depending on your personal situation there are numerous ways to invest your money without opening a savings account at your local bank. If you want a physical reminder of your savings, then gold and silver are probably for you, but, if you just need a financial security net then any of the aforementioned options should work out quite nicely.

Ricky Dean is a professional article writer for Dinosauric.com. For more finance articles, visit www.dinosauric.com/self-improvement/finances-and-money. 

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