After a rollercoaster of a year, investors are getting their heads around the opportunities and pitfalls produced by the pandemic. Where should you be putting your hard-earned money during this time? Commercial real estate? Stocks? A bunker in your backyard? To help you decide, let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of some of the most popular long-term and short-term investment options.

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Savings Accounts

Savings accounts are about as safe as you can get, making them popular with risk-averse investors. Though they have their merits, they come with some disadvantages too. 

Advantages of a savings account:

  • Easy to set up;
  • Liquid asset – you don’t need to sell any investments to access the money;
  • No lock-in contracts. 

Disadvantages of a savings account: 

  • Low-interest rates;
  • Withdrawal limits; 
  • Interest rates are usually lower than the rate of inflation;
  • Variable rates. 

 

Stocks

Stocks allow you to invest in a company and that company’s profits. You own a share of the company, and they can be a great long-term investment. 

Advantages of stocks:

  • Higher return on investment; 
  • You may have the right to vote on leadership issues and business decisions for the company; 
  • You can sell your stocks for a profit; 
  • Many stocks pay dividends quarterly.

Disadvantages of stocks: 

  • The higher the return, the higher the risk of losing your money;
  • It demands a tremendous amount of subject knowledge and research, alongside a clear strategy; 
  • You’ll need to wait a significant period of time before you notice a significant ROI. 

 

Commercial Real Estate

Commercial real estate is one of the most rewarding ways to invest. This includes properties like retail buildings, offices, warehouses, and industrial buildings.  

Advantages of commercial real estate investment:

  • ROI is quick, high, and regular;
  • Supporting local businesses and forming professional relationships;
  • Maintenance is usually in the tenant’s hands; 

Disadvantages of commercial real estate investment: 

  • Demands a considerable upfront investment of time, money, and energy;
  • You’ll likely need to hire a property investment advisor and property manager.

 

Bonds

A bond is a loan that a company takes out, but rather than taking it out from a bank, the lender takes the bond from an investor. The company will then pay interest for the capital. 

Advantages of bonds:

  • Your returns are fixed rather than variable, meaning you’ll know exactly what figure you’re making;
  • Low risk;
  • Transparent ratings by secure credit rating agencies.

Disadvantages of bonds: 

  • Your returns are fixed, meaning your ROI is capped at a specific figure;
  • Requires a large upfront investment to get a significant return.

 

Bitcoin

In 2009, the digital currency of Bitcoin was invented. This cryptocurrency offers lower transaction fees than other traditional online payment methods. 

Advantages of bitcoin:

  • Potential for high ROI; 
  • International transactions are available, so you’re not limited to only your country of residence; 
  • More liquidity.

Disadvantages of bitcoin: 

 

Certificates of Deposit (CDs)

CDs give you a decent interest rate in return for leaving a large deposit untouched for a certain amount of time. They’re a more restrictive version of a savings account. 

Advantages of CDs:

  • Better interest rate than a savings account;
  • Consistent ROI;
  • Trusted source – a credit union or a bank; 
  • Encourages good spending and saving habits.

Disadvantages of CDs: 

  • Hefty deposits required to see significant returns;
  • You cannot access your money until the period of time has expired; 
  • Demands perseverance and patience. 

 

Which Is The Right Investment Option For Me? 

The only way to discover the right investment option for you is to do your due diligence. Weigh the advantages and disadvantages, and create a strategy that will ramp up your ROI.