peer to peer lending http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/12512/all en-US 5 Ways to Make Passive Income Online http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-make-passive-income-online <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-ways-to-make-passive-income-online" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_working_on_a_laptop.jpg" alt="Woman working on a laptop" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The internet is responsible for many wonderful things, from letting you shop whenever and wherever you want, to the ability to view unlimited cat videos. And if you're savvy, the internet can also be a great place to develop income-producing assets for yourself.</p> <p>Income-producing assets are products you create or invest in that earn passive income. In essence, passive income allows you to earn money without having to do additional work after creating the asset. There are several ways you can do this online. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-surprising-ways-to-earn-money-online?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Surprising Ways to Earn Money Online</a>)</p> <h2>1. Sell a course or ebook</h2> <p>Everyone's an expert on something, right? And the world is full of people looking to learn. One income-producing idea is to develop an online course. People will pay to learn what you know about the best travel spots in Europe, how to be a better public speaker, and everything in between. There are multiple online platforms where you can host an e-course (though you will have to pay for most of them), or you can host the course through your own blog or social media channels. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-you-really-make-a-living-as-an-ebook-writer?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Can You Really Make a Living as an Ebook Writer?</a>)</p> <p>There are plenty of tutorial, video course, and ebook content creators out there generating a steady monthly income. How you design, develop, and create your course or ebook will be very dependent on what you teach, how you teach, and the best way for your readers to learn. This all requires some legwork upfront, but if you can get the ball rolling, your online book or course can continue generating passive income well into the future. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-i-made-400-in-10-days-by-selling-an-online-course-i-created?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How I Made $400 in 10 Days by Selling an Online Course I Created</a>)</p> <h2>2. Earn interest on a loan</h2> <p>If you have some cash to spare, you could earn a nice return by investing in peer to peer lending. Peer to peer lending removes financial institutions from the equation. With sites like Prosper or Lending Club, you can put up a sum of money &mdash; whether it's a few hundred dollars or a few thousand &mdash; to fund a personal or business loan yourself. Just like if they had worked with a bank, borrowers then pay the loan back with interest, which acts as a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-money-with-peer-to-peer-lending-service-prosper?ref=internal" target="_blank">passive income stream for you</a>. Most sites report lenders see a return of between six and seven percent. Note that each peer to peer lending site will have its own qualifications and terms and conditions, so do some research to find the best option for you. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-peer-to-peer-investing-with-lending-club?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Everything You Need to Know About Peer-to-Peer Investing With Lending Club</a>)</p> <h2>3. Become an affiliate</h2> <p>Affiliate programs pay you in exchange for sending them customers via your website, blog, or social media channels. The best-known example of a popular affiliate program is Amazon, which pays &quot;Associates&quot; commissions of up to 10 percent.</p> <p>Here's how it works: Say you run a food blog where you showcase your favorite recipes. People who read your blog are likely interested in all things cooking: cookware, cookbooks, kitchen remodeling &mdash; you get the picture. If you include an Amazon affiliate link to a mixer you're using, for example, you'll earn money any time a visitor clicks through from your blog and makes that purchase. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-easy-ways-to-make-extra-money-blogging?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Easy Ways to Make Extra Money Blogging</a>)</p> <p>If you want to expand your affiliate partnerships beyond Amazon, you can join networks that connect you to companies looking for affiliates &mdash; ShareASale can help you do this. Also, if there is a particular company you would like to work with, check out their website. Usually at the very bottom of the page, in the footer bar, you'll find a link to learn about any affiliate program they might offer.</p> <h2>4. Use AdSense</h2> <p>AdSense, an advertising service run by Google, operates in a similar fashion to an affiliate program. To use AdSense, you'll also need to have a content site, YouTube channel, or blog with views. But rather than letting you promote or link to a specific item or brand, AdSense automatically places relevant ads on your site for readers to click through. These ads won't be random; they'll relate in some way to the type of content you normally post. You'll automatically earn money for views and clicks on your ad. The more views you get, the more money you can make. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-you-really-make-money-by-starting-a-blog?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Can You Really Make Money by Starting a Blog?</a>)</p> <h2>5. Sell your photos</h2> <p>Do you have a good eye for photography? Are friends and family always commenting how much they'd love one of your photos hanging on their wall? Take the hint! Build a portfolio storefront with sites like SmugMug or Zenfolio where fans of your photography can purchase prints. Many gallery sites do require paying for a monthly &quot;plan&quot; and may take a small commission, but their bottom tier packages are often fairly affordable at a few bucks per month. Many also have plugins that allow you to process print orders with high-quality photo labs and drop-ship directly to your customers. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/earn-extra-income-with-your-smartphone-camera?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Earn Extra Income With Your Smartphone Camera</a>)</p> <p>You could also sell your own photography to be used as stock photos. While there are many big-name stock photo agencies out there, such as Getty Images and Shutterstock, becoming a contributor often involves a lot of competition and a lengthy application process. Selling your stock photography on your own website allows you to set your own prices, licenses, and keep 100 percent of the earnings for yourself.</p> <p>The internet has opened up a world of opportunity for anyone to earn a little extra money. Think of what you're passionate about, what skills you have that someone might be willing to pay for, and create a revenue generating asset that will keep extra cash flowing into your budget. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-ways-to-make-money-online-that-arent-scams?ref=seealso" target="_blank">13 Ways to Make Money Online That Aren't Scams</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F5-ways-to-make-passive-income-online&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%2520Ways%2520to%2520Make%2520Passive%2520Income%2520Online.jpg&amp;description=5%20Ways%20to%20Make%20Passive%20Income%20Online"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/5%20Ways%20to%20Make%20Passive%20Income%20Online.jpg" alt="5 Ways To MakePassive Income Online" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/anum-yoon">Anum Yoon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-make-passive-income-online">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-make-money-outside-your-day-job">15 Ways to Make Money Outside Your Day Job</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-make-amazon-pay-you">7 Ways to Make Amazon Pay YOU!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/clear-out-that-clutter-15-places-to-sell-your-stuff">Clear Out That Clutter: 15 Places to Sell Your Stuff</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-turn-your-instagram-account-into-a-paying-gig">How to Turn Your Instagram Account Into a Paying Gig</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-turn-your-backyard-into-a-moneymaker">How to Turn Your Backyard Into a Moneymaker</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Extra Income ads affiliate programs assets bloggers eBooks Internet online online courses passive income peer to peer lending photography selling Wed, 27 Sep 2017 08:30:11 +0000 Anum Yoon 2025921 at http://www.wisebread.com Where to Find Emergency Funds When You Don't Have an Emergency Fund http://www.wisebread.com/where-to-find-emergency-funds-when-you-dont-have-an-emergency-fund <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/where-to-find-emergency-funds-when-you-dont-have-an-emergency-fund" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_having_financial_problems.jpg" alt="Woman having financial problems" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Establishing an emergency fund is the first and most important step in taking control of your finances. This fund makes it possible for you to weather a financial crisis &mdash; anything from a big car repair or medical bill to losing your job. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-step-by-step-guide-to-creating-your-emergency-fund?ref=seealso" target="_blank">A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Your Emergency Fund</a>)</p> <p>But what if you don't have an emergency fund? Or you have only just started building it when an emergency strikes? Or you have been hit with back-to-back hardships that your emergency fund can't handle? How do you find money in an emergency when there's nothing but cobwebs in your &quot;emergency fund?&quot;</p> <p>Before you assume that dealing with such a situation is basically a hopeless case, remember that your ability to handle an emergency is not limited to the size your emergency fund. Here are several places you can find emergency funds when you don't have an emergency fund. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-prevent-an-emergency-from-driving-you-into-debt?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Ways to Prevent an Emergency From Driving You Into Debt</a>)</p> <h2>1. Your own budget</h2> <p>One of the fastest ways to find some emergency cash in your budget is to cut your costs to the bone. Take a look at what you normally spend on groceries, entertainment, gas, and utilities. You may be surprised to find that there is enough money in your monthly budget to cover your emergency if you are willing to eat nothing but peanut butter and jelly, say no to happy hour with your friends, turn off the A/C, take the bus, and switch off your cellphone data plan for a month. This might not sound like much fun, but it will be well worth the short-term discomfort if you can use the savings to solve your emergency. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-spending-too-much-on-normal-expenses?Ref=seealso" target="_blank">Are You Spending Too Much on &quot;Normal&quot; Expenses?</a>)</p> <p>As a bonus, you could extend your cost-cutting to last a few weeks after you've taken care of your emergency, and use the freed-up cash to refill (or start) your emergency fund. That will make it much less likely you'll have to deal with this kind of deprivation the next time an emergency crops up.</p> <h2>2. Your stuff</h2> <p>It's very easy for us to forget just how much money is sitting in our homes in the form of all of our stuff. When you are facing an emergency, it can become clear that a lot of the stuff you own doesn't actually add anything to your life.</p> <p>A financial emergency is a good time to sell some of the things you have kept but don't actually need. Craiglist, eBay, and Facebook groups are all excellent options for maximizing your profit if you have some time available before you need the cash. If your emergency has a quick deadline, however, you can take your valuables to a consignment or pawnshop.</p> <h2>3. Your monthly due dates</h2> <p>If your emergency is one you could financially handle if you just had a little more time, it may be worth your while to call your landlord, utility companies, and creditors to see if they would be willing to push back your due date for this month's bills. You may or may not be able to convince them all to accept a delayed payment this month, but it doesn't hurt to ask.</p> <h2>4. Your withholdings</h2> <p>If you regularly get a large tax refund every spring, you could potentially get hold of that money before April 15 by adjusting your withholdings on your W-4 form at work. Doing this, you may see more money in your very next paycheck.</p> <p>Use the <a href="https://www.irs.gov/individuals/irs-withholding-calculator" target="_blank">IRS online withholding calculator</a> to figure out exactly what your withholding should be. Once you've adjusted your withholding, you can keep it at the adjusted amount for the rest of the year and save the difference in your emergency fund.</p> <h2>5. Your employer</h2> <p>Depending on your workplace, you may be able to take an advance on your future salary to help you cover a financial emergency. If you work for a small company where your boss is the final authority, you will need to appeal directly to him or her for your advance. If you work in a larger or corporate environment, you will need to discuss the possibility of an advance with your human resources department.</p> <p>Be prepared to explain why you need the money, which may feel awkward. But your boss will want to know that the advance isn't enabling a problem behavior, such as gambling or substance abuse, and you do need to give some background so they will understand that this is a one-time emergency.</p> <p>You can also expect to fill out some paperwork, which will specify the payback schedule and what will happen in the event you leave the job before the advance has been paid off. In most cases, the payback schedule will mean that you receive a reduced paycheck for a few pay periods until you have paid back the advance, although you may be able to negotiate for future overtime in exchange for the advance.</p> <h2>5. Borrowing money</h2> <p>There are several ways to borrow money that can help get you through a financial emergency, although they all have different costs that you need to consider before signing on the dotted line:</p> <h3>A loan from a friend or family member</h3> <p>Borrowing money from someone you know can be a relationship land mine, which is why so many people are leery of asking for that kind of help.</p> <p>It is possible to borrow money from a loved one, but you must be prepared to handle it like a business transaction and actually use a promissory note. This legal agreement will spell out the specifics of payment dates, interest, and other loan details.</p> <h3>Peer-to-peer lending</h3> <p>The modern world has made it possible to borrow small amounts of money through peer-to-peer lending platforms like Lending Club and Prosper. To successfully borrow money from a peer-to-peer platform, you will generally need a credit score of about 660 or above, and you will need a checking account, since your loan will be deposited to it, and your payments will be automatically debited from it.</p> <p>Generally, these loans have a maximum lending period of 36 months. There is no penalty for paying off your loan early, however, so a peer-to-peer loan may be an excellent choice for someone who needs money quickly but whose situation will stabilize soon afterward. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-times-personal-loans-may-be-better-than-credit-cards?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Times Personal Loans May Be Better Than Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h3>An emergency overdraft from your bank</h3> <p>Your bank may be able to extend you an emergency overdraft if your emergency occurs within a few days of payday and the amount you need does not exceed your usual payday deposit. Explain the situation to your bank and request an overdraft for the amount you will need to cover your emergency &mdash; but don't forget to ask what overdraft fees you can expect to pay. If your bank approves this course of action and their overdraft fees are reasonable, this could be a relatively inexpensive way to get the money you need.</p> <h3>Take a loan from your 401(k)</h3> <p>Though it's generally not a great idea to borrow from your 401(k) for a financial emergency, it is a good idea for you to know what your rights are in regards to such a loan. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-questions-to-ask-before-you-borrow-from-your-retirement-account?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Questions to Ask Before You Borrow From Your Retirement Account</a>)</p> <p>The IRS allows you to access a portion (generally the lesser of 50 percent or $50,000) of your retirement plan money tax-free for an emergency. If you do take such a loan, the law requires you to repay the amount you accessed, plus interest &mdash; which you are paying to yourself, meaning you are helping to restore at least some of the growth you lost by taking the loan.</p> <p>Loan rules specify a five-year amortization repayment schedule, but there are no prepayment penalties if you would like to rebuild your account quicker. In addition, many plans will allow you to make repayments through payroll deduction, in the same way you make normal contributions.</p> <p>One caveat: If you leave (or lose) your job before paying back the loan, it will be considered an early distribution, which will mean that you owe the 10 percent early withdrawal penalty <em>and</em> tax on your loan.</p> <h3>Take a tax-free rollover from your IRA</h3> <p>While the IRS does not allow investors to take loans from their IRA accounts, a 60-day tax-free rollover allows you to access the money you have in your IRA in case of an emergency. Such a rollover lets you take money out of your IRA with no taxes or penalties, provided you put the money back in that or another IRA within 60 calendar days. If you fail to replace the money within that time frame, it will be considered an early withdrawal and you will have to pay income taxes on the money and a 10 percent penalty.</p> <p>In addition, it's important to note that there is what's known as the one-year rule. You can only do such a tax-free rollover once within any 12-month period.</p> <h2>Emergencies are never convenient</h2> <p>Like death, taxes, and childbirth, financial emergencies don't like to arrive when it's convenient. The key to being able to handle financial emergencies is flexibility. If you are willing and able to make changes to your habits, respectfully ask for help, borrow mindfully, or reduce your spending, you can get to the other side of any emergency with your finances intact. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-decide-if-its-a-fund-worthy-emergency?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Ways to Decide if It's a &quot;Fund-Worthy&quot; Emergency</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fwhere-to-find-emergency-funds-when-you-dont-have-an-emergency-fund&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FWhere%2520to%2520Find%2520Emergency%2520Funds%2520When%2520You%2520Don%2527t%2520Have%2520an%2520Emergency%2520Fund.jpg&amp;description=Where%20to%20Find%20Emergency%20Funds%20When%20You%20Don't%20Have%20an%20Emergency%20Fund"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Where%20to%20Find%20Emergency%20Funds%20When%20You%20Don%27t%20Have%20an%20Emergency%20Fund.jpg" alt="Where to Find Emergency Funds When You Don't Have an Emergency Fund" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/where-to-find-emergency-funds-when-you-dont-have-an-emergency-fund">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-conversations-parents-should-have-with-their-adult-kids">7 Money Conversations Parents Should Have With Their Adult Kids</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-ways-to-build-an-emergency-fund-from-0">7 Easy Ways to Build an Emergency Fund From $0</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-financial-resolutions-you-can-conquer-before-new-years">10 Financial Resolutions You Can Conquer Before New Year&#039;s</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/reach-your-money-goals-faster-with-a-simple-naming-trick">Reach Your Money Goals Faster With a Simple Naming Trick</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-fast-ways-to-restock-an-emergency-fund-after-an-emergency">6 Fast Ways to Restock an Emergency Fund After an Emergency</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance borrowing money budgeting cutting expenses emergency funds loans overdraft peer to peer lending salary advance saving money withholdings Thu, 07 Sep 2017 08:01:05 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 2016465 at http://www.wisebread.com Is There Such a Thing as a "Safe" Investment? http://www.wisebread.com/is-there-such-a-thing-as-a-safe-investment <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/is-there-such-a-thing-as-a-safe-investment" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_umbrella_coins_516182744_0.jpg" alt="Man learning if there&#039;s such a thing as a safe investment" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Safety. We all look for it in our investments, while also seeking out the highest return. As we get older, safety becomes more important as we get closer to retirement age.</p> <p>Is there such a thing as a truly &quot;safe&quot; investment? The short answer is that no investment is 100% safe. But there are certainly some investments that are better than others at protecting your hard-earned savings.</p> <p>Let's examine some of the most common &quot;safe&quot; investments and learn how good they actually are at shielding you from financial losses.</p> <h2>1. Cash</h2> <p>You may not be able to stomach the ups and downs of the stock market, and don't want your money tied up in bonds or other fixed-income investments. So you just hold on to large quantities of cash in a basic savings account, a money market account, or certificates of deposit.</p> <h3>Why It's Safe</h3> <p>Cash won't dive in value if the stock market crashes. You can get a predictable return from interest by keeping it in a bank account. And you can access it any time you need it.</p> <h3>Why It's Not</h3> <p>If you have a lot of cash, you can actually <em>lose </em>money in the long-term if there is inflation. But most importantly, putting too much of your investment portfolio in cash will make it hard for you to accumulate the kind of wealth you'll need for a comfortable retirement. Cash is also easy to access, which means it's too easy for you to spend.</p> <h2>2. Dividend Stocks</h2> <p>Dividend stocks are generally issued by companies that don't usually see a lot of volatility, but will pay out a healthy percentage of their income back to shareholders. Dividend stocks are often used by older investors or anyone looking to boost income without a lot of risk.</p> <h3>Why It's Safe</h3> <p>Good dividend stocks will pay out a consistent amount to shareholders each quarter, and it's usually a better return than bonds. By nature, dividend stocks won't go way up and down in price like other stocks, so they aren't as vulnerable to big market downturns.</p> <h3>Why It's Not</h3> <p>They are still stocks, and any stock is potentially vulnerable to market swings. Even dividend stocks will lose value in a down market, so it's still possible to lose money. On the flip side, dividend stocks won't rise in value like other investments when the market goes up. Moreover, dividends are never guaranteed; a company can cut its dividend at any time if its revenues drop.</p> <h2>3. Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS)</h2> <p>TIPS are popular investments because they allow you to invest in bonds while seeing the value of the investment rise along with the rate of inflation. They are a common part of many retirement portfolios and can be helpful in diversifying holdings.</p> <h3>Why It's Safe</h3> <p>Investing in U.S. treasuries is about as safe a bet as you can get, as the U.S. government has always paid its obligations. And TIPS have the added benefit of rising in value along with consumer prices, so you're never at risk of losing your investment due to inflation. You are protected even if there is deflation, because in that case, the price at maturity will revert to the price at purchase.</p> <h3>Why It's Not</h3> <p>TIPS aren't great investments for building wealth. There are other, better investments that offer a combination of safety and growth. TIPS are also vulnerable to interest rate moves, just like most bonds.</p> <h2>4. Gold</h2> <p>We've seen gold hailed as a &quot;safe&quot; investment because it's considered a hedge against inflation and a protection against a major economic disaster. History has shown that those who held on to gold during times of crisis held onto their wealth.</p> <h3>Why It's Safe</h3> <p>Gold can protect against inflation and historically has been known to retain its value even during disastrous times. That's why gold became a popular investment during the recent debt crisis in Europe, for example.</p> <h3>Why It's Not</h3> <p>Many financial experts note that gold's reputation as a hedge against inflation is often overstated, and gold has been known to lose value. It is also no less volatile than stocks, and generally does not have the same return on investment. In other words, it's not as &quot;safe&quot; as you think, and you won't necessarily get wealthy by holding onto it.</p> <h2>5. REITs</h2> <p>A real estate investment trust (or REIT) allows individual investors to own shares of real estate without the hassle of being a landlord. REITs trade like stocks, and can also be included in mutual funds and exchange-traded funds.</p> <h3>Why It's Safe</h3> <p>REITs are generally pretty stable investments, especially if the company has many long-term leases. REITs also usually pay out a hefty dividend.</p> <h3>Why It's Not</h3> <p>Real estate can still drop in value, especially if the REIT you buy is focused on one sector of real estate. Moreover, because REITs don't have to pay corporate-level income tax, dividends from REITs are taxed at the normal income rate, not the dividend rate paid out by other stocks.</p> <h2>6. Target Date Mutual Funds</h2> <p>Most brokerages offer mutual funds that start off with an aggressive investment mix and then get more conservative as the investor ages. These are a popular &quot;hands off&quot; part of many portfolios.</p> <h3>Why It's Safe</h3> <p>These funds are designed to build value during your younger years and protect your retirement nest egg as you get older. When properly managed, you'll be able to hold onto more of your money when you are close to retirement, even during down markets.</p> <h3>Why It's Not</h3> <p>Generally speaking, targeted mutual funds come with higher fees than many other funds, and that can cut into your overall earnings over time. And while the funds are comprised of more conservative investments as you approach retirement age, they are still prone to the ups and downs of the stock market in the earlier years.</p> <h2>7. Peer-to-Peer Lending</h2> <p>In recent years, companies such as Lending Club and Prosper have allowed individual investors to profit from the debt of other regular people. These platforms match investors up with those looking to borrow money. Individuals can invest based on their own risk tolerance. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-money-with-peer-to-peer-lending-service-prosper?ref=seealso">How to Make Money With Prosper</a>)</p> <h3>Why It's Safe</h3> <p>The most popular peer-to-peer lending sites report a fairly low default rate on loans. This means that those who purchase debt are likely to generate a solid return. Lending Club reports that the median adjusted net annual return is 5.1% for those who have purchased at least 100 notes.</p> <h3>Why It's Not</h3> <p>There's always a risk of loans defaulting, especially if you don't buy quality loans. Buying risky loans, or failing to diversify your loan portfolio, can lead to less-than-stellar returns.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-there-such-a-thing-as-a-safe-investment">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-reasons-to-invest-in-stocks-past-age-50">7 Reasons to Invest in Stocks Past Age 50</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-be-fooled-by-an-investments-rate-of-return">Don&#039;t Be Fooled by an Investment&#039;s Rate of Return</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-3-rules-every-mediocre-investor-must-know">The 3 Rules Every Mediocre Investor Must Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-ways-to-invest-50-500-or-5000">The Best Ways to Invest $50, $500, or $5000</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-reasons-to-start-investing-in-bonds-now">The 5 Best Reasons to Start Investing in Bonds Now</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Investment bonds cash dividend stocks mutual funds peer to peer lending REITs safe investments tips Mon, 12 Dec 2016 11:00:07 +0000 Tim Lemke 1850785 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Places to Stash Your Money Besides a Savings Account http://www.wisebread.com/10-places-to-stash-your-money-besides-a-savings-account <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-places-to-stash-your-money-besides-a-savings-account" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/star_wars_lego_000021962705.jpg" alt="Finding places to stash money besides a savings account" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The long-awaited interest rate hike from the Fed finally arrived on December 16, 2015. But as of May 2016, it still hasn't affected the interest rate of most savings accounts. The national average savings account interest rate currently stands at a measly 0.06%, according to data from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). And some brick-and-mortar banks are offering rates as low as a pitiful 0.01%!</p> <p>There are far better places to park your hard-earning savings. Let's review 10 places to stash cash besides a traditional bank savings account.</p> <h2>1. Online High Yield Savings Account</h2> <p>With the Internet taking over pretty much everything, it's not a surprise that it has also taken over banking. By putting your funds in an online savings account, you'll have access to higher yields. As of April 2016, you can find high-interest savings accounts with yields ranging from 0.75% with the Capital One 360 Savings Account, to 1.05% with the Synchrony Bank High Yield Savings Account. Make sure to read the fine print, though, because they may require minimum deposits and limit the times you can access funds per month. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-online-savings-accounts?ref=seealso">5 Best Online Savings Accounts</a>)</p> <h2>2. Certificate of Deposit</h2> <p>By tying up your money for a longer period of time, banks and credit unions are willing to offer you a higher interest rate. With terms ranging from one to 60 months, a certificate of deposit (CD) is a financial vehicle insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) for up to $250,000 per account per depositor. Certificates of deposit can easily beat that 1.10%. For example, a credit union in Honolulu, Hawaii is currently offering 16-month and 60-month CDs with a 1.20% and 1.78% APR, respectively.</p> <h2>3. Series I Savings Bond</h2> <p>Backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government, Series I Savings Bonds (also referred to as &quot;I Bonds&quot;) are adjusted for inflation every six months so the purchasing power of your savings stays intact. Earnings are exempt from state and local taxes and can be entirely tax-free when used for qualifying post-secondary education expenses. I Bonds are available on small denominations starting at $50 and can be bought online via <a href="http://www.treasurydirect.gov/indiv/products/prod_ibonds_glance.htm">TreasuryDirect</a> or through your tax return using <a href="http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f8888.pdf">Form 8888, Allocation of Refund (Including Savings Bond Purchases)</a>.</p> <h2>4. Gold</h2> <p>For a long time, several countries, including the U.S. and the U.K., committed to fix the prices of their domestic currencies in terms of the market value of a specified amount of gold. Even though the market price of gold has proven to be quite volatile, it still could work as a good way to stash your savings, depending on your timing. When it comes to gold, history has proven that it's best to buy and hold for a long time. On May 1, 2006, the price of gold per ounce was $670.30 and on April 18, 2016, it was $1,245.68. That's a 85% total return for about 10 years. This is why investors still use gold to hedge against uncertainty and inflation.</p> <h2>5. Exchange Traded Fund for Precious Metals</h2> <p>Of course, buying and selling coins, bars, or privately minted coins of gold and silver requires skill, storage space, and knowledge of the commodities market. An alternative way to put your savings in gold and silver is to buy an exchange traded fund (ETF) that tracks the market price of those precious metals. Some examples include the iShares Silver Trust [<a href="http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=SLV">NYSEArca: SLV</a>], SPDR Gold Shares [<a href="http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=GLD">NYSEArca: GLD</a>], ETFS Physical Silver [<a href="http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=SIVR">NYSEArca: SIVR</a>], and iShares Gold Trust [<a href="http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=IAU">NYSEArca: IAU</a>].</p> <h2>6. Lego Sets</h2> <p>If the investment returns from gold impress you, wait until you hear that of Lego Sets:</p> <ul> <li>Imperial Star Destroyer was <a href="http://time.com/money/4162059/lego-investment-compare-gold-return/">worth $249.99 in 2002</a> and today is worth about $2,185 (return: 774%)<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Death Star II was worth $372 in 2005 and today is worth about $2,270 (return: 510%)<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Taj Mahal was worth $134 in 2007 and today is worth about $2,753 (return: 1,954%)</li> </ul> <p>Of course, you'll have to do some research to identify the most promising sets. With about 80 stores in the U.S., you'll have plenty of opportunities to play&hellip; ahem!... I mean, research.</p> <h2>7. Discount Gift Cards at Costco</h2> <p>Bulk buying 170 oz. detergent jugs and $4.99 roasted chickens aren't the only ways to let your dollar go the extra mile at Costco. You can stash your savings in discounted gift cards. For example, you can currently get two $50 gift cards for Buca di Beppo for $76.99 ($74.99 plus $2 for shipping and handling) at the Costco website. By planning out your purchases of discount gift cards for restaurants and other retailers, you can get a better return than that of a savings account.</p> <h2>8. Christmas Club</h2> <p>Another alternative to savings accounts is the Christmas club, which will hold money put aside for future holiday spending. Also known as Christmas savings accounts, Christmas clubs are available at over 70% of U.S. credit unions. By committing to hold your funds in the account for a predetermined period (e.g. November 1st), a credit union will pay you a higher interest rate than that of its regular savings account. The catch is that if you withdraw the funds before the deadline, you'll be charged a steep fee that nullifies all your interest gains. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-good-reasons-to-choose-a-credit-union-instead-of-a-bank?ref=seealso">9 Good Reasons to Choose a Credit Union Instead of a Bank</a>)</p> <h2>9. Peer-to-Peer Lending</h2> <p>Banks make a profit by taking your deposits and offering those monies as loans to other individuals at a higher interest rate. You, too, can take a crack at profiting from lending through peer-to-peer lending at sites including <a href="http://prosper.evyy.net/c/27771/27132/994">Prosper</a> and <a href="https://www.lendingclub.com/">Lending Club</a>. With a minimum investment of $25, you could start investing in loans with an average annual interest rates ranging from <a href="https://www.lendingclub.com/info/demand-and-credit-profile.action">5.23% to 9.11%</a>. By sticking with the highest grade of investment loans, you have a good chance at beating the annual percentage yield (APY) of any savings account.</p> <h2>10. Secured Credit Card</h2> <p>While <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-are-secured-credit-cards?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=article">secured credit cards</a> can be useful to building or repairing your credit history, some of these cards also allow you to gain interest on your security deposit. For example, the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/usaa-secured-card-american-express?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=article">USAA Secured Card American Express</a> lets you gain 0.54% per year through a two-year CD. If you're considering to apply for a secured credit card, getting one that lets you make money on your secure deposit would let you kill two birds with one stone.</p> <p><em>What are other great places to stash away your savings?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-places-to-stash-your-money-besides-a-savings-account">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-smart-ways-to-use-old-savings-bonds">6 Smart Ways to Use Old Savings Bonds</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-ways-thieves-use-your-stolen-credit-card">Top 5 Ways Thieves Use Your Stolen Credit Card</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-moves-every-new-college-student-should-make">7 Money Moves Every New College Student Should Make</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-tidy-up-your-finances-before-the-holidays">10 Ways to Tidy Up Your Finances Before the Holidays</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-cost-of-finding-a-treasure-chest-full-of-gold">The Cost of Finding a Treasure Chest Full of Gold</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance certificate of deposit christmas funds gift cards gold peer to peer lending savings savings bonds Tue, 10 May 2016 09:30:24 +0000 Damian Davila 1703947 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways Peer Lending Can Boost Your Wallet http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-peer-lending-can-boost-your-wallet <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-peer-lending-can-boost-your-wallet" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/hand_holding_piggybank_000018119999.jpg" alt="Learning ways peer lending can boost your wallet" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Alternative finance is a seriously hot topic right now. From worthy projects like a <a href="https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/flow-hive-honey-on-tap-directly-from-your-beehive#/">beehive design </a>that received millions on Indiegogo &mdash; to the completely comic, like the crowdfunding campaign to <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/28/potato-salad-kickstarter-party_n_5893386.html">make a potato salad</a> &mdash; you can't really avoid the media buzz about alternative finance.</p> <p>But there is more to alternative finance than hype. And there could be ways that the new products, services, and platforms can benefit you. (No potato salad required.) Here's how.</p> <h2>1. Invest While You Help Others With Peer Lending</h2> <p>Peer-to-peer lending is an increasingly popular choice for individual investors, who lend out their spare cash in the form of loans to individuals and small businesses. Peer lending is an attractive investment because it&rsquo;s simple to get started, returns can be solid, and you can open accounts with very low minimum investments. The segment is getting increasingly sophisticated, with prospective borrowers vetted and classified according to risk, allowing investors to diversify their portfolio of investments according to their risk tolerance levels (riskier loans produce higher potential returns). Both <a href="http://prosper.evyy.net/c/27771/27132/994">Prosper</a> and <a href="https://www.lendingclub.com/">Lending Club</a> also offer tax-smart IRA products. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-peer-to-peer-investing-with-lending-club">Everything You Need to Know About Peer Lending</a>)</p> <p>The key to investing intelligently in peer lending is in diversification. By splitting your money across dozens or even hundreds of different loans, you reduce your exposure to default.</p> <h2>2. Get a Loan Without Visiting a Bank</h2> <p>Peer lending, of course, works both ways. Not only can you invest your money, you can also become a borrower using one of the alternative finance platforms listed above. Accessing funds this way tends to involve less paperwork than visiting a bank, although interest rates will vary according to your circumstances.</p> <p>There are peer lending platforms offering consumer and business loans, both secured and unsecured, ranging from small loans for individuals to the greater funds you might need for expanding your business. For example, <a href="https://www.fundingcircle.com/us/">Funding Circle</a> offer loans to small businesses that might not be able to access finance through mainstream institutions. If you're thinking of taking a loan, it is worth evaluating alternative providers alongside traditional bank offerings. You might be pleasantly surprised.</p> <h2>3. Kickstart Your Business Idea With Crowdfunding</h2> <p>Alternative finance offers several options if you're thinking of starting a business. One popular option is reward-based crowdfunding, where backers pledge money in return for non-financial rewards. Not only does this provide a way of collecting some cash, but you can also test the feasibility of your idea &mdash; if people fund your campaign, then you've likely got a viable product!</p> <p><a href="https://www.kickstarter.com/">Kickstarter</a> is one of the best known crowdfunding sites and accepts &ldquo;creative&rdquo; projects &mdash; perfect if you're a writer, artist, chef, or looking to fund a business in the world of art, design, technology, or music. The rules prohibit offering financial incentives to backers, so you have to get inventive to come up with ways to say thank you to the people who fund your campaign!</p> <p><a href="https://www.indiegogo.com/">Indiegogo</a> is another great alternative. Simply sign up to start a campaign, and receive funding through PayPal from backers all over the world.</p> <p>If reward-based crowdfunding doesn't suit your project, then you could look to equity-based crowdfunding from a platform like <a href="https://www.crowdfunder.com/">Crowdfunder</a>, or find an &ldquo;angel investor&rdquo; over at <a href="https://angel.co/">AngelList</a>.</p> <h2>4. Use Crowdfunding to Fund Your Worthy Cause</h2> <p>Donation-based crowdfunding allows individuals, charities, and nonprofit organizations to raise funds for specific projects, with no reward or payback to the individuals who choose to become backers.</p> <p><a href="https://www.gofundme.com/">Gofundme</a> is the go-to site for donation based crowdfunding &mdash; whether you are raising cash to study abroad, pay for medical expenses, or upgrade your home. The site focuses on charitable causes, which can really take off if the cause is good and has viral appeal. Some popular Gofundme causes have received hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations.</p> <h2>5. Become a Business Part-Owner With Equity-Based Crowdfunding</h2> <p>If you have money to invest, but aren&rsquo;t ready to start your own entrepreneurial endeavor just yet, then equity-based crowdfunding can offer a way to become a part-owner of a business you believe in.</p> <p>With equity-based crowdfunding, entrepreneurs offer a slice of their business to investors in return for their cash. You might choose a project you're excited about in your neighborhood, a product that makes sense to you, or an entrepreneur who has the energy and passion needed to really make their idea a success. Equity-based crowdfunding is working right now for many investors and small businesses &mdash; an impressive 120,000 backers have backed over 30,000 projects so far on Crowdfunder, alone.</p> <h2>6. Get Discounts and Offers Through Reward-Based Crowdfunding</h2> <p>Reward-based crowdfunding projects offer some form of non-monetary reward to those who back them. This might mean that you can get your hands on an early edition or personalized version of the product you're backing, have your contribution acknowledged on the company website or magazine, or get some form of exclusive reward direct from the founders. Generally, rewards are tiered based on the level of money put up, meaning the more you offer, the better the reward you can get your hands on.</p> <p>Kickstarter and Indiegogo are two of the best-known sites for reward-based crowdfunding, but there are also niche sites which might suit your particular interests. If you're into music and love discovering new sounds, then specialist sites help budding artists raise funds in return for great gifts to backers. Give <a href="http://www.pledgemusic.com/">Pledge Music</a> a whirl if this is your bag.</p> <p><em>Have you crowdfunded a business or project? How'd it go?</em><em><br /> </em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/claire-millard">Claire Millard</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-peer-lending-can-boost-your-wallet">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/where-to-find-emergency-funds-when-you-dont-have-an-emergency-fund">Where to Find Emergency Funds When You Don&#039;t Have an Emergency Fund</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-conversations-parents-should-have-with-their-adult-kids">7 Money Conversations Parents Should Have With Their Adult Kids</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-places-to-stash-your-money-besides-a-savings-account">10 Places to Stash Your Money Besides a Savings Account</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-building-credit-in-college-helps-you-win-at-life">5 Reasons Building Credit in College Helps You Win at Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-manage-your-money-during-a-spousal-separation">How to Manage Your Money During a Spousal Separation</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance alternative finance crowdfunding loans peer to peer lending Thu, 25 Feb 2016 10:30:34 +0000 Claire Millard 1662556 at http://www.wisebread.com Everything You Need to Know About Peer-to-Peer Investing With Lending Club http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-peer-to-peer-investing-with-lending-club <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/everything-you-need-to-know-about-peer-to-peer-investing-with-lending-club" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_laptop_000038703478.jpg" alt="Woman working on her laptop" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://lendingclub.pxf.io/c/27771/322506/4962">Lending Club</a> is a peer-to-peer lending firm, which matches private lenders with individual borrowers. You join, set up an account, search for matches based on your criteria, get more information if needed, and make a selection to invest your money or time. The process is relatively fast and convenient. There are risks, but also possibly great rewards. Here's what you need to know to get started investing with Lending Club. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-money-with-peer-to-peer-lending-service-prosper?ref=seealso">How to Make Money with Peer-to-Peer Lending with Prosper</a>)</p> <h2>1. Lenders Are Really Investors</h2> <p>Peer-to-peer lending firms provide a platform to match lenders with borrowers. The loans presented by Lending Club are funded by an outside bank and as a lender/investor, you purchase an investment associated with specific loans.</p> <p>So, as a &quot;lender&quot; you are not lending directly to borrowers; instead you are investing in Lending Club notes tied to specific loans, which you have chosen. Your earnings (or losses) are based on interest rates, loan terms, repayment, etc. relating to the loans in your portfolio.</p> <h2>2. The Minimum Amount for Investing Is $25</h2> <p>You can get started by investing $25 in one loan.</p> <p>Lending Club recommends that you invest in 100 loans for the purpose of creating a diversified loan portfolio. By investing $25 in 100 loans (for a total of $2,500), your investment risk is spread over multiple loans with various risk criteria. If borrowers default on some of your loans, you can still make money on the remaining loans.</p> <h2>3. You Can Open a Regular Account or an IRA</h2> <p>Your money with Lending Club can be held in a taxable investment account or a tax-advantaged retirement account. According to its website, you may be eligible to open and maintain a Traditional IRA, Roth IRA, Simple IRA, and/or SEP-IRA.</p> <p>There is a $100 annual account fee for an IRA. This charge is waived if your initial investment is $5,000 or more in Lending Club notes and you hold the investment for 12 months in your first year; or you maintain a minimum of $10,000 in Lending Club notes throughout the year.</p> <p>Other account types, such as trust, custodial/minors, and corporate, are also available.</p> <h2>3. There Are Two Ways to Choose Loans</h2> <p>Once you've set up an account and added funds, you are ready to choose loans. There are two main ways to select loans and create an investment portfolio.</p> <h3>Let Lending Club Choose Loans for You</h3> <p>Get Lending Club to select loans on your behalf. Go to the &quot;Invest&quot; section, where various options are presented. You may see &quot;Option 1&quot; with an interest rate of 8%; &quot;Option 2,&quot; 12%; and &quot;Option 3,&quot; 15%. These are the average interest rates associated with loans in the pre-designed portfolio. Note that your actual returns will vary because of defaults and fees.</p> <p>Choose among options based on your desired level of return and risk. Continue with the prompts to invest your money.</p> <h3>Select Loans Yourself to Build a Portfolio</h3> <p>Use tools provided by Lending Club to build a customized portfolio. Go to the &quot;Browse Notes&quot; tab. Apply filters to specify your criteria. For example, choose notes based on loan grades and sub-grades (ranging from A1 to G5), borrowers' credit scores, verified income levels, loan purposes, delinquencies, and more.</p> <p>Lending Club will provide results and allow you to get additional information for risk analysis. You may be able to learn about the borrower's employment and current debt-to-income ratio for example. Select and then invest in notes to add them to your portfolio.</p> <h2>4. Earn Money When and if Loans Are Repaid by Borrowers</h2> <p>As an investor, you'll receive monthly cash payments comprised of loan principal repayments and interest. You can then reinvest cash in another loan note, hold cash within your account, or transfer cash to your bank account for other purposes.</p> <p>Note that fees will be deducted from these monthly payouts, reducing overall returns.</p> <p>To tap cash quickly, trade your notes through a separate platform as long as these investments are held in a regular, taxable account. The value of these notes may vary, just as stock and bond prices fluctuate.</p> <h2>5. Fees Are 1% of Monthly Loan Payments Collected and Up</h2> <p>You'll pay fees on all money collected from borrowers. If the borrower pays on time (or within 15 days of the payment due date), 1% of the loan payment amount assigned to you will be deducted from your cash receipts. This fee is called a &quot;service charge.&quot;</p> <p>However, if the borrower is late and Lending Club must expend effort to collect payment, then you'll incur much higher fees. Investors pay a prorated portion relating to &quot;18% of the amount recovered if the loan is 16 or more days late and no litigation is involved,&quot; or &quot;30% of hourly attorneys' fees, plus costs, if litigation is involved,&quot; but no more than the original investment.</p> <h2>6. Lending Club Is Available in Several States</h2> <p>Currently, you can become a lender/investor at Lending Club only if you reside in one of these states: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, Nevada, New York, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, West Virginia, and Wyoming.</p> <p>Further, there are age, citizenship, income, and net worth requirements. You must be 18 years of age and have a valid social security number, and, generally, have an annual income and net worth of $70,000 or more or have a net worth of $250,000 (not counting your primary residence and vehicles). Rules and restrictions vary by state.</p> <p>You may be able to purchase notes on the secondary market through FOLIOfn Investments, Inc. Note Trading Platform if your state does not allow you to invest directly in Lending Club Notes. However, there are additional costs and risks associated with this method.</p> <h2>7. Returns Are Not Guaranteed</h2> <p>Lending Club operates as an intermediary between lenders and borrowers. But just because the firm behaves in a bank-like manner doesn't mean the money you deposit is guaranteed to be safely returned to you with interest. Your investments are subject to risk as borrowers may default on loans, leaving you with nothing to show for your lending/investing efforts.</p> <p>To become an active member and lend to your peers in hopes of earning money, join Lending Club, fund your account, choose notes for your portfolio, and click to invest.</p> <p>According to its website, Lending Club has funded over $5 billion in consumer loans and paid over $494 million in interest since its inception in 2007. Historical returns for borrowers graded from A to C are 5% to 8.67%; however, historical performance does not predict future performance. Invest at your own risk.<strong><br /> </strong></p> <p><em>Have you invested in Lending Club Notes? Did you make or lose money?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/julie-rains">Julie Rains</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-peer-to-peer-investing-with-lending-club">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/peer-to-peer-lending-prosper-marketplace-or-lending-club">Peer to Peer Lending: Prosper Marketplace or Lending Club?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-trust-your-money-with-these-4-popular-financial-robo-advisers">Should You Trust Your Money With These 4 Popular Financial Robo-Advisers?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-there-such-a-thing-as-a-safe-investment">Is There Such a Thing as a &quot;Safe&quot; Investment?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-basics-of-asset-allocation">The Basics of Asset Allocation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-steps-to-getting-started-in-the-stock-market-with-index-funds">3 Steps to Getting Started in the Stock Market With Index Funds</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Investment investing lending club peer to peer lending Fri, 06 Mar 2015 22:00:11 +0000 Julie Rains 1322637 at http://www.wisebread.com From Beanie Babies to Baubles: 5 Unconventional Investments http://www.wisebread.com/from-beanie-babies-to-baubles-5-unconventional-investments <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/from-beanie-babies-to-baubles-5-unconventional-investments" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/3403444306_4218e18d89_z.jpg" alt="beanie babies" title="beanie babies" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="168" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you're bored with stocks and bonds and seeking a taste of the exotic, you might be interested in unconventional investments.</p> <p>Unconventional investments can help protect you against stock market volatility because they don't drop &mdash; and might even rise &mdash; when stocks sink. At least that's the theory, anyway. And if you're lucky or savvy, an alternative investment can produce an outsize return.</p> <p>On the other hand, many unconventional investments are illiquid &mdash; you can't quickly sell them for quick cash. Many are risky and difficult for ordinary folks to understand. For that reason, it's best to allot only a small part of your savings to unconventional investments and to carefully analyze potential risks.</p> <p>Here's six top unconventional investments. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-great-investments-for-first-timers">7 Great Investments for First-Timers</a>)</p> <h2>1. Collectibles</h2> <p>If you buy collectibles, you can invest in something you love and understand. But you might end up owning a lot of stuff and not really making money. Knowing how much someone will pay for a collectible several years from now is hard to predict. Consumers are fickle and fashions change. What's a hot collectible now may latter be just another yard sale item. Remember Cabbage Patch kids?</p> <p>If you want to invest in collectibles, say wine, stamps, or baseball cards, buy only what you understand well &mdash; ideally what you're expert in. Try to be realistic about how much an item will sell for in the future.</p> <p>The danger of collectibles is that they can be stolen, lost, or destroyed. You might consider insurance or a safe deposit box, but those costs diminish your profit. Owning artwork you hope to sell for a gain may end up costing money.</p> <h2>2. Jewelry</h2> <p>Some jewelry owners do make great profits reselling jewelry, but they're experts selling very high-quality gems. Most jewelry appreciates very little or nothing at all. Even though gold has increased greatly in years, you might not get as much as you hope when <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-sell-gold-without-getting-ripped-off">selling gold jewelry</a>. Buyers take a sizeable cut, and the price is based on the jewelry's gold content, which may be lower than you expect. Most people, experts warn, should buy jewelry for its beauty and avoid it as an investment.</p> <p>Some people argue that jewelry and collectibles are not real investments, as they don't make money for you while you own them &mdash; what's called an internal rate of return. A condo can generate rent. Stocks can generate dividends. But a diamond just sits there looking pretty until you sell it.</p> <h2>3. Precious Minerals</h2> <p>How about some uranium or palladium? You can invest in almost anything by owning a specialized exchange traded fund&nbsp;(ETF). Like <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-duel-etfs-vs-mutual-funds">mutual funds</a>, ETFs are baskets of assets but can be traded throughout the day like stocks. Typically tracking an index, ETFs can hold anything from biotech firm stocks to utilities to currencies to bonds from small countries you can't pronounce. Some are even designed to increase in value when stock markets fall.&nbsp;They can track gold, silver, platinum, natural gas, oil, or uranium to name a few, as well as baskets of different precious metals.</p> <p>While ETFs, which boast low costs and tax efficiency, have plenty of supporters, critics say they more like speculating than investing, have high trading costs, and don't offer diversification.</p> <h2>4. Frontier Investing</h2> <p>If you're fearless as Davy Crocket, you might consider investing in frontier markets &mdash; countries like Romania, Kenya, or Pakistan. Don't laugh. Not too long most people thought buying shares of companies in Brazil, Russia, India, and China was dangerous, but those who did garnered robust returns and now investing is those countries, the so-called BRICs, is considered quite normal. Countries like Columbia and Vietnam, often blessed with a growing middle class, may soon graduate from the frontier and into a group with catchy acronym.</p> <p>Rather than traveling to Tanzania or Indonesia yourself, you can put money into a mutual fund or ETF specializing in frontier markets.</p> <p><h2non-traded h2=""> </h2non-traded></p> <p>Real estate investment trusts, or REITs, own commercial properties like office buildings and shopping centers and pay dividends based on rents they collect. As their name indicates, non-exchange traded or non-traded REITs are not traded on stock markets. They are supposed to be more stable than publicly traded REITs because their values don't gyrate with the stock market, and they are not hurt by interest rate swings because rents they get are set for years.</p> <p>However, financial regulators warn that their shares are illiquid and can't be easily traded. They are more difficult to value, and fees for selling can diminish your returns. Money you think you're getting as a distribution may actually be funds the REIT is borrowing or your principal being returned. Make sure you do your homework, and read its prospectus and its SEC filings to avoid being burned.</p> <h2>5. Peer-to-Peer Lending</h2> <p>In peer-to-peer, also called <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/peer-to-peer-lending-prosper-marketplace-or-lending-club">person-to-person or social lending</a>, you lend money to other people through websites, such as <a href="http://prosper.evyy.net/c/27771/27132/994">Prosper</a> or <a href="https://www.lendingclub.com/">Lending Club</a>. Instead of lending to a government by investing in bonds, you lend to other people by investing in online listings. You review their criteria like debt-to-income ratios and credit scores, pick loans to your liking, decide how much of the loan you'll fund, and then get part of the monthly payment after the online intermediary takes its portion.&nbsp;</p> <p>P2P networks say they provide investors better returns than typical fixed-income investments and less volatility than stocks. That depends if borrowers you pick repay their loans.&nbsp;</p> <p>Lending to strangers, some with imperfect credit histories, is certainly risky. Tips: Spread loans around to many different borrowers, start slowing by initially lending only to the highest-rated borrowers, and don't expect to P2P lending to be a main income source.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/michael-kling">Michael Kling</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/from-beanie-babies-to-baubles-5-unconventional-investments">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-there-such-a-thing-as-a-safe-investment">Is There Such a Thing as a &quot;Safe&quot; Investment?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-peer-to-peer-investing-with-lending-club">Everything You Need to Know About Peer-to-Peer Investing With Lending Club</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/peer-to-peer-lending-prosper-marketplace-or-lending-club">Peer to Peer Lending: Prosper Marketplace or Lending Club?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-add-gold-to-your-portfolio">4 Ways to Add Gold to Your Portfolio</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-be-fooled-by-an-investments-rate-of-return">Don&#039;t Be Fooled by an Investment&#039;s Rate of Return</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Investment collecting jewelry peer to peer lending unconventional investments Mon, 17 Dec 2012 10:48:37 +0000 Michael Kling 955654 at http://www.wisebread.com Peer to Peer Lending: Prosper Marketplace or Lending Club? http://www.wisebread.com/peer-to-peer-lending-prosper-marketplace-or-lending-club <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/peer-to-peer-lending-prosper-marketplace-or-lending-club" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/cash_000045501838.jpg" alt="Handing out cash" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Peer to peer lenders allow people to lend and borrow from each other. The two largest companies in this business are <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="https://www.lendingclub.com/">Lending Club</a> and <a rel="nofollow" target="_blank" href="http://prosper.evyy.net/c/27771/52702/994">Prosper</a>. I have been a customer of both for several years, and here is a quick comparison guide on which company's service you should choose if you are looking to borrow or lend money.</p> <h2>For Borrowers</h2> <p>If you are a borrower who wants the lowest rate for your loan, then <a rel="nofollow" target="_blank" href="http://prosper.evyy.net/c/27771/52702/994">Prosper Marketplace</a> has a slight edge over <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://lendingclub.pxf.io/c/27771/322506/4962">Lending Club</a>. The reason is that Prosper's credit requirements are less strict than Lending Club. The minimum credit score requirement at Prosper is 640, whereas it is 660 at Lending Club. You can also set up your loan request as an auction at Prosper. From my experience, those with decent credit profiles get lower rates at Prosper than they would at Lending Club because lenders bid down the rates of the good borrowers quite a bit.</p> <p>Additionally, borrowers that could qualify as an AA rating at Prosper may only be rated a C or D at Lending Club because Lending Club's rating formula takes into account factors such as debt-to-income ratio and loan size. Even though Lending Club's fixed interest rates are lower than Prosper's for certain credit ranges, it is possible that most borrowers would be rated higher at Prosper and consequently receive a lower rate.</p> <p>In addition to the interest rate, you have to consider the origination fee. Once again, the fees are lower at Prosper for most borrowers. At Prosper, the origination fee for a person with AA credit is only 0.50% with no minimum, where as at Lending Club the lowest origination fee is 2.25% for a 36-month loan. The origination fee has a $75 cap at Prosper no matter what your credit score is, but at Lending Club it could be as high as 5% of the loan. So if you have a credit rating in the lowest range of both marketplaces, then the difference in just the origination fee on a $25,000 loan could be as high as $1175. The bottom line is that Prosper is cheaper for borrowers.</p> <p>However, for those borrowers with lower-amount loans and credit in the middle ranges, then Lending Club's origination fee could be a little cheaper. For example, a person with a $2000 loan request with a credit rating of A would be charged $45 at Lending Club, but he or she would be charged 3% or $60 at Prosper. However, since Prosper is more lenient on the credit assessment, it is very likely that an A borrower from Lending Club could be rated AA at Prosper and receive a 0.50% origination fee.</p> <p>Although it seems that Prosper would give a borrower the lower rate, you do have to consider that Lending Club is the only one that offers 5-year loans. If you want a lower monthly payment and a longer repayment period, then Lending Club is the way to go. Also, another reason for a borrower to consider Lending Club is that almost all of Lending Club's borrowing requests are funded because they approve a smaller pool of borrowers, whereas at Prosper there are many borrowing requests that do not completely fund.<strong><br /> </strong></p> <p><strong><a href="http://prosper.evyy.net/c/27771/52702/994">Click here to sign up for a loan at Prosper today!</a></strong></p> <h2>For Lenders</h2> <p>If you are a lender, then <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="https://www.lendingclub.com/">Lending Club</a> is the platform for better returns. One big reason is that it seems that the screening Lending Club uses for borrowers is just much stricter. Most loan requests are rejected outright so the quality of borrowers is higher. Additionally, as I already pointed out, the fees for borrowers with lower credit is fairly high, which turns many borrowers away.</p> <p>From my experience in the past three years, I have had one default at Lending Club, while at <a href="http://prosper.evyy.net/c/27771/52702/994">Prosper</a> nearly half of the borrowers have defaulted. I chose the highest-rated borrowers in both marketplaces, so it would seem that the pool at Lending Club is just better. Lending Club also has a very good collection process that starts as soon as the loan goes late, and you are updated on the collection process. I have had a couple late loans that were actually cured by Lending Club, whereas at Prosper there is very little transparency to how they collect on late loans.</p> <p>Additionally, Lending Club has an IRA program where you can let your investments grow tax free. This is great for those who are looking to invest long term because the interest paid from peer to peer loans are usually taxed at your highest marginal tax rate if it isn't tax sheltered. Lending Club also offers bonuses from time to time for doing various tasks, such as setting up recurring deposits.</p> <p>Personally, I am lending at Lending Club exclusively now because the default rate has been quite low and the returns has been consistent. I have had one loan default after two-and-a-half years and the overall return is around 9%. I have been monitoring my loans once every week and selling off the loans that show drastic changes in the borrower's credit score. I usually sell those loans at a slight discount of 0.5 to 1% and they usually sell within a day, so I would say that the liquidity is fairly good. Prosper also has a note trading system, but it seems that the notes I put up for sale are just not moving as fast because they have already defaulted.</p> <p>Although I am no longer adding more money to Prosper, I have to say that if you have a high tolerance for risk then there are loans at Prosper that offer better rates than at Lending Club. I do have a few performing loans at Prosper that are paying 30%, and that is a rate not reachable at Lending Club.<strong><br /> </strong></p> <p>The bottom line is that these peer to peer lending marketplaces do facilitate money lending between people, but you as a consumer should always research which option is the best for you. If you are looking for a personal loan of $25,000 or less and have a credit score of at least 640, then it doesn't hurt to check out these peer to peer lending companies. The loans are much cheaper than getting a payday loan and I think the fees are very reasonable. If you are an investor looking for a better return on your idle cash, then Lending Club might be the better choice for getting your feet wet. After three years, I think that the peer to peer lending industry has improved quite a bit, and I hope that it is here to stay because it is a good alternative to many other loan options.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/xin-lu">Xin Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/peer-to-peer-lending-prosper-marketplace-or-lending-club">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. 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