Ordinary People Making Substantial Investments

We see it on the news almost every day. Someone somewhere invested one dollar and made a million. Okay, that may be a little exaggerated but the point is we often hear of such ‘investments’. Maybe someone you know picked up a great piece of memorabilia at a garage sale only to find out it’s worth thousands of dollars, or perhaps you know someone who just happened to buy a handful of stocks for the first time in their life to have it quadruple in value overnight.

Whatever the case and whatever the type of investment, there are many smart ways to make money. It does not always have to appear so ‘luck of the draw’. With today’s low interest rates, it is not an absurd thought to get a bank loan for investment purposes. If one does the math on borrowing versus return, it could well be worth your while. The key, however, will be to diversify.

Another key to successful investing is staying power. Putting a larger sum of your investment dollars into illiquid assets can help diversify, but to do this with success, you must have the means to wait out the market cycles. People who invest this way have the financial advantage of staying power, which not all regular or small time investors have. According to George Padula, a wealth manager with Back Bay Financial Group, Inc., “Ordinary investors who want to have these asset classes in their portfolio can do so via liquid open-end mutual funds and ETFs.”

According to the Capgemini and Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management 2010 World Wealth Report, the high-net-worth investors of the world have learned the value of diversifying. An average portfolio will look something like this:

Stocks: 29 per cent Bonds: 31 per cent Cash: 17 per cent Real estate: 18 per cent (excluding primary residence, but including undeveloped land, farm land, commercial and residential real estate as well as Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs). *This 18% is projected to fall to 14% in the 2011. Alternative investments: 5% (that includes things like foreign currencies and venture capital)

Padula also notes, “Alternatives and real estate have low correlations to traditional equities and thus can add diversification to a portfolio. The wealthy do seem to be diversified. Investors need to balance their goals and risks and not allocate riskier assets to goals that require more stable funding, and likewise, not use short-term funds to hopefully fund long-term goals such as retirement.”

There is a lot of advice to be had on successful investing. Whether you’re a first time investor, a small time investor or investing is your only means of professional income, diversifying and investing wisely remain to be the two agreed upon keys to remaining ahead.

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