From stock market, real estate, and business to government securities, all of these investments are understood to have at least some kind of risk associated with them. Therefore, when a question like ‘which investment type typically carries the least risk?’ is asked, the answer varies for different situations. The whats and hows of every situation matter and determine what the results will turn out to be. This is why the term risky is attached with almost all types of investments.
When you put investments through a funnel, you might be able to pen down a list of the least risky up to the most risky investments. This too depends on how many investments you have considered in the process. Then there’s the consideration of risk and return that you need to make with that list of investments. You might look at the safest option that involves the least amount of risk, but it will most likely bring you the least amount of returns as well. All these depend upon what your true motive is when you invest in something. The options go from great returns, moderate profits just to make something of the savings, to easily liquefiable investments.
Often guides will ask you to prioritise most returns so that your money can be utilized best, but it all depends on what your end goal is. Therefore, you should listen to those guides, but only enough to understand what your options are and what type of risk and return factors they come with. This article will help you understand the same thing, proceed to learn about some major investment options you have along with the risks associated with them:
Stock markets might well be the first investment option that comes to mind when you even state the word investment. It may well be the most risky option for investment if you don’t know how the market works. Typically stock markets raise the bar for risk and returns as codependent components of investment.
It is advisable to look for stable return companies that have consistently been earning a % of profits in case you are looking for returns that do not endanger your investment with high risk. There are many options to get experimentative and choose big names that have high-flying stocks in case you are not that concerned about risk alternatives; in case things go south.
Another close option is to go for dividend stocks, which are safer and in most cases pay quarterly dividends. As a shareholder, you get a percentage of profits as dividends every quarter and the company’s goal is to have that % grow over time. Of course, there is a likely situation where it does not grow and in some instances, it can be discontinued as well.
Savings account is the safest investment option, but as mentioned earlier, this will not give you higher returns. It can be your preferred choice of investment when you are not actively looking for higher returns and just want your money to be safe somewhere while giving you something as well.
Regardless of the risk associated, there are two types of savings accounts that have different rates of interest. A current savings account is where you earn less than 1% interest on your investment, and it might take you years to make a considerable profit off of it. Meanwhile, there is also a high-yielding savings account where the interest rate can go as high as 2% and in some cases even higher.
It is your choice whether to invest in either of these savings accounts or choose an entirely different type of investment opportunity, one which would bring considerable returns.
Certificate of Deposit (CD)
Certificate of deposit is much like a savings account in a way that you keep your money with the bank and they pay you an interest, granted that you keep a fixed amount for a fixed period of time.
This is a good option for those investors who are sure they will not be needing the money they are investing for a good time period. In a way, it is the same as a savings account except the interest rate can differ depending upon the offer. If you are a person who will be okay with putting your money in one place for a decade, this is one of the safest investment options for you out there.
Similar to a savings account, bonds offer you investment + interest amount after a certain period of time. Bonds are considered safe due to the government’s involvement that makes it fool-proof for all investors. A savings bond allows you to buy a bond at a discounted rate than what you will earn when the maturity date arrives. In a way you have a similar kind of investment that is named differently and the money moves in a different pattern, but the end result is more or less the same.
Mutual funds and ETF
ETFs, index funds, and mutual funds are opportunities for investors who are looking for high-return investments. As tradition, more return possibilities come with more risk as well. The stock market is full of opportunities with various degrees of earnings attached with them. The investors get ownership of company stocks and/or other securities that helps them earn a return on that investment.
Mutual funds are handled by a portfolio manager who uses the pool assets to invest and achieve the collective goals of the investors. It can be open-ended and close-ended, depending upon the time period the fund is certified for. Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) on the other hand are dealt with directly on the stock market where you do not require a manager thus eliminating the fees associated with the brokerage. The rate of risk is lower due to the fact that the exchange factor gives way to trade out stocks that are not performing well in particular. This is also a much safer option than direct stocks because the investment is spread out instead of depending on one particular company.
Apart from all these investment options, there are traditional ways of saving up your money in the safest possible manner. These range from real estate investments to buying gold or even investing in a farm or such other agricultural activities. These are traditional, yet safe options that can provide you with a stable return on your investment. You have to pick the option that you feel matches your goal closely, whether it is with regards to safety or returns, that depends on your required aim. When making such a decision, do the research but listen to yourself and how much you can take in terms of risk for the sake of making returns.