Ultimately, you want to surround yourself with multiple streams of income. We love speculation because it offers us a chance to leapfrog our net-worths higher, but always remember to take those profits and turn a good portion into sustainable income.
In a zero interest rate environment, investors have become starved for reliable income.
Many have mistakenly chosen to turn to Wall Street for their answer, but with stocks that are already at all-time highs, investors looking for income may soon find themselves on a roller coaster ride with their principal investment. Using your capital to either compound your wealth or live off of the income your dollars can generate should be a chief objective for anyone seeking financial independence.
Here are my top 3 income strategies that are outside of the realm of Wall Street.
1. Lending Club – It’s peer to peer lending
The average borrower makes over $75,000 per year, has a credit score of over 660, and has a 2-year job history. No doubt, this can be risky, as with all lending, but like any creditor, over time, lending money can be very profitable.
I have currently made 2,231 loans that I’ve funded, and as you can see, not all of them have performed, but the ones that have have more than recovered any losses experienced on the very small percentage that default.
To become an investor in Lending Club is easy. Simply go to LendingClub.com and go through the steps. I would suggest starting off real small since you are committing your capital for at least 3 years.
You can choose to reinvest interest payments into new loans or receive a monthly check. Because I am young and looking to compound my savings, I have opted to reinvest into new loans, but if you’re looking for a reasonably reliable income, you can request to receive your interest payments electronically funded into your personal bank account.
2. The Single-Family Home
I’ve had a horrible to just an okay experience with multi-family units, like duplexes and a 4-plex. The cash flow has been very volatile for larger units, and the quality of renter has also not been nearly as good as the homes I have purchased for the past 18 years.
With that said, for rental income, stick with single-family homes in nice middle-class neighborhoods. Only buy homes that cash-flow, which means you may have to look out of state or within a few hours’ drive from your own residence.
My wife and I personally have a single-family home that we’ve owned for over 10 years, and we’ve never seen it! We haven’t even traveled to the state the property is located in, completely relying on the people we hired to manage it.
When it comes to buying rental property, have an open mind when seeking cash flow. Many investors can’t find good deals in their own area, so they write this idea off completely, but that’s a terrible mistake. I can’t think of a safer, more stable way to receive reliable income than from a middle-class family that is looking to rent a house.
After buying a property that cash-flows, treat your tenants the same way the Marriott treats their occupants: over-deliver. Make sure the property is clean, in good working order, and when they do have an issue, be quick to resolve it. Also, when holidays come around, be sure to send your tenants a gift and let them know you appreciate them.
Basically, treat your rental property like a business, because it is, and treat your tenants as clients, because they are!
3. Whole Life Insurance
For a compounded savings and a place to store your wealth, I don’t think you can beat this idea. If you want life insurance, then buy term, but if you’re looking to grow your wealth and have it protected -- even from the IRS -- use whole life insurance as a vehicle to compound and protect your savings.
The benefits and education that is needed in order to take part in this exceptional income compounding strategy is deeper than any other idea the financial industry will ever offer you. I suggest for those of you interested to start with the book Bank on Yourself, by Pamela Yellen.
It takes a specialized agent to even set one of these up properly, because you’re not interested in the life insurance at all, you’re simply using the tax code and the insurance as a vehicle to grow your wealth.
Feel free to contact my personal agent, Jennie Steed, at Paradigm Life, but please take the time to educate yourself on this prior to going down this route, because once you understand it, you’ll be able to benefit from this powerful tool.
Summary: we are surrounded by income ideas, and each week in December, I will be sharing with you some of my favorite ideas for cash flow.
Imagine if nearly all your investments went into ideas that produced income… where would you be in 10 years from now, or 15 or 20 years? Investing for yield is the single greatest financial discipline you can have over the course of your lifetime.