You’re in good financial shape. You’ve already paid off debts, built up an emergency cash reserve, and invested for retirement. Now you’ve got some extra cash. What should you do with it?
“Generally, you want to invest more conservatively as you age,” Cole says.
How much money you already have is also an important factor.
“Someone who is already very wealthy and set for retirement can afford to take more risks,” he says. “On the other hand, if someone only has $100,000 then they should diversify and be fairly conservative with their investments.”
Whether the lump sum is the result of prior investments, the sale of a home or business, or through an inheritance, it’s worth looking at what will give you the best growth for your goals.
Build a portfolio of diversified investments
For young professionals willing to take on more risk and be more aggressive with their investment, advisers recommend a diversified equity portfolio.
David Tuzzolino, a certified financial planner and founder of PathBridge Financial, suggests building a portfolio of stocks including large, mid and small cap, as well as international stocks, through either exchange-traded funds (ETFs) or low-cost mutual funds.
If you don’t want to take on that much risk, he recommends investing a portion of the portfolio in bonds, and maybe even a small amount – 5% or so – in gold.
“Gold can be a great diversifier if markets decline,” he says.
Resist the temptation to put everything in the S&P 500 because of the amazing results over the last 10 years, says Justin Brownlee, certified financial planner and owner of Brownlee Wealth Management.
“It’s critical to understand that returns in different parts of the global stock market are very difficult to predict,” says Brownlee. “It’s common for one part of the market to have an excellent decade and then fall behind international or emerging market stocks in the next decade.”
Invest in real estate
Investing in real estate – either through a real estate investment trust (REIT) or individual properties – can also be a compelling choice for the money, says Bill Nelson, a certified financial planner and founder of Pacesetter Planning.
“Before you do this, though, you should already have a well-diversified portfolio in place,” he says. “Especially if you’re looking to invest in a single property.”
Also, if you’re going to invest in a rental you need to be willing to put the work in to run the property, says Nelson. “There is mo