Invest for Success: Where to Place Your Money

The word “invest” seems alien to a lot of people.

It's for those with a lot of money to make even more money. Or for those who get paid large salaries. Nope.

Doesn't work like that. You can invest in many different ways and all kinds of amounts. Granted, at the moment, you might not be in the right position to invest, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic having a devastating impact on certain industries.

Also, looking ahead, experts are predicting a global recession on quite a large scale. The economic impact could be catastrophic, and one you may not want to invest in. Yet, there will still be opportunities. Everyone invests differently, and there is a myriad of ways to invest. Some people stick to what they know to make their passive income. Others like to branch out into new areas on the advice of others.

There is a right and wrong way to invest, but just because it's something you don't understand doesn't mean it's wrong. You need to keep an open mind but be wary. Everyone is different, and you need to ensure what you decide to go for matches your risk profile. Take advice with a pinch of salt and make sure you apply it to yourself and your own personal situation and circumstances.

First, You Need Money To Play With

To be able to invest money or divert money to ventures designed to make you more money, you need spare money. This means you may need to look at your life and expenditure and make some cuts to ensure that you have the money you need. Looking at your personal finance can be a wakeup call like none other. Where are you wasting money, and how much can you divert to savings or a separate investment pot? Start small. What subscriptions do you pay for, but don't use?

Think of things like Netflix, the Gym, amazon prime, cable, etc. You might be able to reduce costs here. Same with utilities by changing providers. Look at your weekly shopping too, can you save some money there? Once you've done everything you can, you might be surprised by how much you can save each month. This can be the money you start with. The benefit being, of course, that this will be a monthly saving, not a one-off, giving you a stream to invest with consistently. 

The Long Term Portfolio

One of the starting points for many novice investors is a long term portfolio. You can usually invest in these through your bank or a provider. A Roth RA is a good example, or maybe an ISA, if you're in the UK. These accounts need little expertise as you're trusting others to invest for you. If you do this through a reputable bank, you should be fine. These portfolios are usually diversified. You can generally choose your risk level too.

For example, more risk equates to more stock market investments, while less risk means more government bonds. Find your portfolio risk level. You should try to be in this long term. Going short term usually means you'll lose money, especially if you're mainly in the stock market. These portfolios are meant to be long term investment vehicles.

They're a great way to save towards retirement or an endpoint goal. Usually, you should stay in five years minimum. This is why you should only invest money you know you're not going to need to touch and ensure you have an emergency fund separate from your investments. Some people like to hold a low-risk portfolio and a high-risk portfolio. There's plenty of advice online; just do what's right for you.

Go For Gold

Gold is a strange investment. At the moment the price has skyrocketed, which shows you how you can make money if you buy right. The reason being is that due to the coming recession, people want to protect their wealth.

They do this by buying gold. Gold holds its value. It doesn't depreciate like stocks. It's an excellent investment if you're worried about inflation or a coming recession. Gold is an excellent investment if it's low. So right now might not be the best unless you really need to protect your cash. It's a good investment as part of a varied portfolio. You could include other precious metals, of course, like silver, platinum, etc. if you wanted to diversify in one category. Gold is safe, but if you wanted higher returns, stocks are your best bet.

Precious Art

This is a tough one. It's certainly an investment. It's also an investment you can enjoy by displaying it in your own home. The trick with art is knowing if an item will increase in value. It's not always possible. And if it is possible, it's because you're a connoisseur who knows exactly how the art market works. Buying and simply hoping for an increase isn't good enough here.

You need to know your art. A great opportunity for those in the field, maybe not so good for outright speculators unless you have the money to buy something already inspected, certified, and valued, which, unfortunately, will set you back a pretty penny or two.


The hot topic. A lot of people got rich in the first bitcoin bubble. Since then, it's been a strange thing to invest in. It's easy to both lose and win with cryptocurrency, and even the experts get it wrong a lot of the time, if not most of the time. People also think Bitcoin is the only crypto worth investing in. There are lots more now known as altcoins. These include things like Dent, Basic Attention Token, etc.

These offer an alternative to bitcoin and can have huge upsides. Before investing, investigate the altcoin. Check what they are trying to do and look at whether the fundamentals stack up. If they don't, you could end up pumping money into what is essentially a false product. Cryptocurrency is highly volatile; although the returns can be high, no real investor would suggest going all-in in the crypto market. If you want a slice, fine, do your research and invest a small part of your overall investment capital.


Instead of going for stocks as part of a portfolio, this is picking individual stocks. Again, a risky and highly volatile investment proposition yet with the potential for dramatic gains if you get it right. The meteoric rise of Telso over the last few weeks evidences how things can change. From a long term perspective, looking at Netflix, Apple, or Amazon allows you to see how things change over time.

Again, better to be long term unless you know what you're doing. To pick the right stock to invest in requires a lot of research. Check the companies' recent SEC 10k, or have a look at their website. Are they making more money? Do you expect the stock to turn up over the next few years? If you're short term, this is what you need to look for. Long term? That's a bit different as it's the fundamentals that are worth looking into. 

Day Trading

You can day trade pretty much anything, but stocks are one of the main ones. Essentially, you're buying, and looking to sell as soon as you run into a profit. This is incredibly hard, and around 80-90% of people lose money doing it to the brokers. It's tough, and you need to spend time researching to ensure you know what you are doing.

You need to research the right broker too, that isn't always easy. Then you need to know how to spot patterns and movements to develop a strategy. A popular approach, for example, is price/volume action, but you'll find your own. You'll also see what you prefer to trade as time goes on. This is risky and requires a lot of time; however, it also pays off if you get it right. It's one of those activities that has a steep learning curve. 


Foreign exchange is essentially buying one currency in exchange for another. It is similar to day trading, but there are different things in play. What affects a currency's value against another? Forex traders argue over this. Some think it's the news. What's going on in certain countries etc. An election result might impact it. Or a country's debt levels etc. Others look at the charts and work potential change out using that.

Again, Forex is totally changeable and dangerous. Read books by the experts, try out demo accounts, and try to get your head around what Forex is before you decide to trade with real cash. You'll likely find or look for a specific currency pairing that works better for you. Some people like USD/EUR, others like GBP/EUR, etc. each pairing has its characteristics. These characteristics can take a while to get your head around, but be careful because you don't want to isolate yourself off from opportunities elsewhere. Pick the right pairing for your time zone and start simple.


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Michael launched Your Money Geek to make personal finance fun. He has worked in personal finance for over 20 years, helping families reduce taxes, increase their income, and save for retirement. Michael is passionate about personal finance, side hustles, and all things geeky.