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Make Money Slowly (?): Four Long-Term, Tried-and-True Ways

By Kevin Ballard


Updated on

The investments I’ve previously covered are ones that can make money relatively quickly. For example, if you learned a little bit about them today and opened an account – you could be profiting tomorrow.

There are, however, other investments that can earn you a lot of money but will take some time. If you’re just learning about them today, you’re not likely to go out and make a killing tomorrow.

Let’s touch on some of those.

1. Investing in yourself

This was addressed in the first “Invest Some Money” post.

Your biggest asset is the one between your ears. Everything you currently have, whether it be a little or a lot, is due to what you know.

There’s no shortage of information and “how-tos” on the internet. Learn about a subject, apply what you’ve learned (even if it means risking money), and see where you land. I assure you that you’ll come out of the other side much smarter. And, possibly wondering how the hell schools are still in business.

But, this takes some time. Depending on the subject, it might take a long time. Time to research, time to apply, time to interpret feedback, and time to adjust.

So, if you couldn’t tell –  I’m a fan of self-education and feel like the upside is enormous. However, it won’t likely lead to overnight riches.

2. Starting an (online) business

The barriers to entry are low for most online businesses. This is good and bad. It’s good in the sense that you don’t need much capital to get started. It’s bad in the sense that it invites quite a bit of competition.

I’m no online marketing guru. Far from it. But I’ve seen enough evidence of success to believe in it.

Maybe you think you have to create the next Facebook or Google, or you have to be a programmer to start an online business?

Neither of these concerns is valid. There are several ways of starting an online business that doesn’t require an abundance of technical know-how. They will require that you be willing to learn, though.

Some examples are blogging, online video, info products, affiliate marketing, and drop shipping. A little more about each of those here.

Here are 50 side-income ideas from the guys at Income School. Some of these are online, others are not.

If you do decide to go this route, you can make anywhere from pocket change to a quit-your-job-and-do-it-full-time income. My advice is:

  • Stick with something you’re good at
  • Find a good mentor to learn from (online)
  • Commit to grinding it out until you’ve seen the process through

3. Investing in real estate

It’s no secret that there’s money to be made in real estate. Some of the world’s richest people have made their fortunes in real estate. But, unless you are a real estate investor – it might not be how you think.

Of course, there’s buying and renting out a residence. Most people are familiar with buying and flipping properties. Fewer are familiar with wholesaling and hard-money lending. The list goes on and on.

Anyhow, there are many different ways to make good money in real estate. But, they’re all a little different and they all require that you do your homework.

Real estate isn’t one of those things that are going to make you rich overnight. There’s plenty of good information out there, you’ve just got to make the commitment to learning it and have the guts to move forward when you think you’ve got a deal on your hands.

4. 401k employer match

This one’s kind of a mixed bag.

If your employer does offer a 401k matching contribution, then you might be able to make a quick return of 50% or maybe even 100%. The return is, more or less, risk-free; and, it’s immediate.

“Immediate isn’t ‘slow’.”

No, it’s not. It’s true that the matching contribution will probably be made right away. But, since this money is going into a retirement account, it’ll be a loonnnngggg time before you get to enjoy that healthy return.

Also, keep in mind that 401k contributions are limited and the amount that your employer will match is typically limited to a small percentage of your salary. That’s not to say you shouldn’t take advantage of this perk, just know that it’s more of a long play than a quick one.

This post addressed the benefits of an employer match, along with the differences between a Roth IRA, traditional IRA, and 401k.

Invest money to make money – slow and steady

What other ways are there to invest money to make money which is long-term and not-too-risky?

About Kevin Ballard

I’ve worked in corporate finance for almost fifteen years. I have a bachelor’s in Finance and an MBA. I am also a Certified Management Accountant. At one time I had my securities license (Series 7) and Health and Life insurance licenses. What’s more important is that I like to learn and always seek to truly understand the subject I am studying. Learn more about Invest Some Money's Editorial Process.

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