It seems like investing is all about stocks these days. Whether it’s a 401(k), 403(b), IRA, Roth IRA, Roth 401(k), 529s, mutual fund, ETF, or whatever, to our family, they’re all one in the same – stock market based investments with sight variations.
While we have retirement accounts based in such options, it doesn’t mean that these are the only investments we count upon. And in an effort to diversify our holdings, we tend to look at options outside the stock-based realm. In so doing, we like to look for investments that we can actually touch rather than paper holdings.
It’s hard to deny that there is typically some need for stock market-based investments these days. And I won’t deny that these investments can be a valuable part of an investment portfolio. However, with the potential for things like flash crashes, fat-finger trades, big-time Ponzi schemes like that of Bernie Madoff’s, and more, our family still likes to make physical assets a part of our investment portfolio.
From silver coins, vintage books, paper money, and more, when we say “physical assets”, we mean taking possession of actual objects. Gold, silver, real estate, and a variety of other hard-asset classes can be purchased in paper form, but this doesn’t count in our portfolio, as we want to be able to touch, see, hold, and appreciate our physical assets.
Investing in our home
We’ve made a strong push to put more money toward our home. This was an especially attractive option during the stock market decline of The Great Recession. As the economy was faltering, interest on savings was near zero, and stock prices were falling, we still had a mortgage to pay with an associated interest rate over five percent.
Since we needed somewhere to live, and since our loan was going to stay at over five percent while our savings were earning next to nothing, we decided to push to put more money toward our home. We started making extra payments on our own and also through a bi-weekly mortgage payment plan. This allowed us to continue to build equity in our home at a faster rate, which in turn helped us downsize several years later to a home – a physical asset – that we could afford outright.
Investing in ourselves
We – in our physical form – might be the most valuable asset we possess. As a self-employed individual, I know quite a bit about investing in myself. From continuing education and staying up on the latest business news online, to self-teaching new technologies and business practices, investing in ourselves is something both myself and my wife do regularly.
In today’s fast-paced business world, things don’t seem to be slowing down to wait for the laggards of the world to catch up. And spending a little time each month staying apprised of industry trends can pay off big time when it comes to our jobs and career paths.
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The author is not a licensed financial professional. This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute advice of any kind. Any action taken by the reader due to the information provided in this article is solely at the reader’s discretion.