If you’re trying to figure out what assets to buy in your 20s, you’ve landed in the right place. From real estate to bonds, stocks, and even crypto, you have several options to start growing your portfolio.
Your young-adult years are the best possible time to start buying assets and building your finances.
While it may seem odd to think about retirement or index funds when all you want to do is party until dawn and maybe buy your own car, thinking about the future and getting into money management in your 20s is key to ensuring your finances.
Whether you want to buy your own house someday, retire early (or even become a millionaire in your 20s!), or afford annual trips abroad, the time to start saving for those dreams is now, so you can allow them time to grow. In the meantime, educate yourself to make better and smarter investments over the years, increasing your net worth and future possibilities.
Here are the best assets to buy in your 20s.
Buying Index Funds is a great way to start building your investment portfolio, and diversifying it. Index Funds are, essentially, a group of stocks, so buying one means that you will be investing in all the companies that make up that index fund, opposite to buying individual stocks.
When you’re just starting out it’s best to keep your investments simple, so by buying index funds you’ll not only have diversification, which reduces risk, but you’ll avoid stressing about choosing the right individual stocks and wondering if you made the right choice.
Another benefit of index funds is that, since they’re a passive investment, they have relatively low fees.
Investing in real estate doesn’t necessarily mean buying a property. Since you’re in your twenties and probably fresh out of college, unless you have a fat savings account that can buy you a house or an apartment, this goal may be farther along the line. How do you invest in real estate without actually buying, then?
You can do so in two ways: through Crowdfunded Real Estate or REITs (Real Estate Investment Trusts).
Crowdfunded Real Estate allows you to buy assets together with other investors, becoming a shareholder in a property or company. The collective funds are then lent or invested in real estate and you’ll get a percentage of the income generated.
Real Estate Investment Trusts are companies that invest in real estate with your funding. So you invest in a company which, with your money and that of plenty other people, invests in different real estate projects, and then pays you back with dividends from the profit it makes. It’s one of the easiest and best investments to make in your 20s.
Stocks are likely the most popular asset for investing, so you probably heard about them. If you haven’t, stocks are basically the shares in which the ownership of a business or a company is divided, so in buying stocks you’re actually buying part of an enterprise.
Stocks, however, are more high-risk than index funds and they require more research since you’ll be investing in an individual stock rather than a diversified portfolio.
They are also a long-term investment as stocks usually fluctuate and their value can drop in the short term, before regaining it. That’s why looking for stocks to buy in your 20s, when you have plenty of time ahead to watch your capital grow, is ideal.
While shares for massive companies like Amazon or Tesla may be expensive and more than you can afford, there’s no need to buy a full share to invest in it; you can buy fractional shares to own part of the stock. As you increase your income you can consider buying more.
Now that you’ve bought your stocks, how do you make any money from them? There are mainly two ways to get the profit from your shares. You can either sell them when their price goes up, gaining the difference, or benefit from dividends.
While not all stocks pay dividends (so this is something you should research beforehand if you’re counting on it), many of them do, giving all shareholders a percentage of the company’s profits.
Building wealth in your 20s also translates to starting a retirement account.
As we said in the introduction, building a retirement account in your 20s is one of the smartest decisions you can make.
To do so, start by finding out if your company offers a retirement plan and match your employers’ contribution to it. If they don’t, start your own retirement account, which could be a 401(k) or IRA, and start investing in it as soon as possible.
These accounts are tax-advantaged and constitute a low-risk investment, and while they are long-term (meaning you WON’T be counting on that money any time soon) your account will, over time, build to a nice sum of money that will allow you to maintain your lifestyle when you retire.
Now that you’ve started your retirement account, it doesn’t stop there. You need to figure out a payment plan that you can afford and contribute frequently to your IRA.
This asset is one of the best investments in your 20s you can get, as it’s easy to start and it will help you learn the basics of investing, which are contributing to it consistently and thinking long-term.
Education is one of the most important investments you can possibly make at any age, but especially in your 20s, when the habit of studying is not yet lost and you have plenty of time in the future to put your knowledge into action.
You can continue educating yourself on your career field to land better-paying jobs, learn about the different types of investments, and seek to acquire skills that will help you manage your money wisely and choose the best assets to invest in as you gain knowledge and funds.
We already covered real estate investment options when you don’t own a house. But if you have the means to buy your own property, invest in a rental instead of a home.
It surely is a fantastic feeling to have your own place at such a young age, but as Robert Kiyosaki (‘‘Rich Dad Poor Dad’’) pointed out, your house is a liability, because it takes money from you (mortgage, house bills, repairments).
In your 20’s you want assets, not liabilities, so instead invest in a property that you can rent, and which will actually put money in your pockets. Even if rent only pays for the mortgage and does not give you immediate revenue, it’s still an investment that will be pretty much paying for itself. Remember: long-term is the key!
This is not to say you should never own your house, however. You can buy as many as you want (aka can) farther along the line, when you have enough assets to pay for the house and it does not become a financial burden.
Your Own Business
A great asset you can invest in your 20s is your own business. Granted, this won’t give you any short-term profits, but it could be the primary source of wealth for most of your life, once it’s settled and running.
That’s why investing in your business while you’re young is so important. You can start by treating your business as a side hustle, or even as a hobby before you make any money from it, and build it into your main source of income, one that can finance your other investments and your lifestyle even after you retire.
Let’s say you enjoy working with wood and have done some courses on carpentry or woodworking. You could start making furniture and crafts to sell to your acquaintances or online, on sites like Facebook Marketplace or Etsy.
Eventually, as your orders grow, you could hire other woodmakers to work on your business. You can even take some days off or go on vacation while still making money, because you’re the owner and your business is up and running even when you’re not physically present.
Bonds are a means for governments and organizations to raise money. You can think of it as a loan you’re making to your town or a business. Your loan will be fully paid back in a determined amount of time, but in the meantime, you’ll be receiving the interest in regular payments.
Let’s set an example to make it simpler. A local company is trying to raise funds, so it issues bonds for people to buy. You decide to buy one for 5,000 dollars which will be fully paid back to you in a 3-year period. During that period the company pays you interest, and when the 3 years are up, you’ll get your 5 thousand dollars back, having gained money in the process.
What if at some point you decide you can’t wait the 3 years to get your money back? Bonds can be sold, and it’s another way to take advantage of them. You could sell them at a higher price and benefit not only from the difference but from retrieving your money sooner.
Crypto is another asset you may have already considered investing in. But now, what’s to crypto besides all the hype it has gotten in the past few years?
Crypto is a virtual currency that increases its value over time and allows you to make payments and transactions for very small fees.
While some of the most popular crypto coins such as Bitcoin and Ethereum may be quite expensive, especially for a 20-year-old, the good thing about them is that you don’t necessarily need to buy a whole Bitcoin to be investing in the currency. You can buy tiny fragments of one if that’s all you can afford, so it’s not prohibitive as other investments may be.
Crypto is also pretty secure, as it operates with a decentralized blockchain network, and allows you to keep your personal information private.
Before you start investing in crypto, though, it would be a good idea to research a bit about it so you understand how it works and can walk into the inversion more comfortably, as well as avoid any kind of scams (which are not infrequent).
Remember that investments, more often than not, offer long-term benefits, so be ready to be patient, diversify your money as much as possible and keep on learning about new assets you can buy or opportunities that could help you achieve your financial goals.
Being here is already a great step (hurray!) because the sooner you start, the greater the benefits when you finally start enjoying them. Happy investments!