It’s been a while since I did an investing article, so I figured I’d delve back into the world of investing and share some ideas to broaden the investment options you may have previously considered. Since we’re exposed to “stocks and bonds” continuously through our company-sponsored investment plans, nightly news updates and newspaper business section excerpts, a typical newer investor would think those are pretty much the only options out there for most people. Depending on your interest in diversification, risk tolerance, time horizon and strategic objectives, there may be some benefit in checking out these other various types of investments:
Business Development Companies – I did a pretty extensive review of BDCs last year, but in essence, these are companies that provide funding to fledgling startups in exchange often, for a partial stake in the company. So, these outfits are often much better suited to parsing through the winners and losers in the secondary market, providing funding and then paying out the returns in the form of very high yields.
Precious Metals – Gold and Silver are grabbing all the headlines of late, but you can lump palladium, platinum and on the periphery, even rare earth metals in there as well. They’re pretty much all spiking, so one has to wonder whether we’re at the top of a bubble or in the midst of a secular trend that will run for years. Proponents like to cite the fact that there’s a finite quantity of these materials on earth, versus our fiat currency system which allows governments to continuously print more money. This confers increased value in terms of currencies to these commodities. Either way, there are various ETFs out there for each. Major ETFs include the gold bullion ETF (GLD), the silver ETF (SLV) and many more obscure and leveraged options. Here’s a whole category on commodity ETFs to hit the softs, base metals, timber and more.