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5 Investments You Should Make This Year

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Investing can be tricky at the best of times; with endless options, instability in the markets, and several different voices suggesting that you invest here or there. Whether you're new to investing or a seasoned veteran, sometimes just getting clarity among all of the financial noise can be a challenge. Here are five investments you should make this year.


1. Your Retirement

Putting money into your 401k or IRA account for retirement should be your number one investment; whether you're 25 or 45, new to investing or been at it for years. Retirement is something that adults of all ages should be seriously thinking about. Ideally, you'll want to start saving in your 20s, but it's never too late to start putting away money for your golden years.

Retirement can carry a lot of costs; from medical care to food and housing to vehicle expenses and more. The type of lifestyle you want to have during your retirement will be a major factor in how much you save, but for the average person, saving at least 15% of your annual income per year is the suggested goal.

Retirement is a good investment. While it certainly carries some risk, which goes up depending on the vehicle you choose, the overall security of a retirement fund is tighter than with other investments. With a 401k, your employer will even match a percentage (sometimes as much as 60%) of your contributions; taking some of the burden to save for retirement off of you.

Planning for retirement can be stressful without any help or knowledge in the subject. Financial advisors are the perfect remedy for this issue; with years of expertise and certification to ensure their credibility, these financial experts will help you plan out your retirement savings and help you invest wisely. If you're in the market for an advisor, you can read about the best financial advisors on the Careful Cents site.

2. Emerging Markets

Fidelity Investments, one of the top investment firms in the country, suggests looking into emerging markets as potential investments instead of the home market for a few reasons. Besides being a potential long-term profitable investment, emerging markets tend to perform well under the right circumstances; making a careful selection of the right EM a smart investment move.

Investing in an EM can add diversity to your portfolio, putting you in a potentially high-value investment should the market perform well. With the "trade wars" going on between China and the US, the world's two largest economies, there are several opportunities available to invest in EMs. Talk with an advisor today to learn which investments are worth a shot.

3. Real Estate

Sites like Fundrise have become popular with investors in recent years, as they provide a more secure way to invest in the real estate market than traditional investing. You'll be investing in real estate notes or shares, and with returns of up to 12%, the site is certainly generating some serious buzz.

If you choose to invest with a company like Fundrise, however, it's important to remember that if the market takes a dive, you can't cash in your account and walk away from the investment. Your investments won't be considered liquid, so walking away from them is, unfortunately, not an option. This is why having diversity in your portfolio is so important; putting all of your eggs in one basket is never a good idea, especially in the investment world.

4. Peer-to-Peer Lending

Peer-to-peer lending has been around for a while, but it's a great way to get started with investing. Essentially, you'll be loaning money to individuals via the peer-to-peer platform (like Lending Club from California) and collect the interest payments on the loan. The site claims to have returns of around 4-7% per year, which isn't bad for beginner and veteran investors alike.

With a low correlation on the stock market, Lending Club's notes have a better chance of generating a return; with 99% of portfolios with 100+ notes seeing positive returns. Those are pretty good odds in the investing world. The best part about peer-to-peer lending is that you'll get principal and interest payments year-round. Think of all that you could do with a few thousand extra dollars per year!

With over 12 years in the business, Lending Club is one of the most trusted investment and personal lending platforms out there. If you'd like to see your money grow while performing a valuable service, peer-to-peer lending is for you.

5. Your Physical and Mental Health

While we're busy investing in types of income-generating assets, retirement accounts, etc., we often forget about ourselves; and how valuable investment in the self really can be. Investing in your physical and mental health this year will ensure that you'll be able to keep functioning at full capacity for years to come. Mental health is especially overlooked, particularly in the workplace.

Mental health plays a crucial role in our success and happiness, and investing in creating a better mental image of ourselves and the world can go a long way. Don't be afraid to spend some extra money on you this year. Invest in better food and eating habits or therapy if you're suffering from a mental health condition. The dividends on these investments can truly last a lifetime!

3 min read
Lifestyle

Help! My Friend Is a No Show

Email armchairpsychologist@swaaymedia.com to get the advice you need!

Help! My Friend Is a No Show

Dear Armchair Psychologist,

I have a friend who doesn't reply to my messages about meeting for dinner, etc. Although, last week I ran into her at a local restaurant of mine, it has always been awkward to be friends with her. Should I continue our friendship or discontinue it? We've been friends for a total four years and nothing has changed. I don't feel as comfortable with her as my other close friends, and I don't think I'll ever be able to reach that comfort zone in pure friendship.

-Sadsies

Dear Sadsies,

I am sorry to hear you've been neglected by your friend. You may already have the answer to your question, since you're evaluating the non-existing bond between yourself and your friend. However, I'll gladly affirm to you that a friendship that isn't reciprocated is not a good friendship.



I have had a similar situation with a friend whom I'd grown up with but who was also consistently a very negative person, a true Debby Downer. One day, I just had enough of her criticism and vitriol. I stopped making excuses for her and dumped her. It was a great decision and I haven't looked back. With that in mind, it could be possible that something has changed in your friend's life, but it's insignificant if she isn't responding to you. It's time to dump her and spend your energy where it's appreciated. Don't dwell on this friend. History is not enough to create a lasting bond, it only means just that—you and your friend have history—so let her be history!



- The Armchair Psychologist

Need more armchair psychologist in your life? Check out the last installment or emailarmchairpsychologist@swaaymedia.com to get some advice of your own!