If you have $10,000 to invest, three of the hottest options right now are cryptocurrencies, stocks, and real estate. While these three sectors have burned through most of the past year or so, they are each wildly different type of investment. If you are looking for the best place to invest $10,000 right now, the right answer for you will largely depend on what type of investor you are. Here's an overview of the characteristics and performance of each of these investments to help you decide which might be the best fit for you.
Cryptocurrency has been one of the hottest investments over the past two years, and it isn’t showing any sign of slowing down. Yet, crypto is the very epitome of a “boom or bust” asset class. If the proponents behind Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are correct, digital currency will go mainstream across the globe, driving prices to further unfathomable highs. However, if you believe billionaire investors like Warren Buffett, cryptocurrencies may well trade down to zero. Buffett has famously said that Bitcoin is “probably rat poison squared,” claimed that it “does not meet the test of a currency” and even that it’s “disgusting and contrary to the interests of civilization.” Whichever side of the argument you fall on, it’s important to note that cryptocurrency is a highly speculative asset and that if you plan on investing $10,000, you should be prepared to lose it.
The stock market as a whole is a solid long-term investment. However, the emphasis is on “long term.” If you’re only planning to invest your $10,000 for a few years or less, the stock market might be an investment you should avoid. Not only are short-term market movements unpredictable, but in August, the S&P 500 recently sat right about at its all-time high. Additionally, as of August, there hadn’t been a 5% sell-off in the S&P 500 since last October. In other words, if you’re looking for a short-term gain in the stock market, you might want to hold off, as risk is currently elevated. However, if you’re a true long-term investor, your $10,000 could turn into $50,000 or more after 20 years, with average long-term market returns.
The real estate market is yet another asset class that has taken off over the past year. According to the St. Louis Fed, the median sale price of a home in the U.S. hit $374,900 in the second quarter of 2021, the highest on record. But unlike the housing bubble of 2008, the fundamentals behind higher home prices are solid. Americans have been spending more time than ever working from home, millennials are becoming home buyers, mortgage interest rates are at all-time lows and available home inventory is at all-time lows. The combination of all of these factors could continue to keep real estate prices climbing. A $10,000 investment won’t get you much in terms of owning a specific property, but you can buy one of countless real estate investment trusts to get indirect ownership of real estate.
Which One Is Best for You?
Each of these investments has pros and cons and different risk profiles. Before you choose which is the best investment for you, talk with your financial advisor and get a clear picture of your investment objectives and risk tolerance, along with your investment time horizon. In a nutshell, cryptocurrency offers high risk and high reward, stocks are a good long-term investment but risky over the short run and real estate investment trusts generally provide consistent income with the potential for long-term capital gains.
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