The financial press is saturated with articles and stories about how you can earn more money and how you must save and invest to build your wealth. While those are traditional building blocks for a financial plan, there are many nontraditional means to build wealth as well. “Nontraditional” in this sense doesn’t mean speculative or fringe, such as putting all your money into cryptocurrency. However, it does mean you might have to consider some of the methods that you don’t read about every day in the papers or hear on the news to help build your wealth. Here are some top options you might want to consider in addition to your more traditional portfolio.
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Live Beneath Your Means
This may not seem like a very nontraditional way to build wealth, but the truth is that most people aren’t very good at living beneath their means. The good thing about this method is that almost anyone can practice it. Rather than having to worry about taking on a second or third job to generate additional income, you can keep your existing free time and just make sure that your lifestyle doesn’t exceed your income. If you’re earning a $50,000 salary but living on just $40,000, you’re actually a much wealthier person than someone earning $150,000 but spending $160,000 annually. Unless you’re living at the poverty line, you can likely cut down on some extravagances to build wealth through the economy, rather than through investment.
Crowdfunding is becoming more and more mainstream, but if you’re a traditional investor, it may not be something you’re familiar with. Crowdfunding uses the power of a group of individuals making small investments to generate large purchasing power. This makes crowdfunding a viable, nontraditional investment option for people with limited funds that may want to buy real estate, for example. While you may not have the tens of thousands of dollars needed to buy your own apartment building, if you join a real estate crowdfunding platform, you can team up with thousands of other investors to compile a sizable investment fund, one that’s capable of buying things like shopping malls or multi-family buildings.
Take an Equity Partnership
Whether you’re just starting out trying to build wealth or you’re an experienced investor, taking an equity partnership in a business is a relatively nontraditional way to go about it. If you’re just starting out, it can be as simple as asking for part of your pay to come in the form of company equity. Over time, your equity kicker can amount to a substantial investment, and you may not even miss the deductions from your paycheck. If you’re a seasoned investor, you might just invest a lump sum in one or a number of different companies, hoping that at least one of them hits it out of the park and maybe even goes public, which would be the ultimate home run as an investor.
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Opening a franchise can be a risky proposition, but it can also be quite profitable. Although the specifics are a bit more complicated, when you buy into a franchise you essentially pay a fee to operate your own personal outlet of an existing business. The benefit for you as a franchisee is that you’re immediately part of a well-known business with a brand name and a reputation. For example, if you open a brand-new burger stand, you’ll have to win customers over and market your location to even get noticed. But if you franchise a McDonald’s store instead, people immediately know what they’re going to get — you have a built-in customer base. Franchises can be expensive, and you’ll have ongoing obligations to the franchiser, but it’s a nontraditional way that you may be able to build wealth.
Peer-to-peer lending is a relatively new way to build wealth, and it’s certainly nontraditional when compared with investing in Treasury bonds and blue-chip stocks. Peer-to-peer lending is available via various online platforms, and it’s somewhat akin to crowdfunding. With peer-to-peer lending, you pick from your choice of borrowers and issue a microloan, sometimes as little as a few hundred dollars. You’ll earn a stated rate of interest from the borrower, who also outlines how the money will be used. Peer-to-peer lending is a way to earn a decent amount of interest while helping a cause or person in need. However, these types of loans are not guaranteed and are only worth the promise of the borrower, so they do carry a level of risk.
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