Against the backdrop of prolonged economic instability, the search for financial stability has never been more popular. And while developing active income requires continuous time and effort, passive income allows you to earn money with minimal commitments.
In this article, we will delve into passive income ideas that can help pave the way to financial stability and success. It takes a mix of smart choices, creative thinking, and a whole lot of patience.
If you’re fortunate enough to own your own home, renting can be an excellent way of generating passive income – particularly if you live in a desirable area. Companies like AirBnB allow you to outsource almost all the admin, too. Alternatively, you can rent rooms in your home, using some of the income to cover your mortgage expenses.
On a slightly smaller scale, you can also rent out useful household items, including gadgets, furniture or jewellery, or even car, bike or parking space.
There have never been more ways to invest capital. What hasn’t changed, however, is that putting all your eggs in one basket remains a bad idea.
With a total global value estimated at around $280 trillion, property is the largest asset class – and historically, one of the safest, too. If you can afford to buy property, particularly in ‘up and coming’ neighbourhoods, it could prove lucrative in just a short period of time. For example, according to Britain’s largest mortgage lender, the average value of a house increased by 20% between January 2020 and December 2022 – despite estimates of a COVID-induced house price crash.
While it’s often tempting to play the stock market, it can be very time consuming and stressful. You could also find yourself significantly out of pocket. Many well-known stocks pay dividends: a fixed payment per share, per year. This will give you certainty of income, and provided you’re willing to hold the underlying asset, you won’t have to worry about the swings in its price. Bear in mind though, that in most cases, you will have to pay tax on your dividends.
Index Funds and Mutual Funds
Again, instead of having to ‘cherry-pick’ the best individual stocks – and expose yourself to one piece of bad news – why not just buy the whole market? Known as exchange-traded-funds (or ETFs for short), this usually means hundreds of stocks, helping spread your investments more widely. You’ll have some skin in the game for when the stock market goes up, without too much of the downside.
A slightly more focused option is to buy a mutual fund. This is a collection of stocks chosen by an expert, who you pay a small, percentage-based commission every year. Historically, mutual funds have outperformed the broader indices. In the past decade, however, more and more investors have opted for ETFs instead to avoid paying commission.
When it comes to the capital markets, the safest option of all is buying fixed income products like bonds. Much like a savings account, these instruments offer a guaranteed return over a fixed period. The longer the period, the higher the interest rate usually offered, to compensate the investor for increased exposure to market and interest rate volatility.
Less than two decades old, another option is Peer to peer lending, or P2P. These digital-based lenders work a bit like marketplaces, where people or businesses are connected with customers searching for a loan. Be warned, though: as P2P allows borrowers to get funding without having to use a bank, these products are typically higher risk, as the likelihood of the borrower defaulting is higher. Higher rates of interest paid to the lender reflects this risk.
Alternative investment ideas:
There are many other investment categories that can offer outstanding returns. This includes physical assets, like gold bullion, or wine. Art is also an increasingly popular asset class, in part because it can also be enjoyed by the owner before selling it.
And of course, rather than buying shares in companies, you can go direct and take a stake in a new business. Given around 9 in 10 companies fail, learning How to invest in a Start-Up is a crucial step before parting with any of your hard-earned capital.
Creative Passive income ideas
Thanks to the Gig Economy, it has never been easier to turn your talents, hobbies or possessions into cash.
If you have skills to share, consider starting a blog or YouTube channel. Generate enough engagement and attention and you’ll be able to monetise your content with advertising. Other options include selling your artwork and photography online. Bear in mind, though, it can take some time to build a presence online.
There are also less artistic – and more predictable – ways to put more cash back in your pocket. For example, for your everyday spending, use cashback websites and cards. One of the easiest ways to earn from cashback is to get a UW Cashback Card. If you switch your energy or broadband, mobile or insurance to UW (otherwise known as Utility Warehouse), you’ll not only save money on your essential household bills, but you can get additional money off your shopping. In some cases, the amount of cashback can be as high as 10%. For many customers, the cashback alone adds up to over £400 a year.
If you like the idea of an additional “side hustle” to complement the day job, it’s also worth thinking about becoming a UW Partner. You’ll become one of tens of thousands of Partners already with the company, who earn commissions for recommending utility services to people they know.. You can also earn residual (or royalty) income, helping build a savings pot that can be reinvested. For many Partners, in fact, UW becomes a pension fund in its own right.
There have never been more options for savvy investors to put their capital and their assets to work, generating a passive income to either supplement or replace their active earnings. However, with all options come risks as well as opportunities, and it pays to understand exactly what you’re getting into – and equally, when and why you plan to get out.