If you are at a point where you are ready to start investing money, it’s smart to have an idea of how you want to invest your money. There are many different options. While the stock market and CDs are viable options, they are certainly not the only choices available.

Simple Living Australia has provided a great list of the most popular investment vehicles for those who are looking to grow their nest egg. There are no get rich schemes, just tried true and tested investing options.

Diversification across the below will help reduce risk and ensure you don’t end up empty handed when you’re ready to retire.

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Real Estate: Real Estate can be a great way to invest money. There are definitely positive and negative aspects of choosing this option. The plus side: It can be very profitable. The negative side: It can be a lot of work and it can be risky. If you invest wisely, you can make quite a decent sum of money renting property or flipping purchases. If you do opt to purchase multiple rental properties, you may want to consider hiring a management company to help handle rent, repairs and marketing.

Managed Funds:  Managed funds are investments that a professional handles for you. Mutual funds are a common managed fund. Essentially, you put a certain amount of money into a fund. The investment manager than spreads your money to different portfolios in an attempt to make you money. The pros of this type of investment are that the risk is lower than strictly investing in stocks. You won’t be keeping all of your eggs in one basket. The biggest drawbacks are higher fees and access to your funds takes a little while. Additionally, a pro or a con (depending on your viewpoint) is that someone else is making the choices about the investment.

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Shares (AKA the Stock market):  When you invest in shares you are purchasing a portion of a company. You are essentially a partial-owner in a company. These can be a fairly stable long-term investment, but they are not an ideal option if you want to earn money fast. Shares tend to rise and fall with regularity and understanding if you want or need to trade can be difficult. The biggest risk is that you could lose everything if the company goes belly up. The biggest benefits are gains over time, possible income from company dividends and lower tax rates than other investments.

Superannuation(Australia’s version of a pension plan): The government has you covered here. Employers are required to pay 9 percent more than your paycheck into a retirement fund. Speculation has it that this number could rise to 12 percent in the next 5 years. You can contribute additional money as well. This is a very safe option and a great way to get your feet wet. You cannot withdraw the funds early unless you want to pay a sizable penalty, but the funds will continue to grow at a healthy interest rate (averaging close to 11 percent) until you retire.

Investing in your future is a great way to ensure you have money when you need it. If you only have a little extra money to invest, seriously consider adding to towards your Superannuation account. Even a small increase could add up quickly over time.

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