How to Invest $10K: Real Estate, Crypto or a TreasuryDirect Account?

Last Updated on June 17, 2021

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How to invest $10k? You have a nest egg and you want to know what you might do with it.

We will start with the most conservative investments, and work our way up the risk ladder. We’re assuming that “keep it in the FDIC insured bank” is too conservative for you, since the average interest rate on a savings account is now 0.04 %

Here are nine ways to invest $10K in 2021:

1. A TreasuryDirect account.  If you’re looking for a safe harbor you can invest directly in Treasury bonds here.

2.  Money market funds. These funds are, in essence, savings accounts without the federal insurance, and (accordingly) with slightly higher interest rates. Money market funds work much like banks in the conservatism of their own investment decisions, and in the easy access to your cash they offer. The Fidelity Government Money Market Fund (SPAXX) for example, has returned 4.18% over the last five years.

3. Your home. You can, of course, use your $10K as home improvement money. That amount of money can be used to, say, knock down the wall between the dining room and the living room, creating the open look. Or you could use the money to improve your home’s curb appeal. In such ways, you may improve your satisfaction with the old structure while you continue to live there, while likely increasing the eventual resale value.

4. Other people’s homes, and other real estate.

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$10K may not seem like a lot of money, but there are many ways to invest $10,000. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

5. Now, as promised, we move into equity. For many families, the best way to move into equity is through passively managed mutual funds, specifically equity indexed funds. You aren’t paying for star stock pickers, only for a fund designed to track the results of the broad based indexes. This has risks: the finds will crash if and when the broad markets crash. But most of the time most of these indices are headed generally upward.

6. Targeted stock funds. If you have a specific strongly-held opinion about where the economy is moving then you might want to invest your money in a way that reflects this thesis. For example, if you believe that biomedical technologies are the cutting edge of economic growth, there are funds aimed specifically for that sector that are broad based enough to diversify away the idiosyncratic risk of specific firms.

7. ESG funds. There are also stock funds targeted to investors who want to put their nest egg at the service of their concerns about the environment, social issues, or (corporate) governance: the ESG funds.

8. Precious metals. Gold, silver, platinum, and palladium all have attractions as stores of value. We discussed gold and silver here. 

9. Cryptocurrencies. An individual or family might choose to put its $10K on one or some combination of the cryptocurrencies. This whole investment space is only 12 years old. But we can say that the oldest member of the cryptocurrency group, Bitcoin, has created a performance track record that justifies its consideration. It is definitely the riskiest option on our list. So tread carefully.