How To Invest — Beyond Your 401k or Roth IRA

Written By Mary Beth Eastman
Last updated December 8, 2020

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July 18, 2018

Simple. Thrifty. Living.

If you’re a person who already invests in retirement accounts like a 401(k), then you may want to explore other investment opportunities that will help grow your wealth.  You could start with one of the top online IRAs and move on to exploring other avenues of investment.

Before you start investing money, though, make sure that you have saved at least three months of expenses in an emergency fund. Without a well-funded emergency fund, you may find yourself dipping into your investments or relying on credit cards when times get tough.

Some of the most successful online brokerage firms rely on robo advisors to help investors decide how to use their money best. Brokerage firms that robo advisors can analyze large amounts of data to predict trends in the stock market. The best robo advisors can also help you:

  • Avoid unnecessary taxes.
  • Rebalance your investments to meet your unique goals.
  • Choose stocks and other investments with high chances of success.

Don’t assume that all robo advisors offer the same benefits. Some companies have software that works better than robo advisors used by other firms. Popular brokerage firms that you should consider include:

  • Wealthfront
  • Betterment
  • Vanguard
  • SoFi

Our review of Betterment vs Wealthfront spells out some of the differences in these top companies, helping you decide which is a better fit for your situation.

Although many investors prefer using robo advisors, you can open an account that lets you choose your own investment strategies. Opening an account with a brokerage firm will let you invest in options like:

  • Stocks.
  • Bonds.
  • Mutual funds.
  • Index funds.
  • Exchange-traded funds.

If you’re still young, then it makes sense for you to take an aggressive approach by investing in riskier options that could give you a huge payout. As you get closer to retirement age, though, you should rebalance your investment strategy to avoid risk. This strategy makes it possible to earn a lot of money when you’re young and protect your wealth as you get older.

Many people earn money by investing in real estate. If you have enough money to purchase a property, then you can start earning money quickly. There are, however, a few ways that you can make money from real estate investments. Some popular options include:

When you max out your annual 401(k) and IRA investments, you should start to look for other investment opportunities. Find an option that you can afford now and will help you meet your financial goals in the future.

About the Author

Mary Beth Eastman

Mary Beth Eastman serves as the content manager for Simple. Thrifty. Living, where she is dedicated to helping readers use money and credit wisely. Mary Beth believes that access to the right financial information paired with a growth mindset are essential tools for getting out of debt and building wealth. Mary Beth has a degree in Journalism from Bowling Green State University and has focused her 20-year journalism career on putting readers front and center, carefully considering their concerns and presenting information that will help them in their everyday lives. She has won numerous statewide journalism awards. Her writing on personal finance as been featured on numerous websites in addition to Simple. Thrifty. Living, including Huffington Post and Lexington Law blog. Mary Beth resides in Pittsburgh, Pa., with her family and two rescue dogs.

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