The death of a loved one can be a very emotional experience. You care about your friends and family, so it’s always tough to see them go. However, the difficulties associated with the death of a loved one don’t just end after the funeral. Aside from grieving, you and other close friends or family members must deal with the deceased person’s affairs, and that includes handling their estate.
Wills can cause a lot of drama, and the probate process is rarely a walk in the park. However, even when everything goes smoothly, it can feel strange to suddenly receive a portion of your loved one’s assets. Although you may feel a whirlwind of emotions following your family member’s death, you have to remember that they left you in their will for a reason.
You may feel guilty, uncomfortable, or confused, but you shouldn’t let those emotions cloud your judgment. After all, your loved one probably wouldn’t want to see you recklessly mismanage the assets that they left for you. To make the most out of your inheritance, you have to invest your money wisely.
However, you might not know where to begin. To get started on the right track, you need to understand the ins and outs of all of the investment opportunities that are available to you. With this knowledge, you can make informed financial decisions that will help you protect and increase your wealth.
Humans have valued precious metals since the dawn of civilization. Gold, silver, and other precious metals used to be prized solely for their beauty and scarcity, and these days, they are more useful than ever. As a result, the value of gold and other precious metals has continued to increase at a healthy rate over the last several centuries.
If you’ve ever needed fillings at the dentist, then you might have some silver or gold in your mouth. Your computer, smartphone, tablet, and other electronics almost certainly have some amount of gold in their circuitry. Without gold, none of our modern digital devices would work.
These days, electronic devices are becoming more and more ubiquitous, and demand will only continue to rise. In turn, more gold will be needed to satisfy the world’s needs. Consequently, the price of gold is expected to go up at a steady pace over the next few decades.
Major Advantages of Gold
First off, it’s worth explaining what bullion is. Bullion is a term used to describe a metal in its pure or refined form. When you buy bullion, you’re investing in the value of the metal itself. Unlike coins, the history surrounding a bullion product doesn’t affect its value.
Gold bullion has many distinct advantages that make it appealing to any investor. While you shouldn’t invest all of your money into gold, many experts say that it’s smart to let it account for around 20-50% of your portfolio’s value. Unlike stocks and other investments, the price of gold is not dependent on volatile market factors. As a result of its stability and consistent growth, gold is an excellent way to hedge against inflation.
After all, while a company may go down the drain, a commodity like gold can’t go out of business and lose all of its value. In fact, the price of gold has increased every decade for several centuries. Therefore, gold is a great investment for someone who wants to see stable long-term growth. If you’re trying to get rich in a short time, then gold isn’t the answer. However, a bit of gold in your portfolio will protect you from losing everything in harsh economic times.
On top of the long-term financial safety that gold provides, it also has many practical advantages over other investments. First off, it has extremely high liquidity. That means that it can quickly and easily be converted into usable cash. Selling a stock can take several hours or days, but there are probably several reputable gold buyers within a few miles of your home, so you can sell your gold in a matter of minutes.
Moreover, gold allows you to maintain a certain level of security. It’s exceptionally value-dense, so you could store a ridiculous amount of value in a very small safe. If you don’t feel comfortable keeping gold in your home, then you can always store it in a safe deposit box at your bank for a very low monthly fee.
As a bonus, you don’t need to depend on a robust digital infrastructure to access your physical bullion. Most stocks, bonds, and other paper investments are bought and sold on online platforms, but these platforms might not be entirely secure, nor are they always accessible. If you’re having internet problems, then you might not be able to trade at the most crucial times.
Furthermore, digital databases are vulnerable to hacking and other crimes, so your paper investments may be at risk. Physical gold has none of these drawbacks. As long as you know where your gold is located, you can pick it up and sell it within a matter of minutes. You won’t have to depend on any third parties or complex infrastructure to make a transaction.
Other Precious Metals
Silver, platinum, and palladium are all valuable metals that have important industrial applications. Silver is a bit more volatile than gold, and an ounce of silver is worth much less than an ounce of gold, so it takes more space to safely store it. Because the price of silver fluctuates quite a bit, you can make quick gains by strategically timing your purchases and sales, but this can be quite risky.
The price of platinum is less stable than gold but more stable than silver. Palladium is worth more than gold, and it maintains a similar level of stable growth every year. However, platinum and palladium may be less liquid than gold or silver; it will be harder to find a nearby buyer. At the end of the day, silver, platinum, and palladium are all great investments for someone who wants to diversify their portfolio.
While a coin’s metal content may play some role in its overall price, the value of a coin is mostly based on its rarity, history, and demand from collectors. Some coins drastically grow in value over time, but other coins may stagnate or even lose value. While investing in coins may be a decent hobby, coin prices are very volatile, and a huge counterfeit coin market exists. Therefore, if you decide to buy rare coins, then you should proceed with caution and consult a reliable coin expert.
Learn Why Now Is A Better Time Than Ever To Start Investing In Gold
Stocks are an integral aspect of any portfolio, and many investors allocate up to 85% of their portfolio to stocks. Stocks can be extremely lucrative, but they are also very risky. You could put all of your money into a single stock, but if that company goes out of business, then your stocks will be completely worthless, and all of that value will permanently disappear.
Therefore, it’s especially important to invest in a wide variety of stocks. You shouldn’t just focus on one sector, nation, or product, either. For example, you may think that it’s a good idea to put most of your money into soft drink companies because the global demand for sodas and other sugary drinks is rising. However, if a large country decides to ban soda or place restrictions on the sale of certain kinds of drinks, then that could cause prices to plummet. Consequently, the value of your portfolio would severely shrink.
Individual stocks vary widely in volatility, price, and several other factors. By maintaining a diverse portfolio, you can greatly minimize your overall level of risk. Sure, a couple of stocks may not be performing well at any given moment, but if you’ve invested in enough companies and across several economic sectors, then these bad stocks shouldn’t severely impact your portfolio.
Like any other investment, when you invest in stocks, the primary goal is to buy at a low price and sell at a higher price. Some stocks may rapidly increase or decrease in value in a matter of hours or days. However, other stocks may see slower yet more stable growth. Volatile stocks are risky, but if you’re strategic, then they can also make you a lot of money very quickly. The amount of risk that you take is your choice, but you shouldn’t overdo it. After all, you don’t want to blow your entire inheritance on a few subpar stocks.
A stock’s value is primarily based on faith. If enough people think that a company is going to do well, then they will invest, and the price of the stock will rise. However, changes in price don’t always reflect reality. People work with imperfect information, and many seemingly good ideas fail when put into practice.
On top of that, a single questionable comment from a CEO or other important stakeholder can quickly and drastically affect a stock’s price. Because of this, you should pay close attention to the news and other media to better understand the plethora of factors that may affect your portfolio. For example, if you’ve been watching a company’s advertisements for a new product but think that it’s going to fail miserably, then you might want to sell your shares before the price goes down.
Also, when you invest in a stock, you’re basically buying a percentage of ownership in a company. Depending on how many stocks you own, you may even get to have a say in the company’s decisions. Some companies even issue dividends, meaning that they will pay you a portion of the company’s earnings in the form of cash or shares.
Bonds are a useful tool for companies and governments to raise money. As opposed to stocks, which you can sell whenever you want, bonds work a little differently. When you buy a bond, you are obligated to sell it back to the company at the end of a predetermined period. Some bonds may extend over a few months, and others may take years to mature. In the meantime, they will pay you interest at regular intervals throughout the life of the bond.
To simplify things, you can think of a bond as a loan. When you buy a bond, the company is the debtor, and you are the creditor. Like a loan, there is a risk that the debtor won’t be able to pay back their debt. If the company goes out of business, then you may not get any of your money back. Because of this, some bonds may even be backed up by collateral. These are secured bonds. Bonds that are not backed up by collateral are known as unsecured bonds.
Bonds tend to be safer than stocks, and you don’t have to focus on as many small details when investing in them. Once you buy a bond, you just need to wait for the term to end. Unlike stocks, you don’t have to constantly check the market to make sure that you buy or sell at the perfect time. However, they do carry their share of risks. Different bonds are issued under wildly varying terms, so it’s important to pay attention to the fine print before you purchase any bond.
Find Out Why Gold Is One Of Our Favorite Investments To Start With
U.S. Dollars, Euros, British Pounds, and other currencies change in value every day. The price that one currency will fetch in exchange for another currency is called the exchange rate. Because the exchange rate always changes, buying and selling at optimal times can be a good way to make money. Still, like any investment, it can be risky. Many currencies are very volatile, and many of the factors that may affect a currency’s value are hard to predict.
For example, if you think that the Turkish government has been doing an awesome job at promoting tourism, then you may predict that the value of the Turkish Lira will rise. Consequently, you may decide to exchange some of your U.S. Dollars for Turkish Lira. If the value of the Turkish Lira rises, then you can exchange your Lira for U.S. Dollars and come out with a hefty profit.
However, something like an unforeseen storm or public health crisis could severely impact the nation’s economy, resulting in a weakened Turkish Lira. In that case, your investment would lose a lot of value. If you want to invest in the foreign exchange market, then you should pay close attention to international politics, economics, weather patterns, and other relevant information. Also, since foreign exchange trading can be very volatile, it shouldn’t account for more than 10% of your portfolio.
Under normal economic conditions, real estate can be a great long-term investment. After the 2008 financial disaster, it is much harder for people to get mortgages, so the real estate market is much more stable than it used to be. However, when you buy property, you have to be mindful of the neighborhood conditions, and you’ll have to put some money into insuring and maintaining it.
If you own a home, then you may want to rent it out to earn some income, but that can be very risky. If you're not careful, then you may end up with bad tenants who damage your property and don't pay rent. However, if you trust a reputable property management company or properly vet your rental applicants, then you can usually make a fair chunk of change while you wait for the right time to sell.
If you have knowledge and experience in a certain field, then you may want to put some of your money into a business. Starting a new business can be very risky, but you may be able to generate a good profit if you play your cards right. Of course, you must heavily research the intended market to find the opportunities and threats that you’re working with. After developing a business plan, you should contact an experienced consultant to gain valuable insight before spending any money.
Be Mindful of Shared Ownership
If you jointly own a piece of property or some other asset due to an inheritance, then you should be very careful about the agreements that you make with the other owners. If someone offers to buy you out under certain conditions, then you should consult with a lawyer to make sure that everything is proper. Furthermore, you should try to gather with the other owners to establish rules and determine how to handle maintenance and expenses. Unless everybody is on the same page, feelings will be hurt, and the situation might get ugly.
Contact a Financial Advisor
Even if you're financially responsible, you might not know how to handle such a large sum of money. Therefore, you should consider reaching out to a reputable financial advisor. Most financial advisors have worked with clients in similar situations to yours, so they can help you build an effective budget and explore the plethora of financial options available to you. Unless you have a ton of in-depth financial experience, a financial advisor’s assistance is worth the relatively meager cost.
Subtlety and Wariness
Sometimes, when a person receives an unexpected windfall, everybody whom they have ever known suddenly calls them up or knocks on their door. Sadly, an inheritance usually results in a lot of unwanted attention. People may want you to help them with their financial troubles, or they might pretend to be your friend to take advantage of your money.
While you may not be able to prevent some people from knowing about your inheritance, you can still take steps to keep that information mostly private. Unless you completely trust someone not to tell others about your situation, you should just avoid mentioning your inheritance altogether. If the wrong person does find out, then don’t let them bully you into giving them money.
They may call you a variety of mean names and say that you’re a bad person, but you don’t owe them a thing. Nobody who truly cares about you will try to take advantage of your loss for their financial gain. Also, you may be in a vulnerable emotional state after the death of your loved one, so you should consider contacting a therapist to work through your feelings. When you’re in a better emotional state, you can make smarter choices with your inheritance.
Manage Your Inheritance Wisely
The right investments can help you achieve greater financial freedom and a higher quality of life. While stocks, bonds, and other paper investments all have a place in your portfolio, you shouldn’t forget to diversify by purchasing gold and other low-risk assets. With a diverse portfolio, your assets will be more secure, and you will be able to get the most out of your inheritance.
See Why We Recommend Gold For A Portion Of Your Inheritance