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Cows at sunset in summer

The majority of us stick with traditional investments accounts, which, historically, have produced respectable returns. But if the stock market isn’t your game – and some experts say it shouldn’t be – there are several less traditional avenues for investment. Check out these weird investment opportunities to create passive income for your future.

Invest in a Peer’s Debt

Peer-to-peer (P2P) lending has become increasingly popular in the last decade, allowing people to get funding without going through traditional banks. P2P lending refers to a person seeking financing from another person. Each month, the borrower will repay a portion of the loan to the financer along with interest. This is passive income at its finest. These loans typically offer interest rates of at least 10%, which is better than most investment options.

This path does come with some risks, though. If, for instance, your borrower doesn’t pay their loan, you could be out of luck, and there are few options for recovery. But even with these risks, popular P2P company Lending Club says that its loans have never had a negative year.

Invest in a Cash Cow

We’re going bovine for this investment. Cows are another lesser known option for investors. They appreciate incredibly quickly, which means you can get a return on your investment and then reinvest that money into more cows. In an article from ABC, Australian farmers Brodie and Kevin Game left their full-time jobs to start a milk-cow business. They explained that because of the speed at which cows appreciate, a $300,000 loan was able to be paid off in as little as five years.

On the other side of the spectrum, finding a lender for these agricultural endeavors can be tricky, so a hands-off option could be to offer financing for people interested in cashing in on cows. If you have the startup money, you could buy cows, lease them out to a farmer and sell them at a fixed price in the future.


Invest in the Music Scene

If you know good music when you hear it, then you should consider investing in up-and-coming bands. TapTape is a funding platform that matches investors with bands that have started to establish themselves. You can put money toward a band’s success for a specific campaign, and once that campaign is complete, you can share in the profits (sort of!) as well as great merch from the bands. However, the bands aren’t selling stocks, and you don’t invest in the band long term, but rather for a single campaign instead.

Oh, and there’s one more thing. At this time, because of the current legal structure, you can’t actually make real money from TapTape. The company isn’t considered an accredited investor – yet. In the meantime, it has an on-site currency called TapCoins that allows you to buy merch and tickets and reinvest in other bands.

Unfortunately, you may not make it big with TapTape, but if you’re a die-hard fan, this could be a way to financially support your super-fan cravings.

If you’re looking to make money instead of earning tickets, there are other venues for that, such as Power Amp Music, which operates in a manner similar to traditional investments.

Invest in a Community

As comeback cities like Detroit and Cleveland are continuing to rebound, investors are flocking to these areas, looking for cheap real estate. This is an interesting opportunity for the hands-on investor, as it requires a lot of time and effort to get started. You’ll need to find the property, usually renovate it, and then either re-sell it or convert it into a rental. If you’re going to go the latter route, consider hiring a property management company to collect rent and handle repairs.

The beauty of this is three-fold. First, the properties are several times cheaper than they would be in other parts of the country. Second, the returns are potentially high. For instance, if you purchased a home in Detroit for $20,000 and rented it for $750, you’d have it paid off in about three years (if you include taxes and insurance). The third reason is that you can be a part of improving the community. Renovating a home can help jumpstart the recovery of the street, which will, in the end, help the value of your property as well.

Word of caution: This investment strategy isn’t for the faint of heart. While it doesn’t take as much capital as would investing in real estate in other parts of the country, throwing down $20,000 is still a lot for anyone. And Murphy’s Law is especially true for real estate investments. Be cautious about your purchases, and consider starting with a personal loan.

Invest in a Fine Wine

If you have a taste for the finer things, you could invest in bottles of wine. Potentially, in a couple of years, your Bordeaux or Burgundy could create a profit. U.S. news reported on an individual who purchased a bottle for $40 and then sold it for $4,000.

But before you get misty-eyed and run to your nearest liquor store, know that buying and selling wine is a tricky and often unfulfilling investment. Not only do you have to worry about fraud when buying in the secondary market, but a lot can also go wrong before you can hope to sell it. You first need to consider the time it takes to get a return. It takes at least five years for wine to mature before it can be sold, and in many cases, you’re required to purchase at least three bottles (meaning it could be a potentially expensive initial investment). And then there’s the chance that no one wants it. Only certain wines will grow sufficiently in value.

But if you can’t sell your bottles, you could always drink them. It doesn’t make much economic sense, but hey, it’ll make your get-togethers fancier.

Invest in Something

Even if the stock market has you feeling wobbly in the knees, you should still be investing in something. Savvy investments are much less about making it big in finance as they are about retiring comfortably. Retirement is expensive, so you’ll need to create income to support yourself in your golden years. Whatever route you go, take hold of your future and start investing today.

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