Avoiding 'Shiny Thing' Strategies to Make Money - NerdWallet

Avoiding ‘Shiny Thing’ Strategies to Make Money – NerdWallet

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Whether it’s investing for the future or making more money, there’s only so long a human being can tolerate being told, “Hey, I know that’s it.” is tough, but you gotta hang in there. Stay the course. I’m here for the long haul.”

Faced with a tight budget, rising prices, and a rocky stock market, you might think at some point, “There must be a better way.”

“Shiny Thing” Strategies

When the stock market gives you more thrills than you want, it’s tempting to cash out and look for other investment options.

That’s when someone tells you about a shiny new thing.

It could be a alternative investment: Commodities, hybrid bonds, leveraged exchange-traded funds, hedge funds, private equity, preferred and convertible securities, real estate investment trusts and structured notes are some of them.

The people designing these investments are creative to say the least. A new hybrid index fund invests in a portfolio of stocks of large companies for overnight trading only. Get this: The fund buys when the stock market closes and sells when the market reopens the next day. I’ll give you time to think about it.

Some of these ideas may work as a small part of a wallet, but they are best suited to those with the investment fundamentals covered.

Other “big budget ideas” can quickly turn ugly:

  • Lottery tickets and sports betting apps (if you don’t budget for a long time without winning or to accumulate losses).

  • Crypto (especially if you take more risk than expected).

Whatever new idea and whoever presents it to you, make sure they can explain the mechanics of investing – the pros and cons – in a simple and easy-to-understand way.

If they can’t, what are the chances that things will end well?

Income systems that sound too good to be true

You may be looking to inflate your budget with additional income.

Every few weeks I get an invitation to wrap my car in a national brand logo to earn “an easy income just driving like normal.” Some legit companies do this, but many of these “wrap your car” offers are scams.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, car wrap fraud begins when the scammer pays you a large payment – more than the agreed-upon income. You must deposit all the money, keep some of it, but immediately issue a separate payment to a retailer who will install the vehicle graphics. This payment, which is made to the scammer, is cashed, but the check issued to you is worthless.

Such fake check scams can take several forms. Be especially wary of text placements that come from email addresses rather than phone numbers.

Other quick money schemes to be wary of:

Questions to Ask When Considering a “Shiny Thing” Strategy

When considering an alternative investment or new income opportunity, ask questions such as:

  • Has the new idea proven itself? Most “you have to enter the ground floor” strategies don’t. It’s such a new and revolutionary approach that no one has made money on it yet. No one has lost any money on it yet either. Or if they did, are they willing to admit it to you?

  • Is the recommendation from someone who is meaningfully invested in the idea and can show you the proof – or is it just a sales pitch?

  • Are the “guarantees” in writing?

  • Even so: do the guarantees sound too good to be true?

  • Are you putting money that you are really ready to lose?

Whether it’s increasing your income or saving and investing, there’s no quick and easy answer. A careful, well-planned course of action and a lot of patience are required.

Hey, I know it’s hard, but you gotta hang in there. Stay the course. Remember, you’re in it for the long haul.

Where are we with inflation? The last figures

Inflation – the rise in prices we pay for goods and services – is measured in several ways: 1) before a product reaches the consumer, 2) the prices of goods and services reported by consumers, and 3 ) consumer prices reported by businesses. Economists look for the slightest change to spot a possible trend.

The latest reports, the Producer Price Index and the Consumer Price Index—representing the first two measures of inflation mentioned above—showed signs of slowing in October. Notice that overall prices weren’t generally falling, but they weren’t rising as fast as in the past few months. Small gestures, right?

These could be early and encouraging signs of a reversal in the inflationary trend.

A sign of the times: $9 million in meat theft

There was a time when banks were the main target of thefts. At the time, the saying went, “That’s where the money is.” Many banks today are more like cafes than safe deposit boxes, with more baristas than bankers. And apparently the real money is in the meat.

A Miami-based criminal ring was busted last month for loading 18-wheelers full of frozen beef and pork into 45 robberies at packing plants in half a dozen Midwestern states. The total transport: 9 million dollars.

Frozen meat is the new cold hard currency.

#Avoiding #Shiny #Strategies #Money #NerdWallet

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