Where Should I Invest Money to Get Good Returns?

A well-diversified portfolio of investments can be a great way to boost your income, grow your wealth or reach your financial goals. It’s also important to remember that any investment has a certain level of risk and that returns vary depending on the time frame you’re investing over, as well as the amount of risk you’re willing to take with your money. That’s why many investors consider a “risk-adjusted return” when reviewing potential investments.

A good place to start is with safe investments such as a savings account or a high-yield account, which can offer decent returns and provide the relative safety of cash. However, to really build wealth, you need to get your money working for you, and this means putting it into the stock market or other investments.

Generally speaking, stocks are more volatile than bonds or safe investments like CDs, but they can also deliver higher returns and grow your money much faster. When choosing a stock, look for companies that have the potential to grow their dividends over time. In addition, investing in index funds can help diversify your stock portfolio and reduce the risk that any individual company will have a bad year.

Another option is real estate, which can provide decent income and may be relatively stable. However, it’s important to understand local conditions and costs before committing any money to this type of investment. You can invest directly in property or through real estate investment trusts, which can be a more convenient option since you can buy shares of these companies via a taxable brokerage account or tax-advantaged retirement accounts such as your 401(k) or IRA.

In general, a government bond fund is considered one of the safer choices since it invests in a variety of U.S. government-issued bonds, including Treasurys and debt from federal agencies, as well as state and local governments. While the return on a government bond fund might be lower than that of a stock, it’s still better than the low, guaranteed rate of interest offered by a savings account.

If you’re ready to put your hard-earned money to work, it’s important to have a clear vision of your goals and your financial situation. If you’re not sure where to begin, consider consulting a financial professional who can help you find the right mix of investments for your needs. Bankrate’s AdvisorMatch service can connect you with a licensed financial professional who can help.