Investing is fun and can lead to serious windfalls. But sometimes it can feel like it’s taking forever for your money to make you more money! Short-term investing (i.e. investing where you can withdraw money or see an impact within two years) offers a lot of options.
You can day trade and swing trade stocks.
You can start a high-yield savings account.
Some people turn to federal bonds.
How does one even begin the process?
I’ve researched a lot of the options out there, and I’ve narrowed down a list of the top websites to help you achieve your financial goals.
Not all of these websites push the same methods of making money. But they all come highly recommended and make a point of making the experience relatively easy for customers.
This company is practically designed for people looking for a seamless investing experience.
Betterment is all about using the best possible strategies to optimize their investors’ deposits.
Your money is managed by robo-investors, i.e. bots and algorithms set to optimize your return (not unlike Upstart). But you can talk to a human if you want to!
Unlike a lot of trading platforms, Better doesn’t penalize you at all for withdrawing funds.
They warn that there may be fees and consequences for your taxes down the road.
But even then, the robots try to sell off the least risky stocks so you can get your cash with little consequence.
This is the platform for people looking for more instant gratification from their investing (or at least as close you’ll be able to get!).
Prosper is a peer-to-peer lending group that prides itself on being selective with it’s loan selection.
The average borrower, according to them, has a credit score of 710 and an income of over ninety thousand dollars. That’s encouraging!
With a low minimum purchase of twenty-five dollars per loan, Prosper actively encourages people to invest in many different loans at once.
The result is stable returns on your part. But even more appealing is the fact that returns are doled out every month.
You don’t have to wait to earn money back on your investments.
Yes, we’re going to bring up Prosper’s peer-to-peer lending competitor! Both platforms offer significant perks for people looking to earn money on short-term investment.
Like Prosper, Lending Club (LC) offers monthly payouts for investing in loans.
But LC sets itself apart by offering up different types of accounts. Joint, IRA accounts, and even trusts are all options here.
I should note: Lending Club’s minimum investment per loan is twenty-five dollars, but their minimum overall investment is one thousand dollars.
So they’re not the cheapest option on the list. But I believe the multiple account options open to investors make them worthy of a spot on this list.
Someone looking to manage a mini-empire of accounts will probably like Lending Club best.
This is a non-investment option, but I had to include Barclays Online Savings (BOS) because it represents a wider share of the short-term investment marketplace.
After all, savings accounts still count as investments! There are plenty of options available for people who both want to save and earn back a substantial amount through interest.
I’ve chosen to highlight BOS because they’re tied to a landmark financial institution and stand out for their simple setup.
BOS is built to be an ultra-streamlined option for people who want to earn money.
There is absolutely no ATM system and you have very limited options for getting your money back.
But there’s no minimum balance needed and the interest rate is 1.5%.
Barclays also offers CD (certificate of deposit) options for people who want more of traditional investment options.
You can sign up for one of these with terms as short as three months (though interest rates increase if you select a longer term option).
Did I mention that interest compounds daily for these CDs?
Not every short-term investment will work for you. Talk to your broker and read over your choices with your whole portfolio in mind.
I should note that you can also invest in assets (such as art or vintage guitars) for short-term profits.
If you know a market well, you can certainly make a profit selling things within a few months. And people do!
But I chose not to include websites promoting asset investments due to the internal trade knowledge often required to make that profit happen. Results will definitely vary.
Remember that some short-term investment options may penalize you for withdrawing money too soon.
There’s no one standard definition for “short term” in investing, so make sure you know exactly what the company expects from investors.
You don’t want to get caught with no money in the bank!
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