posted: Feb. 17, 2005 @ 1:11p
This has to be the most hated of the stupid questions asked here. After all, It's first on the FAQ of what not to ask.
Updated - 1/30/06 - Obviously much of this thread is to be taken tongue-in-cheek but as per sloth911's idea, click here for the best risk-free yields.
Most questions people ask on this topic are for amounts of money as follows:
$500 - Just barely enough to ask the question. Get busy and go earn some more sign up money from the banks.
$2000 - OK, you're ready to begin. Just don't expect too much from your wad of cash. Edit: You can open an MB Trading account if your income is over 50k/yr. and your liquid assets meet their minimums. -thanks didYOUsearch and vinhboy
Otherwise I recommend Scottrade or Firstrade.
$5000 - With 5k you could actually open a Freetrade account Edit: Guess this one is out. Oh well, you're probably better off sticking it in the bank or buying Vanguard index funds anyway. -Thanks svnd
$20,000 - Alright, you've moved up to 5 digit money here, still not enough to start a hedge fund though.
$40,000 - Enough cash to get started in real estate. Maybe go get yourself a deal on owner occupied financing for a fourplex.
$100,000 - Six digits. This is getting exciting. Anything above this and you have to be careful how you put it into the bank to keep it all FDIC insured. Of course we all know banks don't ever go under.
$250,000 - A quarter of a million. We don't get as many questions about this amount. Maybe by the time you get this much, you have a good idea of what to do with it. I would guess that if you were willing to risk it, this could get you started on a good sized business.
$1,000,000 and up - They say a million's not what it used to be. That's OK, if you don't want it, I'll sure help you out <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif" border=0> At this level you could get into some serious real estate investment or even open your own franchise. You might have to wait until you have $3-6M to start a Krispy Kreme or a Starbucks though.
Most of the answers they get go something like: "put it in ING and shut up."
I think that more creative ideas would be interesting. Capital can be spent, given away, or invested. Why not come up with some creative ways to do this? I personally like David Brin's ideas for philanthropy of the future. I'll award points for ideas that go beyond the basics here. If you can think of ways to spend, invest, and gift the money in combination you might get extra points. Otherwise, feel free hate away.
Everybody's ideas so far:
46c - DamnoIT said: [Q]Collect 4 cents, buy a Coke and a Smile
$500 - exigent said: [Q]Buy a lawn mower and a can of gas. Start knocking on doors in your neighborhood and offer to mow their lawn for $XX.XX (obviously, the price depends on your locale and the size of the lawn). Buy more gas. Repeat.
fatcool said: [Q]If you have below 500$ in hand. Buy some clearance paint cans from Sears at 10.00 around.
100$ Buy one of those as seen on TV ladders from Sears that fit in your trunk for 169$. Buy 3 Wagner power roller for 30$. Pick up two guys from Laborready at 100$ per day. Offer them extra 40$ if they finish the job the same day.
Walk to few small homes offer to paint exterior for 900$ in one day. Get done in 6 hours or less and make 500 profit on the spot.
inventme said: [Q]Start an eBay business selling homemade crafts from people in the neighborhood (flies, jigs, etc. for fishing). Go to local Salvation Army or similar store and buy cheap donated furniture that you take, reupholster with fabric store stuff, and sell for profit. Do a window washing business for homeowners/small businesses @ $5-$10 a window.
ilovecoffee said: [Q]For anyone with 500.xx Why not open an account at scottrade.com (min. amt. req. to open an accnt. is 500 USD) and buy some commodities, or stock at a 5 yr low . your earnings will probably be modest, but you never know. and remember with all these ventures, there is always the chance of losing money.
$1000 - inventme said: [Q]I'm not suggesting you do this officially, but say one purchased an MSDN license and then sold software installations to friends and family for $50-$100 a pop. MSDN subscription runs $1k a year (I think) and you get 10 installations per program per license. Again, I'm not sure of the legality of this, just brainstorming.
$2000 - inventme said: [Q]Buy some lawnmowers and weedwackers, hire neighborhood kids, and farm them out to mow lawns. Contact real estate agencies & banks and provide cleanup services for repo-ed properties or yard maintenance for current listed properties.
$5000 - Oakley087 said: [Q]Another idea is flipping cars for a profit at the under $5000 mark.
inventme said: [Q]Start a traveling spyware cleanup business or paper shredding business.
$20,000 - exigent said: [Q]Buy a totally pimped out Honda Civic and drag race for dollars.
inventme said: [Q]Buy a tropical ice or java shack and setup shop in front of WalMart.
$100,000 - inventme said: [Q]Dumping or moving service
$250,000 - gnhcxr said: [Q]I was just about to start a UPS store business with about $200k capital.
inventme said: [Q]Do the K-Mart thing. What's that? Look at the guy bought K-Mart while it was in bankruptcy. He got it on the cheap and now is just cash flowing the sucker (~2B a year) by streamlining its operations, minimizing inventory, etc. Basically, find a business for sale with poor cash flow numbers. You'll usually find that the owner has been bleeding it by wasting money on stupid expenditures. Buy it and make it effecient to get a year or two of good cashflow. This will bring your sales price multiple way up and will usually net you $50-$200k.
$1,000,000 - inventme said: [Q]Invest in the commodity index. Demand for raw materials is just going to keep rising with undeveloped countries coming on line and getting to where the US is. Also, farm land is disappearing to expansion and with the crazy weather happening due to global warming, we're in for some good crop loss IMHO.
$2,000,000 - inventme said: [Q]Sit on a 5% CD and live off a 100k a year salary.
So far the last one sounds best to me <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif" border=0>