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How to make flexible jobs work – Financial Times

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Georgia’s London-based team in an investment bank was made redundant last July. The 44-year-old, who preferred not to give her real name, had been working four and a half days a week as a business analyst since 2014. Her job hunt has been a revelation. Roles are billed as flexible, she says, but in reality, that flexibility only means remote working at a time when most white-collar workers are at home due to social distancing restrictions.

“The mention of four days is greeted with horror,” she says.

The pandemic forced many employers to switch to remote working overnight. Some have committed to long-term remote working as part of a hybrid pattern, including some time in the office.

Yet white-collar employees worry the flexibility does not go far enough. As Georgia’s job hunt shows, “flexibility” may only translate to homeworking, ignoring part-time work, compressed and annualised hours. At a time of mass job losses, many employees will feel pressure to acquiesce to employer demands.

A sparsely populated office in London. One City law firm has has decided to allow employees to work from home two days a week once the Covid-19 vaccine programme allows a relaxation of social distancing rules © Andy Rain/EPA-EFE

A recent survey by Timewise, a flexible recruitment specialist, found the proportion of jobs in the UK advertised as offering flexible working rose from 17 per cent at the start of 2020, to 22 per cent after Covid disrupted work patterns. Emma Stewart, co-founder of Timewise, worries that businesses are still timid. “There’s a huge gap between crisis-driven remote working and a systemic approach to flexible working. We need to design jobs properly.”

The pandemic has conflated flexibility with homeworking, says Gemma Dale, a lecturer at Liverpool John Moores University. She is concerned that managers will too easily blame problems — such as staff errors or the erosion of corporate culture — on remote working. This could then create the conditions for a backlash against flexible working more generally.

“Managing by keeping an eye on people is all they [some managers] know,” Ms Dale says. “We would be naive to think they have all had a revelation.” She is concerned that managers will have their views “confirmed” that people cannot work remotely.

While employees say they want a hybrid future, few managers know how to implement this. “It is easy now we are all mostly remote,” says Ms Dale. “But it will get very messy once some people are back and some are not.” 

Presenteeism

One City lawyer, who prefers not to give her name, is heartened by the direction that her firm is taking. It has decided to allow employees to work from home two days a week once the vaccine programme permits a relaxation of social distancing rules. Yet she is disappointed that the policy is still fairly rigid. “Most of us have worked from home, we’ve all ticked along. The work has still been completed. There is still an emphasis on presenteeism. There is a lot of praise when people appear on videoconference and the office is visible in the background.”

Law, she adds, is particularly slow to change. “I am sometimes shocked at the law firm that they’ve only just discovered video-conferencing tech. A lot of our associates will be very disappointed that there isn’t going to be a bigger shift towards flexible working, there’s still a thought that it isn’t real work.”

Jane van Zyl, chief executive of Working Families, a non-profit group, says if companies return to “a culture of presenteeism [it] would be a disaster for employers who want to attract and retain employees, increase their productivity, and close their gender pay gap.”

Since the pandemic started working parents, particularly mothers, have been

Jane van Zyl, chief executive of Working Families, says a return to a presenteeism culture ‘would be a disaster for employers who want to attract and retain employees, increase their productivity, and close their gender pay gap’ © Handout

squeezed by the dual pressures of work and childcare. While organisations have offered paid parental leave to cope with the squeeze, some parents were reluctant to take it for fear of appearing insufficiently committed to their work. 

Flexibility, it seems, is a double-edged sword. Laura Empson, director of the Centre for Professional Service Firms at City’s Business School, University of London, is troubled by what the pandemic has taught us about flexibility. “We have demonstrated our ability to work at any time of the day. I don’t call that flexibility, I call it work intensification.” Efforts to deal with overwork, such as wellbeing apps or resilience training are misguided. “They are individualising the problem which is institutional.”

One London-based PR executive says that “employers have weaponised the virus . . . a lot of businesses have used this time to decrease salaries”. In her own case, the pressure to be available all the time, despite working part-time is “extreme”. “You just have to drop everything. You’re always on to a degree.”

Flex-washing

Flexible working policies require meaningful changes by managers. In the past, employers have been guilty of “flex-washing” — meaning that a company puts a glossy spin on a job to portray itself as enlightened, particularly when it is trying to recruit more women.

One advertising executive recalls a pre-pandemic incident when she was wheeled out publicly by her former employer to demonstrate that part-time work and having small children were no barriers to promotion. The disparity between her real life and her role as poster-girl for flexibility was brought home to her on International Women’s Day when she locked herself in the toilet at a conference, overwhelmed by juggling children and work — before going on stage to extol the virtues of flexibility.

While most businesses realised the desire for flexible working during the pandemic, says Timewise’s Ms Stewart, the “risk is that they do it without fundamentally thinking through what needs to happen to equip managers to manage flexible teams and shifting work practices”. “The organisations that are doing it well have invested in the managers overseeing flexible work,” she adds. “You have to do something about it.”

Sarah Jackson, a workplace consultant, agrees, saying that the real lesson of working from home is that managers have to learn to work better. “They have to be clear about what the objectives are. This will save us from the flexibility backlash. People are expecting to work more flexibly. Next year, lazy organisations will be able to [go back to the way things were] at a time when they need to be productive.”

Louisa Symington-Mills, founder of City Parents, a networking group for working parents, says it is too early to predict post-pandemic working patterns. She anticipates the time to make longer-term plans will be when the social distancing rules relax, since it is hard for business leaders to determine which flexible work practices work while in the middle of a pandemic.

“When you’re in the thick of a crisis, it’s hard, [there’s] so much firefighting and dodging the next hurdle.”

Prof Empson adds that “people need a period of time to recover from our collective exhaustion and anxiety to take stock and separate out the broader concerns [of social distancing, health concerns]. It’s all conflated.”

The greater future challenge for employers is to enable flexibility for those jobs that cannot be done from home. “We have a lot to learn if we open our minds,” says Ms Stewart.

 

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UK consumers lose £78m in investment and pension scams – Yahoo Movies Canada

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GlobeNewswire

Outlook on the Examination Glove Global Market to 2026 – by Material, Sterility, Type and Geography

Dublin, Jan. 28, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The “Examination Glove Market – Forecasts from 2021 to 2026” report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com’s offering. The global examination glove market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 10.51% over the forecast period to reach a market size of US$10,887.626 million in 2026 from US$5,975.957 million in 2020. Examination gloves are disposable gloves designed to aid medical practitioners by providing them protection from cross-contamination from patients. The demand for examination gloves will increase owing to the rising demand for healthcare services worldwide. Moreover, the demand for examination gloves will also snowball due to the growing adoption of hygienic and cleaner medical practices. However, the environmental concerns caused by the use of synthetic material and health concerns by the use of powdered gloves will restrain the market growth during the forecasted period. The North American and European regions will have a significant share in the market due to high investment in the medical and healthcare field. The Asia Pacific market will also see ample growth opportunities on account of rising investment in the healthcare segment and an increasing number of medical cases in the region.Increasing Healthcare Budget To drive the Market GrowthHealthcare has become one of the imperative sectors, both in terms of employment and revenue. Healthcare comprises medical devices, medical equipment, hospitals, clinics, and others. With the increasing population, worldwide, it has become imperative to spend substantial capital on healthcare, globally. According to the United Nations, the global population is expected to surge by at least 2 billion people, in the next 30 years. The population would rose from 7.7 billion in the year 2019 to 9.7 billion, in the year 2050. These trends show the importance of healthcare spending. The United States health care spending surged by 4.6% in the year 2019, to reach approx. USD 3.8 trillion, or around USD 11,582 per person. The overall share of GDP related to healthcare budget or spending was around 17.7% in the year 2019. According to the United States National Healthcare Expenditure, retail spending for medical products such as surgical gloves and dressings, surged by 5.6% to around USD 82.1 Billion in the year 2019, compared to an approximate rate of 3.8% in the year 2018. The growth in healthcare spending in the country continued to surge in the year 2020, because of the COVID-19 Pandemic. In India, the healthcare sector is growing due to increasing expenditure by private and public players. According to the Indian Brand Equity Foundation, a trust established by the Indian Ministry of Commerce, the Indian Healthcare Market has been growing at an 18% CAGR rate. The overall government spending on Healthcare increased from 1.3% of the GDP in the year 2016 to 1.6% in the year 2020. According to the data released by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Trade, Diagnostic Centers and Hospitals attracted Foreign Direct Investment of USD 6.72 Billion, between the year 2000 and 2020. These developments had a positive effect on the examination gloves market, as surgical and examination gloves are an imperative part of the medical equipment market. The Government of India aims to surge healthcare spending to 3% of the GDP, by the year 2022. In Europe, healthcare spending continues to surge at an exponential rate. According to Eurostat, on average in the European Union, healthcare spending had been around 9.9% of overall GDP in the year 2018. Among the European Union Member States, the biggest healthcare spending was recorded in Germany, which spends around 11.5% of the GDP, followed by France (11.3%), and Sweden, which was at 10.9%. In comparison to the population size, healthcare expenditure was maximum among the European Union member states in Denmark, Luxembourg, and Sweden.Competitive AnalysisThe manufacturers and producers, worldwide, engage and spend a significant sum of capital in designing, manufacturing, and distributing the gloves and other related products to different end-users, such as hospitals, clinics, etc. by using novel and innovative technologies. Government spending on infrastructure development also provides an opportunity for manufacturers, producers, and suppliers, worldwide. For Instance, In February 2019, The Government of India established a novel AIIMS (All India Institute of Medical Sciences) in Haryana, India, at a considerable cost of USD 180.04 million. Other infrastructure development, around the world, also gives provides output to the examination gloves market. In January 2021, Cincinnati, United States, announced the development and construction of a novel 60-bed hospital and a new medical complex, on a 30-acre area, with the cost of around USD 156 million. The construction of the hospital is expected to be completed in the year 2023, and the hospital would have advanced medical equipment and high-quality examination, surgical, and other related gloves. Companies and manufacturers have been developing novel gloves for healthcare end-users. In January 2021, The SRAM & MRAM Group, two of the major players in the market, announced the decision to produce a premium brand of Nitrile Examination Gloves, under their flagship brand called ‘Walletz4u’. The company had been producing gloves for hospitals, clinics, and other related centres, to help them in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. In January 2021, Aspen Holdings, one of the major players in the market, announced that the company’s novel established glove-making venture would produce medical-grade examination gloves, for a worth of USD 100 million, for an unnamed third-party distributor. The price would be USD 100 per thousand pieces of gloves. According to the company, the distributor had been an established player in the market.Top Glove Corporation Bhd focuses on maintaining a balance product-mix that allows it to cater to the demand of the emerging as well as developed regions. The company currently has a roughly equitable distribution in the revenue generated between the nitrile and latex gloves, with similar proportion of sales being recording in the developed as well as emerging regions for the company. Moreover, Top Glove Corporation Bhd is anticipating a switch from latex to nitrile gloves in the emerging market to accelerate while glove consumption in the developed regions is also expected to increase. As such, the company planned to add 178 production lines (equivalent to 18.2 billion pieces capacity) in 2020 out which nitrile constitutes approx. 78% of the production line and glove capacity while the remainder share is for vinyl/PVC based gloves. This investment follows the addition of the latex gloves’ capacity in 2019.Hartelega Holdings Berhad is primarily a nitrile centric glove manufacturer with its principal customers in North America and Europe. In fact, they generate approx. 82% of the revenues from the developed region, indicating the preference of nitrile gloves over latex in the developed region. However, the company is targeting the emerging market through its OBM (own-brand manufacturer) gloves, allowing them to have better control over the prices, even though they generate most of the business through the OEM (original equipment manufacturer) channel. In the long-term, Hartelega Holdings Berhad plans to increase their production capacity to 76 billion pieces per annum. Key Topics Covered: 1. Introduction2. Research Methodology3. Executive Summary4. Market Dynamics4.1. Market Overview and Segmentation4.2. Market Drivers4.3. Market Restraints4.4. Porters Five Forces Analysis4.4.1. Bargaining Power of Suppliers4.4.2. Bargaining Power of Buyers4.4.3. The threat of New Entrants4.4.4. Threat of Substitutes4.4.5. Competitive Rivalry in the Industry4.5. Industry Value Chain Analysis5. Global Examination Glove Market Analysis, By Material5.1. Latex5.2. Synthetic6. Global Examination Glove Market Analysis, By Sterility6.1. Sterile6.2. Non-Sterile7. Global Examination Glove Market Analysis, By Type7.1. Powdered7.2. Non-Powdered8. Global Examination Glove Market Analysis, by Geography8.1. Introduction8.2. North America8.2.1. North America Examination Glove Market Analysis, By Material, 2021 to 20268.2.2. North America Examination Glove Market Analysis, By Sterility, 2021 to 20268.2.3. North America Examination Glove Market Analysis, By Type, 2021 to 20268.2.4. By Country8.2.4.1. United States8.2.4.2. Canada8.2.4.3. Mexico8.3. South America8.3.1. South America Examination Glove Market Analysis, By Material, 2021 to 20268.3.2. South America Examination Glove Market Analysis, By Sterility, 2021 to 20268.3.3. South America Examination Glove Market Analysis, By Type, 2021 to 20268.3.4. By Country8.3.4.1. Brazil8.3.4.2. Argentina8.3.4.3. Others8.4. Europe8.4.1. Europe Examination Glove Market Analysis, By Material, 2021 to 20268.4.2. Europe Examination Glove Market Analysis, By Sterility, 2021 to 20268.4.3. Europe Examination Glove Market Analysis, By Type, 2021 to 20268.4.4. By Country8.4.4.1. Germany8.4.4.2. France8.4.4.3. United Kingdom8.4.4.4. Spain8.4.4.5. Others8.5. The Middle East and Africa8.5.1. Middle East and Africa Examination Glove Market Analysis, By Material, 2021 to 20268.5.2. Middle East and Africa Examination Glove Market Analysis, By Sterility, 2021 to 20268.5.3. Middle East and Africa Examination Glove Market Analysis, By Type, 2021 to 20268.5.4. By Country8.5.4.1. Saudi Arabia8.5.4.2. Israel8.5.4.3. Others8.6. Asia Pacific8.6.1. Asia Pacific Examination Glove Market Analysis, By Material, 2021 to 20268.6.2. Asia Pacific Examination Glove Market Analysis, By Sterility, 2021 to 20268.6.3. Asia Pacific Examination Glove Market Analysis, By Type, 2021 to 20268.6.4. By Country8.6.4.1. China8.6.4.2. Japan8.6.4.3. South Korea8.6.4.4. India8.6.4.5. Malaysia8.6.4.6. Others9. Competitive Intelligence9.1. Competitive Benchmarking and Analysis9.2. Recent Deals and Investments9.3. Strategies of Key Players10. Company Profiles10.1. Kanam Latex Industries Pvt. Ltd.10.2. MRK Healthcare10.3. Kossan Rubber Industries10.4. K.S. Surgical Pvt. Ltd.10.5. Surgi Pharma10.6. Curas Ltd.10.7. Cardinal Health10.8. Medline Industries Inc.10.9. Ansell Limited10.10. Sarah Healthcare10.11. Tan Sin Lian Industries Sdn Bhd10.12. Top Glove Corporation10.13. Haratelga10.14. Supermax10.15. Riverstone Holdings For more information about this report visit https://www.researchandmarkets.com/r/jo6pis CONTACT: CONTACT: ResearchAndMarkets.com Laura Wood, Senior Press Manager press@researchandmarkets.com For E.S.T Office Hours Call 1-917-300-0470 For U.S./CAN Toll Free Call 1-800-526-8630 For GMT Office Hours Call +353-1-416-8900

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5 Common Investment Mistakes to Avoid – Morningstar.ca

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Warren Buffett once said: “Success in investing doesn’t correlate with IQ once you’re above the level of 25. Once you have ordinary intelligence, what you need is the temperament to control the urges that get other people into trouble in investing.”

Successful investing requires arguably something even rarer: the ability to identify and overcome one’s own psychological biases. And that doesn’t concern only big (and common) wrong moves, such as trying to time the market, chasing short-term returns, not diversifying enough, or taking too much risk. It also concerns smaller hang-ups that can take a toll on your portfolio.

Here you have five examples of “small” mistakes investors can easily fall into:

Over-Complicating things

Many people think investing is complicated, messy stuff that you couldn’t possibly handle on your own. No wonder so many investors become paralyzed with fear and indecision, and often find themselves in complex or expensive products that they don’t really need. Even if it is true that there are some people (very few) who have delivered tremendous returns by using arcane investment strategies, the rest of us would probably just need a well-built straightforward portfolio.

It is a mistake to assume that simple isn’t necessarily better when often it really is. In fact, most advisers suggest having a simple, broadly exposed equities fund at the core of an investment portfolio rather than anything too specific or niche.

Mistaking “Cheap” For “Not Good”

A general rule of thumb is that “you get what you pay for”. We know, for example, that if we are paying more for a car, we’re usually getting a better car. But this rule doesn’t necessarily hold true in the investing world. Generally speaking, paying less will get you better long-term returns, helping your money compound faster over the years. It is a mistake to think that if a fund charges a little bit more, the manager has to be better – in fact, it has been shown time and again that many active managers consistently fail to outperform the cheapest index funds.

Overlooking Small Numbers

With so much data competing for investors’ attention, it’s easy to overlook the smaller numbers or what seem like small differences. But this can be damaging in the long term, especially when it comes to costs. You might think, for example: “That difference could it possibly make if I pay 1% for a fund versus paying 0.60%”? Well, when that money gets compounded over the years, that can be a huge difference. If you invest €10,000 in a fund charging 0.2%, assuming no capital growth, after 20 years you would have €9,608 left. If the fund charged 1.5%, however, you would have just €7,391 left after that period. In investing, it is a mistake to blow off small numbers because they look unimportant. And the same holds true with inflation: even small percentages on long term make an enormous deal in terms of eroding your purchasing power.

Forgetting the Simple Stuff

Investing is all well and good, but it’s still crucial to have an easily accessible emergency stash of cash in case the unexpected happens. Many experts suggest setting aside at least six to 12 months’ worth of living expenses.

Letting your money sleep in your cash saving account is arguably the worst option (right after putting it under the mattress) – the interest is almost always lower than inflation, so you’re constantly losing money in real terms. When it comes to liquidity, instruments that offer the best risk/reward ratio change very quickly. Therefore, in contrast with your stock and bond investments, where buying and holding is often the right answer, you may have good reason to be more hands-on with your cash accounts.

Listening to the Noise 

Over the years, investors have gained much more access to information. They can get it on 24-hour news, through the internet or via social networks. Plugging into economic data and newspaper headlines will hardly help anyone to better position their portfolio. The whole investment industry tries to invest ahead of the news flow, so by the time we read about it or see it on TV, it’s usually already factored into security prices.

A more effective approach is to let valuations be your guide as to what to do next. Basically, it means that you should periodically rebalance your portfolio, cutting back on the securities that have performed really well, and adding to those areas that look undervalued. That’s a better guide to market performance than the news’ flow.

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The 10 Best Passive Income Investments For 2021 – Make Money While You Sleep! – Forbes

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I’m a big fan of passive investments. In fact, not only do I have some myself, but I’m always on the hunt to find a few more. Passive investments are the perfect way to invest because they enable you to earn money while you’re busy doing other things.

Yes, even sleeping!

Some of the best passive income investments for 2021 include a few you’re probably already aware of. But there are also a generous number you’ve probably never heard of.

Either way, it helps to have a list of passive income options available to help you choose the ones that will work best for you.

Here’s my list of the 10 best passive income investments for 2021:

1.  Dividend Paying Stocks

Dividend paying stocks may not provide the explosive price appreciation seen with pure growth stocks, but they offer steady, predictable returns. And because of those steady returns, they tend to enjoy more price stability while providing a regular cash flow.

But unlike fixed income investments, like certificates of deposit, dividend paying stocks also offer capital appreciation to go with those dividends. That will give you the benefit of both a stable cash flow and price appreciation. What’s more, these stocks typically pay higher dividend yields than the sub-1% rates currently being paid on savings accounts, money markets and CDs.

“The advantage to buying a stock that consistently pays a dividend versus a bond is bond payments are fixed and don’t increase over time,” notes Robert R. Johnson, Professor of Finance at Heider College of Business, Creighton University, and CEO and Chair at Economic Index Associates. “Dividend paying stocks not only have a cash flow, but typically that dividend payment increases markedly over time. In addition, stock prices generally rise over extended periods of time.”

Adds Johnson: “Coca-Cola, Hormel, Genuine Parts, Procter & Gamble and Johnson & Johnson are all examples of dividend kings that have increased dividends for more than 50 consecutive years.”

Dividend Aristocrats

One place to find the best dividend paying stocks is with the Dividend Aristocrats. The list currently includes 65 stocks, each listed on the S&P 500, and providing at least 25 years of steady dividend increases.

“When you own a Dividend Aristocrat you own shares of a business whose management has proven it understands its fiduciary responsibility to shareholders,” recommends Marc Lichtenfeld, Chief Income Strategist at The Oxford Club. “By prioritizing establishing a track record of annual dividend raises for a quarter of a century or more, there is less of a chance of making boneheaded and expensive acquisitions or ill-timed stock buybacks. Furthermore, you can be confident it’s a company that knows how to grow its cash flow in order to sustain the annual dividend increases.”

Examples of high dividend stocks included in the dividend aristocrats are AT&T (7.2% yield), Cardinal Health Inc. (4.3%), and AbbVie Inc. (5.0%).

But if you prefer, you can invest in a dividend aristocrat ETF. The ProShares S&P 500 dividend aristocrats ETF has a current dividend yield of 2.57%, and has returned an average of 12.52% annually for the past five years (through December 31, 2020), including 8.37% in 2020.

2.  Real Estate

Of course, I mean investment real estate, the kind that produces rental income. If you own your home, you’re already aware of the potential for capital appreciation. Investment real estate plays on that appreciation, and more.

With investment property, you’ll rent the home to tenants. At a minimum, the rent should cover the monthly mortgage payment. But as rent levels rise over the years, the property will eventually produce a positive cash flow.

All while that process is taking place, the value of the property is rising. At that point, you’re profiting from two different directions – capital appreciation and a net profit on rent.

If you hold the property until the mortgage is paid, you’ll have a choice to either keep the property and collect an even larger share of the rent as profit, or sell the property for a huge, one-time windfall.

In fairness to reality, however, it has to be said that rental real estate is at best a semi-passive investment. You will need to be involved in purchasing the property, getting it ready for occupancy, and finding new tenants each time a previous one moves out. And throughout the process, there will be maintenance and repair requirements that will cost you in money, time, or both.

3.  Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs)

If you want to invest in real estate, but you don’t want the responsibility of maintaining one or more individual properties, you can invest in real estate investment trusts, commonly known as REITs.

REITs are something like mutual funds that invest in real estate. But not just any real estate – a typical REIT holds commercial properties. Those can include office buildings, retail centers, large apartment complexes, medical facilities and other types of non-residential property.

REITs distribute net income from the trust in the form of dividends. But you’ll also participate in capital appreciation when properties within the trust are sold.

Historically, commercial property has been one of the most profitable ways to invest in real estate. REITs will give you an opportunity to invest in these properties, similar to the way you invest in stocks. You can buy and sell shares in these trusts through major brokerage firms.

“Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) are a unique business structure that invests in real estate and requires the organization to distribute over 90% of its funds from operations to investors in order to qualify as a REIT,” explains Greg Hahn, Chief Investment Officer at Winthrop Capital Management.

Hahn suggests National Retail Properties (NNN) and Medical Properties Trust (MPW), each offering distribution yields greater than 5%.

Hahn also cautions: “REITs are highly leveraged since the underlying real estate in the trust is typically secured with a senior commercial mortgage loan up to 75% on a loan-to-value basis. While REITs offer higher income for investors, they are highly volatile and are more correlated with the stock market than with bond investments.”

4.  Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Loans

P2P lending is a way to earn higher returns on your investments by making loans directly to consumers. P2P lenders make personal loans available to consumers for various purposes, and monthly payments are collected and paid to the investors in those loans.

As an investor, you don’t typically purchase an entire loan. Instead, you’ll purchase slices of loans, referred to as “notes”. These notes can be purchased for as little as $25. That means you can spread an investment of $5,000 across 200 different notes.

Because you are acting as a direct lender to consumers, the interest rate returns on your investment are much higher than you can get through more conventional investments.

One of the largest of the P2P lending platforms, Prosper, reports an average annual return of 5.3%, which is well above what you can get with bank savings products and U.S. Treasury securities. (The traditional leader in the P2P space, Lending Club, is no longer accepting new investments due to their recent acquisition of Radius Bank.)

5.  Create and Sell an Online Course

This is another passive income source I like because it’s one I’ve done myself successfully. And I’m hardly the only one. Thousands of people are earning passive streams of income from creating and selling online courses.

Now the online course strategy will require something of an upfront investment, and that will be your time and effort in creating the course. But you can get help doing that through online services, such as Udemy and Kajabi.

You’ll need to choose your course topic carefully. It will need to be one where you have expert knowledge of the subject matter. The topic potential here is almost unlimited. You can produce online courses on how to start a new business, how to invest, build a tiny home, get out of debt, homeschool your children – you name it.

One of the best ways to find online course topics is to scout around and see how many there are in a given niche. If there are a large number, it’s an excellent sign that demand for that topic is high.

Once you’ve created your course, you can sell it through blogs and websites that cover the same topic niche. You can offer your course under an affiliate arrangement, in which you’ll pay sites a percentage of the fee you’ll collect for each course sold through that site.

If you get your course advertised on multiple related websites, the cash from sales will come rolling in, without any effort from you. You can increase your cash flow from the same product by advertising for sale on additional websites.

6.  Intermediate Bond Funds

If you like interest income investments, intermediate bonds can be an excellent choice. They pay much higher rates of interest than banks and US Treasury securities.

And while they aren’t risk-free, they’re much more stable than long-term bonds. Intermediate bonds typically have maturities of less than 10 years, which makes them much less sensitive to interest rate changes that can lower the market value of longer-term bonds when interest rates rise.

“REITs and dividend stocks are stocks, which means they’re risky” warns Holmes Osborne, at Osbourne Global Investors. “Meanwhile, real estate is at an all-time high – and also risky. Intermediate bond funds are the safest of the group of investments mentioned.”

Probably the best way to invest in bonds in a way that will provide adequate diversification is through bond funds.

An example is the Schwab U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF. It has a current yield of 2.4%, with a five-year average annual return of 4.31% through the end of 2020. The average maturity of the bonds in the fund is eight years, and more than 85% are rated AAA. That will give you high interest returns in combination with a reasonable level of security.

7. Robo-advisors

Robo-advisors may be the ultimate form of passive investing. For a very low advisory fee, a robo-advisor will construct a diversified portfolio, then provide ongoing management. That will include periodic rebalancing to maintain target asset allocations, and reinvestment of dividends. As an investor, your only job will be to fund your account – then relax.

“A robo-advisor—also known as a robo, a roboadvisor or a robo-adviser—is a type of brokerage account that automates the process of investing,” reports Forbes Contributor, Miranda Marquit. “Most robos charge lower fees than conventional financial advisors because they invest your money in prebaked portfolios made primarily of specially chosen, low-fee exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Some robo-advisors also offer access to other more customized investment options for advanced investors or those with larger account balances.”

Two of the most popular robo-advisors are Betterment and Wealthfront. Each will provide complete portfolio management for a very low fee of just 0.25% of your account balance. The passive nature of these robo-advisors makes them an excellent choice for either a retirement account or a taxable investment account.

8. Real Estate Crowdfunding

Real estate crowdfunding is another way to invest in real estate, but one that’s more specialized. That’s because they give you an opportunity to invest in very specific real estate investments.

An example is Fundrise. The platform offers two very distinct investments. The first is what’s known as an eREIT, which is a non-publicly traded REIT available only through Fundrise. You can invest in an eREIT with as little as $500. The Fundrise eREIT has been producing returns ranging between 8% and 12% per year over the last several years.

Similar to publicly traded REITs, the Fundrise eREIT also invests in commercial real estate, like office buildings and apartment complexes.

But the platform also gives you the ability to invest in individual real estate transactions. This is done through a Fundrise eFund, which requires a minimum investment of $1,000.

Within the fund, either raw land is purchased and developed for sale, or existing properties are acquired, rehabbed, and sold at a profit.

It’s an opportunity to participate in the type of real estate transactions that produce big returns, but are also the kind you don’t want to take on by yourself.

9.  Buy Royalties

This is probably the most unique passive investment on this list, if only because few people are aware it even exists. But it’s a true source of passive income, but one with a unique twist.

Rather than investing in securities or property, you’ll be investing in licensing arrangements. In doing so, you’ll participate in the revenues generated by a wide variety of ventures, including music, videos, syndicated TV programs, mineral rights, products, oil and gas, and even venture capital financing deals.

All become available because the product creator or the original investor chooses to sell off royalties to generate immediate cash. By investing in those products or ventures, you’ll earn royalty income on your investment. It’s even possible to resell a royalty you’ve purchased later on.

You can invest in royalties through the Royalty Exchange. The exchange has been involved in a variety of royalty investments, including those by popular artists. The company claims to have completed more than 1,000 transactions worth over $84 million. The average return on investment is greater than 10% per year.

Before going into this type of investment, understand that each deal available is unique. The underlying product, the required minimum investment, the expected annual return, and the terms of the arrangement will vary with each royalty you invest in.

10. Payoff Debt

You can think of paying off debt as an investment in reverse. It’s not an investment in the true sense of the term, but it produces a similar return. Closer to the truth, that return is considerably higher than what you will get on most income generating investments.

For example, let’s say you have a $10,000 credit card with an annual interest rate of 20%. By paying it off, the 20% interest you’re paying on the line disappears.

That’s the equivalent of 20% return on a $10,000 investment in something more conventional.

But what makes paying off debt even better is that you’ll achieve that high rate of return equivalent with virtually zero risk. Not only is there no risk of loss of principal, but the “return” is guaranteed at 20%.

If you’re looking for passive, income generating investments, you should pay off any high interest debt before making those investments. If not, you’ll be leaving a very generous guaranteed return on the table.

Bottom Line

It’s fine to have some active investments, the kind you manage on a day-to-day basis. That may include picking your own stocks, investing in local businesses, or playing the fix-and-flip game with real estate.

But if you’ve acquired any amount of investment capital, the bulk of it should be invested in the kinds of ventures that will leave you free to do whatever you want in life. They generate income silently, which allows your wealth to grow while you’re busy doing other things – even sleeping!

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