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While your money will grow with a 5% or 6% return, it can seem slow — especially in the beginning. As a result, the prospect of earning a 10% return is enticing for many investors. If you’re in that group, you might be searching for the elusive double-digit interest rate.
Learn: 3 Things You Must Do When Your Savings Reach $50,000
Keep in mind that higher returns generally mean greater risk — you won’t see 10% annual percentage yields on high-yield savings accounts, for example. But if you’re comfortable taking on more risk for the chance at higher returns, these investments could be the right fit for your portfolio.
- Long-term stock investing
- Forex trading
- Real estate
- Peer-to-peer lending
- Junk bonds
- Fine art
- Debt repayment
- Your career
- Employer-sponsored 401(k)
- Buy a Business
For investors who want strong long-term performance, the stock market is one of the best ways to invest. Between 1928 and 2022, the S&P 500 had an average return of 11.51%. However, it also had 12 years of double-digit negative returns. Therefore, those who invest in the stock market must be prepared for long periods of adversity. This isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme. Still, the stock market can be a great way to earn 10% returns if you have a long time horizon.
There are multiple ways to take advantage of the stock market’s earning power. A low-cost growth fund is the simplest way for most investors.
Growth funds invest in companies that fund managers believe have the potential for significant, sustainable growth. While risky, these investments can experience exponential growth compared to the overall market. Baron Partners Fund Retail Shares, for example, has had average annual returns of 12.49% over three years, 24.49% over five years and $18.99% over 10 years.
If growth funds are too risky for you, a broad index fund can produce returns above 10%, albeit less consistently. A fund like Fidelity’s 500 Index Fund is a good comprise, with annual three-, five- and 10-year returns of 10.14%, 9.90% and 11.90%, respectively.
Another option is a dividend fund. Reinvesting the dividends can easily bring your return to more than 10% now and provide income in the future.
Foreign currency exchange, or forex, trading is a more accessible alternative to day trading, which requires investors to maintain at least a $25,000 balance in a margin account.
Forex trading involves trading currency pairs — that is, the currencies of two separate countries. The investor purchases one at the same time they sell the other. A successful trade is one where the exchange rate is favorable to the investor, such as when the currency being sold increases in value relative to the currency being purchased.
Forex trading is largely unregulated, so it’s even riskier than trading stocks. It can also be expensive if the dealer charges high fees. However, you can open a demo account to learn the ropes, and then start small when you’re ready to trade for real. Eventually you can work your way up to a point where you can earn returns of a couple of percentage points per month on your investment.
Cryptocurrency trading gets most of the crypto-investment-related headlines, and for good reason. As of June, the largest gainers were up not just 10% year-to-date, but over 300% in some cases. Of course, cryptocurrency is notoriously volatile, and values can plummet without warning, so savvy crypto investors look for other ways to earn returns on their cryptocurrency investment.
One way is through staking, which involves locking up your crypto to make it available for network validators’ transaction fees. The crypto earns you interest while it’s staked — as much as 5% to 6% per year, according to Wired.
Alternatively, you can pair two different tokens and add them to a liquidity pool — a pool of assets that preserves a network’s ability to convert crypto to cash. This kind of pairing is called yield farming, and certain pairs can result in astoundingly high yields. Wired warns that yield farming is risker than staking, and the highest yields come from the most volatile pairs. But compared to pairs earning APYs of 10,000% or more, one earning 10% could be considered quite conservative.
Real estate is a great investment, because people always need a place to live, regardless of economic conditions. This doesn’t mean real estate investments are infallible, though. Some markets can be hot, while others fail. However, real estate markets are hyper-local and usually don’t have a strong correlation with stock market performance.
Plus, real estate investments can have several unique advantages, including cash flow, tax breaks and leverage. The biggest problem with investing in real estate is often the barrier to entry — buying properties is costly. There are cheaper ways to get started today, however.
One way is to serve as a hard money lender, also called a private money lender. Rather than purchase their own properties, private money lenders provide capital for other investors, such as property flippers and wholesalers. The money is locked up while it’s invested this way — you can’t cash out mid-project. But it’s not unusual for private lenders to earn 12% to 15% annual returns on their investment.
Hard-money lending can be risky. Only larger investors typically hold liens on the property — everyone else is essentially out of luck if the project fails to turn a profit. But an experienced flipper with a solid track record can produce solid gains for their investors in a relatively short period of time.
If that’s still more money than you want to invest, consider more conservative options such as real estate exchange-traded funds and real estate investment trusts. While these investments have their drawbacks, such as investment fees and lack of leverage, you can get started with very little money.
However you choose to invest, real estate has a lot of potential to generate 10% returns.
If you’ve ever used a credit card, you know there is a lot of money to be made lending money to others. After all, many credit cards have interest rates of over 20%. Peer-to-peer lending is a similar concept, except you become the lender in this case. The borrowers are individuals or businesses who are not using bank lending for one reason or another.
You probably won’t see returns as high as credit card APRs. Some investors have seen returns of more than 10%, according to Yieldstreet, but Kiplinger reports that typical results are closer to 5%. If you’re comfortable with more risk for more potential reward, though, this could be one option worth exploring.
This investment is lower on this list because although the potential reward is great, so is the risk level. Junk bonds are a type of bond that is rated below investment grade. These ratings generally come from rating agencies like Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s. These are something like the penny stock equivalent for bonds.
In other words, while junk bonds can produce impressive returns, the companies issuing them are usually at a greater risk of default than those that issue investment-grade bonds. However, some junk bonds may be issued by companies that are not in terrible shape financially.
If you want to invest in junk bonds, look for companies on at least decent financial footing.
The best reason to buy art is because it brings you joy, but all the better should the work increase in value. As an investment opportunity, returns on art investments lag behind S&P 500 returns by a few percentage points, according to RBC Wealth Management. But that doesn’t mean you can’t choose pieces likely to outperform the market.
RBC recommends buying what you love, first of all — most investors cite passion for art as their primary motivation for collecting it. On the financial side, these tips will help you make choices that could be lucrative in the long run:
- Research art and artists to learn about the market and how to differentiate between quality work and hype.
- Network with artists, gallery owners, dealers and other collectors.
- Be open to works in forms other than painting.
If your budget doesn’t allow for purchases of original art, consider purchasing fractional shares of art through a platform such as Masterworks. Masterworks members buy and trade shares in what the company says are “multi-million dollar, blue-chip artworks.” One benefit of investing this way is that you can spread your investment dollars across multiple works to diversify your art investment portfolio.
Credit card customers paid interest rates of over 20% on their credit cards in the second quarter of 2023, and consumers with personal loans paid 11.48%. Paying off these high-interest debts guarantees a return equal to your interest rate.
If you don’t have the cash to pay off your balances, consider getting a balance-transfer credit card with a 0% promotional introductory rate. Look for one with a long promotional period, such as Citi’s Simplicity card offering 0% APR for 21 months.
Just remember that come the end of the promotional rate period, you’ll be back to paying high rates again if you have an unpaid balance.
Changing jobs is a career investment that can return well over 10%. The average wage increase when changing jobs is actually 14.8%, according to Zippia.
You can also boost your earnings with a career certification, whether in the field you currently work in or one where you’d like to work. They’re available for a wide range of fields, including information technology, healthcare and energy-related technology.
A 401(k) is a retirement investment account offered by some employers. Many 401(k)s offer a variety of investment options, some of which might earn you 10% or more on your investment. But more importantly, they have other perks that can result in an effective ROI of well over 10%.
For one, your contributions are made with pre-tax dollars, and your money grows tax-free. If you’re in a lower tax bracket when you withdraw the money in retirement, your tax savings could be substantial.
What’s more, some employers match employee contributions up to a certain amount — 50% or 100% of your contributions, up to 3% of your salary, for example, or 100% of up to 3% and then 50% on up to 2% more. This is free money that automatically increases your return by the percentage of the match.
You’ll likely need to remain with your employer for a number of years before all of the matched funds are yours to keep — a process called vesting. Many employers use a vesting schedule, where you become vested in a certain percentage of the matched funds each year, or automatically become fully vested after a certain number of years.
Sinking a lot of money into your own startup can be risky, not to mention stressful and time consuming. Purchasing an established small business, on the other hand, gives you the benefit of the current owner’s hard work and experience and, after some training, lets you simply pick up where they leave off.
You can find businesses for sale within your own community through a local real estate agent or newspaper and online classifieds or by visiting a marketplace such as LoopNet. If you don’t want to make that drastic a commitment, you could look into buying a profitable e-commerce business you can run from home, in your spare time. Flippa lists over 2,000 online businesses and digital assets, including websites, Amazon stores, domains and mobile apps.
There’s no guarantee that your new business will generate 10%. Increase your odds by choosing a business in a stable industry, and with a long track record and proven profitability.
You can find 10% returns on several types of investments, but it’s best not to put everything into one type of investment. Diversify as much as you can, so that even if one investment fails, the others can help hold you up.
In addition, it’s always wise to review your investment strategy with a financial advisor before fully committing.
Here are some quick answers to common questions about maximizing your returns.
- How can I get 10% interest on my money?
- The best way to get 10% returns is to invest – you won't find 10% APY on any bank account in the U.S.
- The S&P 500 is a good place to start, but you should also consider real estate and other alternative investments, like art and wine.
- Where can I get high interest on my money?
- If you're planning to deposit your funds in a savings account, take a look at banks with high APYs, like UFB Direct, CIT Bank and Bask Bank.
- If you don't need to have quick access to your funds, consider a high-yield CD.
- Is 10% return on investment realistic?
- Yes, a 10% return on investment is realistic, provided you're willing to wait for it. The average yearly return on the S&P 500 between 1928 and 2022 was 11.51%, but there were years with negative returns.
- You'll have to be willing to wait out the bad years to reach those double-digit returns.
Bob Haegele contributed to the reporting for this article.