If you're finding the tried and tested ways of growing your capital aren't offering the returns you're after why not try investigating in some of the following alternatives.
Peer to Peer Lending
By lending your money to other credit-worthy individuals you can earn a rate of interest that far outstrips the figure you'd stand to receive by depositing in a savings account. In addition, compared to other forms of investment, risks are very low due to the number of precautions taken by peer-to-peer lending organisations to screen borrowers. You don't even need to worry about managing your money as the lender will make all the loan arrangements on your behalf. Simply set your criteria, name your rate, put in your money and reap the repayments.
Unlike some types of assets, the value of land is sure to appreciate as the human population increases and pushes up demand. This means that just by leasing a piece of land to a farmer or farmers, you can benefit from steady returns every year. If you are interested in the business and do not own a piece of land, you can use the money you have to purchase a fertile land in any part of the country and start leasing it to interest parties.
Even if you do not rent out your land, you can settle on it and engage in farming yourself. You can sell your produce to your neighbours, local hotels, or to companies dealing with agricultural products and enjoy being your own boss. You can also link with relevant governmental or private agencies and start exporting your produce to other countries in large scale.
In micro investing, you can team up with other like-minded investors and fund a startup business of your choice. Depending on your agreement or financial status, you can choose to pump in as much or as little as you can afford. The main advantage in micro investing is that if the business becomes successful, you are sure of getting what you deserve when it comes to sharing of profits. Due to the volatile nature of micro investments, you need to do your own research to make sure you are putting your money in the right type of business.
The value of timber has risen above the rate of inflation for the best part of a century and, as an investment, is less volatile than the stock market taken as a whole. On top of this, timber is a great way of diversifying your portfolio as its price movements do not have any strong correlation with other asset classes.
Unlike land, there is no fixed amount of timber in the world and it is always possible to plant more trees. However, demand is still far out stripping supply, which is steadily shrinking.
Wine investment is not the exclusive reserve of experts. With reputable wine brokers able to help you out you can potentially see yourself making returns of 20% on premium vintages. You should always bear in mind the commission you'll be owe your merchant and take this out of your planned profits. Stick to Bordeaux produce and concentrate your spending power on the best you can buy, even if it's just a single case.
Ben Taylor writes about some of the less obvious ways ordinary people can earn a return on their cash, from peer to peer lending to fine wine. He works as a wrtier and editor for FinanceNet.