Weird Investment Tricks You Didn't Know Existed

17Looking for an alternative way to invest? Here are some of the most unique investment tips and tricks out there today.

1) You can sell your structured settlement for lump sum cash today

If you've been involved in an accident, then you may have received a settlement. There are typically two kinds of settlements: lump sum and structured.

Structured settlements award victims cash over time. You may receive $500 per month over a period of 10 years, for example, because you suffered whiplash in a vehicle accident where someone else was at-fault.

But why settle for $500 per month today when you can get one massive lump sum payment?

That's exactly what you can do with a structured settlement buyout. With structured settlement buyouts, you essentially sell your structured settlement to a third party.

That third party gives you a lump sum payment for your structured settlement.

That lump sum payment will be significantly less than the amount you would receive from the structured settlement annuity. However, many people feel that a lump sum payment today is more valuable than small monthly payments - which is why they accept a structured settlement buyout in return for their annuity.

If you have a structured settlement and would prefer to receive a lump sum, then you can "cash in" your settlement today in exchange for a lump sum buyout.

2) Take advantage of weird IRS tax deductions

If you're self-employed, then you might deduct a few restaurant bills, bar tabs, and green fees from your income every year.

But there are many more IRS deductions than most people realize.

You can take advantage of these deductions to save thousands of dollars from your tax return every year. Here are just a few of the unique federal tax deductions you're probably not taking advantage of:

-Deduct health care costs if you're fat: If you're overweight or obese, then you're at a greater risk of a number of health conditions. If your doctor has told you to slim down, then you may be able to deduct the cost of supplements and medications from your tax return. As long as you have doctor approval, you can deduct everything from weight loss remedies to blood pressure management pills.

-Claim your dog as a guard dog: If you're self-employed and own a dog, then you may be able to deduct a portion of the costs of caring for your dog. The IRS lets you claim dog-related expenses if the animal is used to protect your property.

-Stop smoking and get paid: You can deduct the cost of "smoking cessation" from your tax return. Patches, anti-smoking aides, and other programs are all eligible for deduction. There are some restrictions to this deduction and not everyone will be eligible.

-Claim your swimming pool: Swimming pools are expensive. But if you can reasonably claim your swimming pool alleviates certain medical conditions, then you can claim it as a tax deduction.

3) Bet on your death

Out of all the tips listed here, this one is definitely the most morbid. You can actually bet on your own death.

Here's how it works: you need an existing life insurance policy and you need to be alive. You decide you want to cash in early on your life insurance policy. After all, why should your relatives get all that money?

You can sell your life insurance policy to an outside party. Then, if you die before the estimated life expectancy, the buyer will receive a high return. If you live longer, the buyer will get a lower return.

It sounds crazy, but it's a legitimate financial strategy.

4) Bet against U.S. Congress and make money

This is another crazy investment trick that works for some people - but probably won't work for others.

Today, many Americans have a pessimistic view of U.S. Congress. Congressmen don't do anything, they're useless, and the decisions they do make worsen the economy, right?

Well, if you believe that, then you may want to invest in something called the Congressional Effect Fund (CEFFX). This unique fund invests in S&P 500 companies on days when Congress is not in sessions. Then, on days when it is in session, the fund invests in stable domestic securities outside of the stock market.

The fund is up 6% since 2010, but the S&P is up 22% over that same time period, so it's difficult to recommend this unique strategy. But hey, 6% is better than 0%.

If you have any questions, please ask below!