How to Invest $10,000 Today?

To some of us $10,000 is an affordable amount to invest. To others that is a large amount of money not often seen. But whether you saved hard to get it, inherited it, got a great work bonus, or just have money to spare, how should $10,000 be invested?

If I handed you a check for $10,000 today would you know how to best invest?

Sometimes when you have a five figure amount to play with people get a little flustered. That is enough to make a difference in several areas of your life but what should take priority? Paying off debt, saving, investing, education, there are a number of options. If that $10,000 is the first of many, you can relax knowing the other needs will one day be met.

But if it will be a while before you see a larger sum like that, you need to feel secure that you have made the best choice for you.

Here is my promise to you. By the end of my article I will have offered enough options for most people to have 2 or 3 investment options they want to look further into. There will be some that are more high interest saving options, some that are more risky investments, some long term opportunities and some self-investment opportunities.

Avoiding Temptations to Make a Better Choice to Invest Today

Now of course it is only natural to be tempted to treat yourself to something. Common desires include;

  • A great vacation
  • A new car
  • A pool or hot tub
  • New kitchen appliances
  • A trailer
  • Cosmetic surgery

It is nice to be able to get something immediate, something you feel you deserve to have, especially if you have worked hard for that $10,000. But I strongly advise you to avoid blowing all of that money on such things. Think more long term and you can reap higher rewards. Try to resist the instant gratification tempting you!

Ten, fifteen even twenty years from now you will truly be glad you listened to me. You will have better financial freedom and more satisfaction later on. Key to investing $10,000 is to think about what your current priorities are and what are your plans down the line.

Potential Investment Opportunities

I will lay out for you 16 investment options when you have $10,000. A good mix of safer options, self-investment, more traditional investment options and how to get started right now. Those 16 options are;

  1. 401k
  2. IRAs (Roth IRA in particular)
  3. Peer to peer lending
  4. Robo Advisors or Auto-Pilot Investing
  5. Mutual Funds
  6. CDs or High Yielding Savings Accounts
  7. Health Savings Account (HSA)
  8. Motif – a new investing platform
  9. Stock Market DIY
  10. Bonds
  11. Real Estate
  12. Education – getting coached, a degree, online courses, a new designation
  13. Starting your own business
  14. Get a blog started
  15. Get a Podcast going
  16. Amazon FBA

Before You Get Started Investing With $10,000 Get Your Finances in Order

Before you consider any of the above investment options you should make sure you have gotten things in order. Have a plan in mind. Be smart. You should be smart about any kind of investment plans, but especially ones that involve larger amounts.

Stop and look at your finances and check the following;

  • Am I in a lot of debt right now that needs to be cleared off?
  • Do I already have retirement investments in a 401k and or an IRA?

If the answer is yes to the first one and no to the second, this is what you need to clear up first. You should pay off at least the high interest debt you have like credit cards, that will save you money you would otherwise had to have paid later on. If that debt though is low interest, you can consider not completely clearing it, so you can invest some.

Before you look at alternative investment options you really should get something going with a retirement plan of some kind. These will be discussed in a moment in my 16 investment options to follow.

Get your debt sorted out and your retirement started. Then you can look to other opportunities to invest 10,000 dollars.

What Are Your Goals?

Are you looking for short term, mid term or long term gain from your investments?

What risks are you willing to make?

Do you have a cushion if you go high risk and it does not work out?

Will high risk investments stress you out?

Do you want something more traditional or something different?

So let’s get started on those investment options and what they could offer you.

16 Options for Investing $10,000 Today

1) 401k or other Employer’s Retirement Plan

Probably the most basic and essential type of investment people should make sure they have going is some form of retirement plan. The most common one people invest in is a 401k, or a retirement investment plan their employer invites them to. The money in the 401k is invested in several ways with things like funds, bonds and stocks.

What is great about this option is a lot of companies will match their employees contributions usually up to a certain per cent. So you could be making free money! You could put some or all of that $10,000 into your 401k, long term retirement investing.

If you are not currently putting money into a 401k ask at work about it and see what percent they match to. In some cases there may be an expectation for the employee to work for so long before the matching starts.

If you do not work with a company that offers a 401k or something similar, get yourself at least one IRA going.

2) IRA (Investment Retirement Account)

If you do not have contributions going to a 401k you should get them going into an IRA, or more specifically a Roth IRA. IRA stands for Investment Retirement Account, and is another option for those making long term investments for retirement. Some have a 401k or an IRA, and some do both. If you do not have either, and now have $10,000 to put into something and no 401k is possible, open an IRA. There is a traditional IRA and a Roth IRA.

The traditional IRA;

  • You contribute to an account that is used to then invest in a diverse range of investment options including bonds, stocks and ETFs.
  • You do not pay taxes on your contributions
  • You do pay taxes when you make your withdrawals
  • Withdrawals happen when you are in your 50s.
  • You can put in up to $5,500 a year or $6,500 a year if you are already in your 50s.

The Roth IRA;

  • You contribute to an account that is used to then invest in a diverse range of investment options including bonds, stocks and ETFs.
  • You pay taxes as you make your contributions.
  • You do not pay taxes on your withdrawals.
  • Withdrawals happen in your 50s.
  • You can put in up to $5,500 a year or $6,500 a year if you are already in your 50s.

Financial advisor and expert Anthony Montenegro thinks a Roth IRA is one of the best ways to invest in your future. There is an income limit though to open one with $120,000 being the max earnings for you if you are single, and $189,000 if a couple.

3) Peer to Peer Lending

Peer to peer lending sites online let borrowers and investors (lenders) like yourself come together. Essentially instead of a borrower going to a bank to get a loan, they come to you the investor. You make money from the interest. This opportunity allows for higher interest rates to be earned and removes banks and their rates.

There is some risk to this form of  investment compared to more traditional options, but you should be able to cover the risks with the higher interest rates.

There are a number of sites to choose from but one example of peer to peer lending is at the Lending Club. It has a good reputation for good returns. They suggest investors start with a $2,500 sum which then means you can diversify more and so lower the risks. Another good site is Prosper. Both are easy to use. Prosper say the average return investors get is 6.59%.

4) Robo Advisors or Auto-Pilot Investing

Auto-Pilot Investing platforms are also referred to as robo advisors and are great for people who want to invest money but want all the work done for them basically, but without the fees traditional brokers charge. You go online to find them; an example is Betterment.

At Betterment or Wealthfront or whatever platform you choose, you open an account and fill in a questionnaire. It is not too long but take the time to fill it in properly as the investments it will make for you will be based on those answers.

Advantages to Auto-Pilot Investing with $10,000;

  1. It is all automatic from investment selection to collecting tax losses. You can check in on how it is doing but you will not be asked to constantly be making decisions.
  2. Fees in most cases are very reasonable and a lot less than traditional brokers.
  3. At Betterment for an account of up to $10,000 the management fees are 0.35% so $35 a year. That drops to 0.25% between $10,000 and $100,000 and then down again to just 0.15% over $100,000.
  4. User friendly so easy to use.

Disadvantages to Auto Pilot Investing;

  1. No personal service or real people to talk to unless you pay for that service
  2. You are not in as much control

5) Mutual Funds

The interesting thing about investing in mutual funds is you get to diversify. When you invest in stocks you have to choose which companies you want to invest in. If you work with a mutual fund the diversification is done for you and there can be bonds, stocks and a mix of short and long term investments.

6) CDs or High Yielding Savings Accounts

A no risk investment option for $10,000 is to put it into high interest yielding savings accounts, or CDs. You can use online or real banks, but the online options like Everbank tend to offer better rates.

Basically the longer you keep your money in the account the higher annual percentage yield you will get back off of it. Different accounts have different minimum amounts. Higher requirements will give higher yields. You are looking at between 1 to 2.25%.

7) Health Savings Account (HSA)

Not everyone has heard of this option, a HSA is another safer way to put your money in a place where it will earn good interest. This account though is specifically aimed at those who have health plans with high deductibles. It comes with the bonus of tax benefits too. So  how does it work?

  • Put your contribution into a HSA and deduct those contributions from your taxes
  • Let it grow with interest tax free
  • Withdrawals are also tax free
  • When you need to withdraw it for health care expenses you can (as long as they qualify)
  • Max investment amount is up to $6,900 a year for families and $3,450 for individuals
  • Over 50 year old investors can invest an extra $1000
  • When you are over 65 you can withdraw for any reason, not just for health

8) Motif – A New Investing Platform

If you are looking for something new and different another investment platform you could take a closer look at is Motif. This is an interesting mix of a DIY investment option and a robo advisor. This is a place where unusual and out of the box investments can be made. So what can you do?

  • Takes a minimum amount to start an account, at $250
  • If you want to custom your motif to create a more varied collection of specific interests to you for $9.95 you can do so
  • Motif allows investors to have more control over what you invest in so you can basically build your own more eclectic mutual fund
  • You can also look at and invest in other people’s motif
  • You decide how much you are investing, not how many shares you want
  • There are less management fees

9) Stock Market DIY

Investing in mutual funds is a popular choice amongst investors. Especially if the amount is in the small figures. However when you have something like $10,000 to invest and if you have some knowledge you can do well trading stocks yourself.

There are online tools that let you be more hands on in the investing, ones like TD Ameritrade and Etrade for example. These are online brokerage sites and the stock market is a good place to make money, though there is of course some risk. Just choose one, open an account and learn about how it works and what resources are available.

Be sure you have educated yourself and have a plan. Also make sure you are ready for possible losses and know what you will do should it happen so you do not make emotional decisions.

10) Bonds

Investing in bonds is very similar to buying stocks. A bond though tends to be safer as it is more predictable. When you buy a bond you are essentially buying a debt and there are three basic types;

  1. T-bonds or Treasury bonds from the government
  2. Municipal bonds that states and towns will issue so they can then fund various projects
  3. Corporate bonds which are issued by companies that need to raise money

The issuer’s credit will affect the rating given to the bonds they issue. So very often it is possible to work out what return you will get on a bond you are thinking of buying before you do so. Investors just need to use that rating and how long the bond takes to mature.

11) Real Estate Investing and Home Improvement Investments

It is also an option to invest in real estate and there are several ways to go about that. Of course you cannot go out and buy a building with $10,000, it won’t even make much of a down payment on one by itself. However there are investments called REITs, or Real Estate Investment Trusts. Advantages to investing in these rather than owning your own buildings are;

  • More diverse – you can have a portfolio with a range of types of properties rather than all your money in one
  • Less work – being a landlord takes work
  • Advantages in taxes
  • More liquid – buying and selling is like trading in stocks, a lot easier than buying and selling actual property
  • Better earnings – REITs bring in more money than a lot of other types of stocks

There are a lot of ways to get into them. Online is one with places like Fundrise. You can look through what investments they have to offer quite easily. The lowest amount you can invest this way is $500. The fees are low too and you get good returns. Another place is RealtyShares which already has over a hundred thousand investors successfully using it.

Home Improvements

If you intend to move out of your home in the next few years it could be a good investment to put some or all of that $10,000 into renovations. Just make sure what you spend on it does not cost more than what its value becomes. In fact often home owners do not need to put in a lot of money just choose the right things.

This is not about getting yourself a whole new kitchen. Making small updates in those rooms will bring in more of a return. It is also about repairing the roof or putting in better windows. Some energy efficient options come with bonuses and tax breaks too.

12) Investing in Yourself – Your Education

Investing your money does not just have to be about assets, stocks, bonds and such. There are several ways you can take that $10,000 and invest it in yourself. One of those is your own education and development. That might mean;

  • Coaching – consider joining a coaching program in an area you are interested in to get mentoring. From someone with similar goals or outlooks you can learn new skills and improve your life. Personal development is important.
  • Go back to school – go to college or university and get the degree you passed up on before. It might allow to move further in your current career or make a whole new career change. People with degrees and masters do earn more than those without.
  • Study online – there are a variety of courses online if you prefer not to go back to school. Most allow you to study at a rate you can fit into your life.
  • Earn a designation – study for a certificate to get yourself a designation in your line of work or in a new line of work you want to change to. Certifications show customers and people you work with that you are serious, knowledgeable and credible.

13) Start Your Own Business

If you have skills or knowledge that you think could lead to a successful business opportunity perhaps you should invest that money into starting it yourself. Often people say that leaving their job and starting their own business was the best choice they made. Also the scariest, but rewarding in terms of satisfaction and income.

  • Decide what business you want to start
  • Educate yourself about it
  • Create a business plan
  • Take advantage of the internet to generate interest in your venture
  • Make sure you know about your competition and that you have something that makes you different or better than them
  • Get experience if you need it in that area – for example if you want to open a restaurant, work in one so you understand what it is about
  • Get some advice from some experts

14) Get a Blog Started

This is something you can invest in won’t cost anywhere near the full amount you have. This means you could do this and something else. Think of a subject matter that is fairly broad so that there is a lot topic to cover. Something you know a lot about and are interested in writing about. Perhaps finance for example…

Create a blog and write articles on all things finance, or whatever your interest is. If you create enough valuable content that draws people in to your site you can generate income from their visits. That is why there are so many blogs nowadays. Where does it come from?

  • Basically you can advertise on your pages
  • Sell products for other people
  • Sell products for yourself

Usually blogs are a side business rather than a main income. But if you are very good at it you could make more of it once it becomes more successful. You can get the blog going at whatever pace you want too.

15) Get a Podcast Started

Not that into writing? Like the idea of creating something that communicates ideas and opinions to others? Then how about a podcast instead of a blog. These are essentially a spoken article you place on your website. But you can also place them on other websites to increase how many people listen to them.

Again the income comes from adverts and donations from listeners.

  • You can advertise on your pages where the podcasts are, as well as in the podcasts themselves
  • Sell products for other people
  • Sell products for yourself

The extremely successful podcasters can earn a surprisingly high income.

You do not need super great equipment when you start out, but as you grow in listeners you will need to get better gear. Watch for fees and charges from host of podcasts.

16) Amazon FBA

The FBA in Amazon FBA stands for Fulfillment by Amazon. Essentially you bargain hunt and then send what you found to Amazon. They will market your items and sell them for you, even handling the shipping, take a cut and send you your cut.

If you wanted to have an online business but have no experience or time for the marketing and advertising side of it, this is a great opportunity. You have access to the huge number of buyers Amazon has and you can deal in both new or used goods.

There are two accounts;

  1. A free account called an individual account more for people who do this is a side business.
  2. A professional account that costs $39.99 a month and is for people who are fully committed to selling on Amazon.

You could invest all of your $10,000 in stock to sell, or just some of it.


So now I have given you a number of ideas on how to invest $10,000 today. I am sure your mind is spinning a little with the opportunities open to you. Make sure you take some time to get a clear plan before you act.

While $10,000 is not the large amount it once was thanks to inflation, it is still a good amount to many of us. Make sure you get this right, and you could get several investment options going that will help make life a lot easier, in the short term, mid term and long term.

Don’t forget to make sure you have some basics set up and high interest debt paid off. Then with $10,000 working for you the results could be quite impressive!

Feel free to look at other investment options. While the above are the more common ones, there are others. Just do your homework on them first.

Key things I want everyone to take away from my advice here are;

  • Before you make any kind of investment get your finances in order. Get rid of high interest debt first. That means clearing those credit cards.
  • Make sure you have one or more retirement plan invested in, a 401k, Roth etc.
  • Then explore what more you might do with your $10,000 or whatever is left of it once the retirement plan is invested in.
  • Have a plan in mind for the kind of returns you want and the risks you are willing to take and stick to that plan.
  • Have a nest egg tucked away in case things do not work out.
  • Get advice whether online or from real brokerages, talk to some experts.
  • Decide whether you want to be more hands on and whether you want it be more automated and invested for you.
  • Avoid making overly emotional investments.
  • Watch out for fees and charges and such. In some situations these can add up to a hefty bill. Avoid wasting chunks of your money when there are alternatives with lower fees and charges.
  • Try to diversify your portfolio, it is the best way to reap rewards from more risky investments, but balance out losses with safer ones.
  • If an investment does not work do not let it put you off investing. Move on.
  • Investing does not have to mean stock markets and such. It can mean improving yourself, investing in yourself for a better tomorrow.
  • While you should track your investments, do not let it become an obsession, get on with your life!

However you got $10,000 rather than leaving it sitting in a bank account where it is not earning even much interest, you should get it working for you. Be smart and you will be glad you took action today.

Updated on: November 12, 2018