Hungry for higher yields than you're getting?
Some out-of-the-box, alternative investments can pay you beefy interest rates -- and can even be fun or help others. They range from investing in Broadway shows, becoming a hard-money lender, funding startup companies and dishing out loans to peers or entrepreneurs. The vehicle you choose depends a lot on your risk tolerance.
But payoffs can be big. For example, you can nab yields up to 6 percent by making microloans to entrepreneurs in developing countries and become a budding philanthropist.
Further up the risk curve, online tools let you invest in the next Facebook, though you'll need nerves of steel. "The launch of LinkedIn is luring investors," says Jeffrey Sohl, director of the Center for Venture Research at the University of New Hampshire. "But if you can lose money without changing your lifestyle, that investment is fine."
Here are some other alternative investments to consider.