The stock market is bouncing around like a balloon in the wind. The real estate skyrocket has come crashing back to earth. Bond yields are low and going lower.
What's a poor investor to do these days?
Should you cling tightly to the tried and true? Put your stock money only in large-cap companies that have stood the test of time? Move into fixed income investments? Buy bonds with tax-free yields?
Or is it time to break out of the box? Swing for the fences? Invest in atypical industries like vending machines, or dabble in the foreign currency markets?
Unfortunately, absent a time machine it's pretty tough to predict the future, and we can't say for certain which is likely to be your best bet. But we can offer you some options to consider.
So we've put together four investment ideas that are definitely a bit out there, aggressive and edgy moves that could pay off big. Or not.
And for the more conservative among you, here are four ideas that probably won't pay for your yacht, but just might protect your portfolio through whatever rough days lie ahead.
- Consider foreign currencies
- Don't follow the crowds
- Look to the profit-making machines
- Use payday loans to your advantage
- Buy silver
- Invest in big, consistent companies
- Invest per your age
- Good time to buy bonds
Consider foreign currencies
In the past year the dollar has slipped and the Federal Reserve has lowered the interest rate. That makes foreign currencies very attractive, says Jordan Goodman, author of "Fast Profits in Hard Times."
Goodman has been shorting the dollar for a while and says there are aggressive and conservative ways of doing foreign currency trading.
"The conservative way is to buy CDs denominated in foreign currencies," Goodman says. "You can get (CDs) in Canadian dollars, British pounds, Swiss francs, euros, yen or a multicurrency basket."
If you bought foreign currency CDs last year around 4 percent, Goodman says, those CDs would probably have beaten all conservative investments because "the dollar fell so dramatically," he says. "I think that's going to continue this year."
The more aggressive way to play foreign currencies is to trade directly. At Web sites like Forex.com, you can sell the U.S. dollar and buy the British pound, Canadian dollar, euro or whatever it may be.
"There are no commissions. Basically it's a spread business. It moves in very small increments," Goodman says. "With the Fed lowering rates, it makes the dollar even less attractive and it means the foreign currencies are going to keep going up."