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Smartest thing to do with 5-10k dollars?

I seek the wisdom of the great multitude of intelligent people that pass through this sacred place.

I'm a 20 year-old college student who has saved up 10k dollars over the past 5 years of working as a lifeguard. What is the smartest way to invest 5-10k to make some more money in the short term? I'm loathe to let it languish in a savings account and I would like to have some cushion money when I leave college to pay for loans and what not.

I appreciate any and all advice!

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Pay more attention to keeping what you have

In todays economy dollars are losing value while you are reading and bernanke is printing money and will not quit.(Absolutely do not buy anything on credit or take out any more loans. Do not go into debt) You should preserve the wealth you have right now you have more wealth than most Americans. You will have to diversify to protect your wealth. Just my take, buy some silver from a local dealer that does not require your name and address. Maybe a thousand or two of your money. Junk silver(90%) old us coins like dimes,quarters halves and silver dollars are easy to barter with and will grow in value. Don-t tell anyone you have it and hide it somewhere safe. Buy yourself a nice 22 rifle and as much ammo as you can say 5,000 rounds. I don't know if you are on your own or live with your parents but build a close family relationship. You will need a place to store drygoods. Buy yourself a Berkey water filter because water is the most important item in sustaining life. Buy like one poster said things like bic lighters, some alcohol(not to drink but to trade) The economy if Ron Paul does not become president will be barter. The things people need to survive is what you should buy when you see them. If you wish to start a new business with whats left and my suggestion would be invest in used tools and survival gear to resell. People will be looking for food, things to stay warm, ect. You could even sell your filtered water down the road if things get where they get tough. People will always trade for alcohol and cigarettes. Maybe rolling papers and tobacco would be good. Good us made tools are always good trading stock. You will survive any downturn if you do this. Buy at garage sales and auctions. Money will not do you any good soon. Used Comodities that are well made will hold their value. Always keep some cash as well just for the short term. You should do just fine.

tasmlab's picture

If you saved $10k at age 20

Then you are probably a pretty bright and disciplined person.

While this crowd will wisely convince you to invest in canned tuna fish and ammunition, I would consider doing something fun while you are young. Travel to Europe or Africa if that floats your boat. Write a rock opera or publish your first novel. Take someone pretty out dancing.

Currently consuming: Gatto: "Underground history of education..", FDR; Wii U; NEP Football

life is short

but the amount of time left until the Economic meltdown is much shorter. It is unwise to Spend your Savings, in fact you are a loser if you are saving government fiat paper in general. The rich and intelligent are doing what is called Hedge their money - when something goes down, something else is going up. why spend it All when you can get more from it later.


His name is Edward Snowden

What is Capitalism?

+1 For physical gold/silver.

+1 For physical gold/silver. I've been buying silver myself, but if I had more cash I would probably pick up some gold as well.

Correct. It's stupid to put

Correct. It's stupid to put your money in a bank. You can find more lose change on the bus than you'd ever earn in a savings account. Plus the bank and the gov't can take your money anytime they want. It's vulnerable.

The stock market is as volatile as a woman on her period so you have to convert the worthless cash into something of value like gold, silver, real estate (land) not a home.

Pay off as much debt as possible

After that use it to pay for college degree.

If there is any left, pay for valuable skills training or to better your appearance.

Earning money will always be the primary way you will make money. So invest in things that maximize your earning potential.

Avoid shortcut thinking like investing in things where you hand your hard earned money over to strangers (stock market, real estate, etc). That is the basis of con jobs like lotto.

Once you are earning so much that you don't know what to do with it, THEN you can afford the risk of playing around with strangers.


It sounds as though your primary focus is having the money for college in a few years (or less?). Is that what you mean by "What is the smartest way to invest 5-10k to make some more money in the short term?"?

If you will be needing this money in the near future, you need to avoid stocks, commodities, real estate, etc. Unfortunately, what you need is an instrument with short-term principal protection (ugh... I hate to say it, but something like 2y treasuries @ about a quarter of a percent). Trouble is, with yields so low it's almost not worth the effort to invest (don't forget you'll have to file and pay taxes on what meager amount you've earned). Your biggest concern should liquidity, or how readily you can convert your investment to cash. There are instances in which the best value investments (literally buying a stock that is trading at less than the Company's cash balance) don't work out over a short holding period. In fact, the biggest investment opportunities are often the result of the market mispricing something; in your case, that would mean selling your "cheap" stock at an even cheaper price in a year or two.

If there is an amount that you don't need and won't need (in fact, an which, if lost entirely, wouldn't cause great hardship), then you should definitely explore some of what has been discussed below... but even if the views below turn out to be money makers (real estate, silver & other commodities, dairy cows, you name it... I happen to agree... a great investor recently said he's buying ABCD: Anything Bernanke Can't Destroy), it may require the investor to tolerate a long holding period with dramatic price fluctuations. You don't want to be forced to liquidate because you need the money; you want to decide to liquidate when the value proposition has shifted and the investment is now dear and no longer cheap.

Unlearning and self-teaching since 2008. Thanks, Dr. Paul!

Physical silver

I just sold all my stocks and emptied my bank for 999 fine silver bullion coins.
Price is about to explode!

Never again will this investment opportunity come


Yay Ron Paul!!!!
Freeeeeeedom calls!!

invest in the tools of your trade

This was Ron's advise to a young man who asked the same question at about your age and I thought it was great advise.

Not sure what you plan to do career wise, but having the materials to practice your trade effectively can give you more value for your dollar in the short term, and help prepare you for the uncertainty that is today's job market.

The idea is if you lose your job and need to work for yourself 5 years from now, you have the immediate means to do so. Couldn't find the video where Ron gave this advise (and it may have been Carol paraphrasing Ron anyway) but he touches on it briefly in this article under the section titles 'productive debt'.

- Grow Mushrooms at Home

Buy Physical Silver

Do not invest in the stock market! It is way too risky right now. We are currenlty watching an ecenomic train wreck in slow motion and the only answer has been to go further into debt....crazy right!

When, not if, we fall off the fiscal cliff it will make 2008 look like the good ol' days. If you are invested in the stock market, you will see your whole investment wiped out over night. PM's and a few other commodities will be your only safe haven. Also, the short term price volitility will drive you nuts; just know that it will pay off in the end. A great website to visit is Silverdoctors.com The commenters there are all Ron Paul supporter and many are fellow DP members. They are very friendly and extremely knowledgeable when it comes to silver investing.

*Note - if you do decide to buy physical silver your best bet is to find a good local coin dealer and buy from him. I prefer buying Americal Silver Eagles, they are the most identifiable and will be easy to sell when need be. They come with a small premium; however you will also receive that premium back when it comes time to sell. You can expect to pay around $2 to $4 over spot. I'd find another place if they want any more than $4 over spot.



As evil as Wall-Street is, invent in stocks, smartly. One of the best places you can go for investment advice is www.fool.com; they focus on long-term stock investments, and regularly out perform the market indexes. It's full of information if you're new to investing also.

With even just inventing 5k now, and holding it (short-term investing is risky, and tax-laden), you're starting off yourself to retire very comfortably.

also, if you are interesting

also, if you are interesting in just general financial advice, Dave Ramsey is an excellent financial adviser, advising on sound money practices (don't go into debt, etc). He has a course called Financial Peace University. It's simply amazing. I though I was knowledgeable in financial matters, but I still learned a lot.
Financial Peace University

Open a Chinese bank account in

NYC. We all know the Chinese purposely devalue their currency. If you live near NYC, the Chinatown office accepts US dollars and converts it into Yuan.

I called for the details. The bare min to open an account is $1500. You recieve two accounts. One Account in dollars and the other Yuan. When you want to withdraw your Yuan account it coverts it into dollars.

I have spoke with several Chinese businessman about opening a Chinese bank account and they all agree their currency increases on average 5% each year. You cant bet against China. If I could do this I would. I dont trust the dollar. Look at all the post here telling you to invest in silver or gold.

Buy Physical Silver...

Buy Physical Silver because the GSR (gold silver ratio) is high right now. It takes about 55 oz of silver to buy 1 oz of gold so the correct move in precious metals would be to by silver now and trade it for gold when the gsr narrows to the historic norm of 16 to 1. If you like paper investments then buy what Ron Paul has in his portfolio. Dr. Paul beats the average market returns every year

The Paul portfolio
Barrick Gold (ABX)

Newmont Mining (NEM)

AgniCo Eagle Mines (AEM)

AngloGold Ashanti (AU)


Pan American Silver (PAAS)

Silver Wheaton (SLW)

Standard & Poor’s 500 ($INX)


It sounded as if your main

It sounded as if your main concern is that your investment is short term and you want the money to be there when you go to take it out plus hopefully some gains. Many people here have recommended investments with lots of potential for big gains but with bigger potential for gains comes bigger potential for loss. You might consider a money market account or cd. Better returns than savings but historically extremely low risk of loss of funds. Yes, something like silver might provide fantastic returns over the same time period and provide an inflation hedge but it might also plunge like a rock.

I am not a registered financial adviser. No one who isn't a registered financial adviser can legally give financial advice so these are just suggestions of ideas to talk over with one. Everybody has financial advise for you but no one will be there to pick up the pieces should their 'sure thing' go awry so choose wisely.

Buy an Income Stream

I've bootstrapped myself up from about as much money as you have to ... well, let's just say I am financially independent. My meta advice is to consider carefully the source of any advice you are considering following. If the person isn't an example of financial success I suggest you discount their advice. Massively. If you find a good example of financial success, I suggest you do what they do and not so much what they say.

In particular I suggest you stay out of stocks. Few who tout stocks actually made and make the bulk of their money in stocks; they either tout them because they are ignorant or they tout them because they make their money advising stocks. In any case, the stock markets are no deal at this point on a dividend basis and are massively gamed and over extended. I also confess I don't like stocks as you are not an insider and don't have control.

I also suggest you stay out of metals. Although they may do very well going forward as the fiat money in the world degrades, they are a speculation or an insurance policy at this point; they are not an investment and they are not appropriate for someone who doesn't already have an income stream.

You have enough money to buy an income stream. Diligently seek one.

I particularly was intrigued by the poster who said that with 20K you COULD buy a web-based business which gushes cash. I don't know, from personal experience, how difficult that is to do on the web, but it sounds credible and intriguing.

Alternatively, you could buy an existing small business (or start one from scratch, but that is easier said than done). Be picky and insist on hard evidence of income, expense, and asset value claims. You're looking for a needle in a haystack from someone who wants out for personal reasons, not because the business can't cut it. Don't buy a job, buy an income stream. You likely will have to, and will want to, work the business while you build and learn it. However, ultimately the income stream should require very little of your time and energy or you bought a job and not an income stream.

Alternatively, you could buy a piece of real estate on the cheap. If you go this route, I suggest you use my rule of thumb: the property MUST be able to cash flow with your 20K down. Don't even look at anything which won't rent for more than 1% per month of the purchase price (e.g., if you use your 20K to buy a 100K house, it needs to rent for at least $1,000 per month). It is only above that 1% monthly return that you begin to have an income stream, so be really particular.

The artificially low interest rates have really distorted the markets. Everything touchable by hedge funds and flippers/ speculators has been touched. You should be looking for opportunities on the margin where your personal touch can make a big difference. You should be looking for niche opportunities which cash flow, can scale or be better managed to cash flow even more, and are generally not visible unless you go looking for them.

Good luck.

Bill of Rights /Amendment X: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

Do you need a politician or judge to "interpret" those 28

10% of 100K Renting Monthly

That's sound advice, I say. I like your outlook on metals too.

School's fine. Just don't let it get in the way of thinking. -Me

Study nature, not books. -Walton Forest Dutton, MD, in his 1916 book whose subject is origin (therefore what all healing methods involve and count on), simple and powerful.

Assume that the zombie

Assume that the zombie apocalypse is not right around the corner. Invest in yourself. Start a business of your own. Stick with what you know, or if you know nothing, get into what you think you'll love. As long as you have friends and family, and a good work ethic, you'll be ok if a collapse comes. Get busy living. Start a business as if it were 1995.

tasmlab's picture

Yea, this

I have friends who are still 'sitting on the fence' since 9/11 when the first economic bust happened. They postponed things like starting their own businesses and having families all waiting for the economy to get going again.

Now 11 years have passed! a huge part of their adult lives. And being 40 is different than being 30 and 30 is different than being 20 etc.

You have to keep living despite macro events that are out of your control. 519 rob is right.

Currently consuming: Gatto: "Underground history of education..", FDR; Wii U; NEP Football

buy commodities

id buy some commodities. not stocks. foods not going down in price for a very long time. and if you buy a basket itll beat inflation. and of course any awefull natural disaster makes it worth more. silver and gold is good as well but have alot of speculation driving price.


put options

have potential for big returns if the stock market tanks but you could loose your investment if it doesn't so not something to put your entire portfolio in. You also need more experience or know someone who does.

Got Milk ?

An old girlfriend use to regularly object to my faith in precious metals as a solid commodity investment by remarking - 'you can't eat gold.' She had a point. It's also not much of a growth investment play. You sock it away as a store of wealth.

But golden guernseys grow and multiply. Moreover, wilk and meat, and where it's derived, has intrinsic value if it connects to the real stuff that sustains life.

Dairy Cow Leasing:

Recently a friend asked to invest some money in animals on my farm to own a 'when TSHTF' commodity as a passive investor without all the work. We designed a deal that he regards as providing a great inflation hedged, off the grid return. In studying how to craft the structure that worked best for us I was surprised at all the online resources that are available to bring people together assisting people to customize arrangements, including university extension professors providing reports and formulas to aid in analyzing options.







It seems there are many organic food/raw milk fans who participate in herd sharing arrangements in order to have access to fresh farm products, but under the right relationship, as a more one-on-one investor you would likely receive your dairy products on a discounted basis while the connection would allow you to have greater security not just on your investment, but hands on security to your food. I've advised family to find a farmer near home, perhaps connecting through a local farmer's market. Once you are comfortable with the relationship, I'll bet you'll find your favorite small scale family farmer quite open to a proposal that he help you buy a few good young cows or heifers that he adds to his line up on leaseback terms that work for the both of you.
If, after looking into it, you think this might be for you and you have questions or need help designing a custom plan between 2 consenting parties, feel free to run ideas by me. I'd be glad to give you suggestions for particular symbiosis.

What could be a more libertarian/sound money/sustainable/revolutionary entrepreneurial investment in community based lifestyle, giving hedge when TSHTF ?

I'm an Organic Dairy Farmer

in central Ohio and may be interested in such an arrangement. The farm could hold more cows but I don't want to go into lots of debt.

Animals, Not People, Cash Cows In Stanchions

There are a few consulting firms on the net that seem to function like matchmaking services to link farmers and investors. I saw several that operate in your neck of the woods. One I cited above catalogs some of the benefits for farmers:

"*Leasing permits the dairyman to have all the privileges of ownership without a large capital investment. He can benefit immediately from the production of the cows he selects.

*The dairyman can expand now to increase his income without waiting three or four years.

*Cash requirements often limit the amount a dairyman can pay per cow. With leasing, the quality of the cows determines the lease price. Leasing allows the dairyman to milk high quality cows.

*The dairy farmer does not need the usual large down payment required for conventional financing...

*The lease payments may be a direct deduction from farm income.

*The farmer can increase his income with very little additional labor if he has feed and space available for additional cows.

*Cows can be acquired when the price is right. The farmer need not wait until funds are available.

*Leasing dairy cows provides the dairyman with additional financial leverage to maximize the size and profit of his farm.

*The dairyman can gain control of more assets through leasing without jeopardizing his line of credit."

I'm sure as a farmer you would recognize that the economies of scale, and thus higher profitability of the last 10-20% of the cows you put on line, would enable you to pay an investor an attractive return in order to jump to full capacity without waiting until you scratch up the capital. Likewise, I imagine many liberty revolutionaries would see the benefits beyond just the 15-40% returns possible (and steady income stream) while owning something real that compounds.

The goal in this phase of the revolution should be finding ways to facilitate putting entrepreneurial people together for hand to hand transactions beyond the reach of the centralized control matrix.

I have considered this

One hurdle I have is Organic cows are not as easy to come by as conventional cows. So do you lease cows or invest in them?

What ?

Organic is your farming method. Beef/Dairy cross young stock that will likely do well on grass (as opposed to supplements) takes a good eye, looking in the right place, and a hit and miss bit of luck. They're cheaper and easier to change up selling for meat value if they don't pan out than expensive pure dairy breeds.
Plenty of Amish in Ohio would have exactly the inexpensive livestock one would need. But then you'd know that if you were 'an organic dairy farmer'. So what's your real day job?

Real Estate

Buy some real estate. The prices are down now for that and it is more valuable than paying rent. Speculating with gold or silver or other commodities requires constant attention. I don't know if you want to do that. Buying an expensive watch can also be used to store value for a time.

UFOs are real
4 Hour Witness DVD (radar operators, pilots, scientists, military)
Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ud49Gh9yYLs
Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kpHAxxRKksQ

Buy some real estate Good

Buy some real estate

Good idea.

School's fine. Just don't let it get in the way of thinking. -Me

Study nature, not books. -Walton Forest Dutton, MD, in his 1916 book whose subject is origin (therefore what all healing methods involve and count on), simple and powerful.

Pay off any debts you may

Pay off any debts you may have first.. You need at least 6 months of your yearly income liquid in cash. After you have that, then you can start to think about investing in assets.

Paper is worthless Buy an

Paper is worthless

Buy an ounce or two of gold then the rest in silver. Silver is a steal right now. I would buy a safe and put in a GPS tracking device (thieves steal the safe then open them later)