Your friend comes back from a seminar and starts blurbing something they heard about how passive income is the key to financial success. You’re too busy watching your son about to feed the family dog his Snickers bar to pay attention.
As you pack the dog into the car for an emergency trip to the vet, your friend tells you he’ll talk to you about it later. Fortunately, the dog makes a full recovery, and time passes. A few months later, you bump into your friend at the grocery store.
He starts telling you about this passive income scheme he’s involved with again and tells you that he’s set himself up to retire in a few years. This claim sparks your interest, and you decide to find out more about this passive income thing.
The truth is that passive income is the backbone of wealth for many investors. It’s the secret to how they manage to make so much money while still partying on a yacht for three days. There are different types of passive income, and various assets and vehicles you can utilize to generate cash.
In this guide, we’ll look at passive income ideas that can help you get your money working for you instead of you working for your money.
The Typical Income Model
You work hard for your paycheck. Every morning you go through your routine when walking up, and head to the office. After a long day working for your bosses’ enrichment, you return home, eat, sleep – and then do it all over again.
The most valuable commodity we have in our lives is time. Time allows us to experience life. However, to experience the best that life has to offer, you need money. Therefore, most of us trade our time for a salary.
Most of us work 40 to 50-hour weeks, and in return, we get a paycheck that allows us to keep our heads above water financially. However, the rising cost of living means that many of us have very little left in our bank account at the end of the month.
When you’re struggling to get by in life, it’s challenging to put anything aside in savings. If you are one of the fortunate few that do have savings, a medical emergency is enough to drain your account dry.
There’s an issue with trading our time for money, and only receiving enough to get by in life. It’s the fact that we can never get ahead. When you only have one income stream, you’re working all day to receive a paycheck at the end of the month. There’s very little time and energy left after the working weekends to do anything else.
As a result, you end up saving as much as you can in a 401(k) plan, and hoping that you manage to have enough to retire.
The Retirement Conundrum
The problem with retiring is that it’s a point in life where many Americans stop working. When the average person retires from their job, they lose their only income stream. As a result, they have to rely on their savings to get them through the next two or three decades of their life.
Unfortunately, inflation and the rising cost of living eat away senior’s savings in retirement rapidly. As a result of landing in a dire financial situation, many seniors end up returning to work during retirement.
Recent jobs data indicates that more seniors entered the workforce over the last two quarters than millennials, while the percentage of millennials in the workforce ally declined.
So, how do the rich manage to stay so fantastically wealthy, all the way through retirement? How can they have the money to hand over an estate worth millions to their children, all while being retired?
What is Passive Income?
The answer is passive income. Passive income differs from traditional income models. With traditional income streams, you trade time for money. With passive income, your money works for you and earns you yield on your capital.
Therefore, when you set up a passive income stream, you have no time obligation or work involved with creating money. In essence, you are receiving payment for doing very little in terms of work and sacrificing your time.
Also, since you have more time on your hands, and you’re earning an income, you can scale your model. This strategy allows you to set up multiple streams of income. Instead of trading your time for money, you are now making an income from allowing other people to access your assets and businesses.
Imagine if you had three or four income streams when you retire. Imagine that you never have to lift a finger to work, but your bank balance keeps growing. That’s the true power of passive income. You can retire, and your money keeps working for you.
How much does it cost you to live every month? As a student of financial success, you should already have a budget set for your monthly expenses. So, do you know your number? Whether it’s $5,000 or $50,000 – what if you could cover that amount with income from your investments?
That’s the definition of true financial freedom.
When the income from your assets exceeds your monthly expenses, and you still have surplus cash left to grow your investments further – you no longer have to work. Instead, your money works for you.
Doesn’t that sound like a dream come true?
Passive Income – The Holy Grail for Investors
What is passive income? Let’s use this example to demonstrate. After a few weeks of strategic negotiations, you close on your first ever rental property – congratulations!
Assuming you’re an astute investor, that means that the total cost of your mortgage and monthly property expenses, (such as management, maintenance, levies, and taxes,) comes to less than what your tenant pays you in rent.
Whatever money is left over after deducting your expenses from the rent, is called passive income.
While real estate is a favorite vehicle of the wealthy for creating a passive income stream, it’s not the only game in town. You can generate passive income through a variety of investment strategies.
How Do You Create Passive Income?
There are a variety of passive income models available to suit the seasoned or entry-level investor. Regardless of whether you have been at it for years, or you’re getting your feet wet, there’s a strategy for you.
When it comes to creating a passive income stream, you need to understand that it takes money to make money. One of the greatest lies sold to people that came out of the new self-empowerment movement suggests that you can sit on the couch all day, think positive things, and money will come to you.
The only thing we can guarantee will happen if you use this strategy. It’s that the sheriff will eventually come knocking at the door when the money doesn’t find you, and you can’t pay your bills.
If you want to earn passive income, you need to be prepared to work for it – at least in the beginning.
Let’s look at two examples.
The first is network marketing. Stop. Before you click another site, hear us out. Network marketing to many is associated with Ponzi and pyramid schemes. However, Herbalife has made millionaires out of thousands of their members, and it’s still around today. (Regardless of the current management and legal problems facing the company today).
Building your business in network marketing requires a tremendous amount of work. Prospecting, qualifying, pitching, and closing on prospects is the easy part. However, training and growing your team is where the real money is in this strategy.
Team leaders that establish a productive, valuable network through coaching and support of their team members, end up creating passive income. These individuals eventually reach a point where the amount of monthly residual income from their network helps them achieve financial freedom.
Another example would be Angel investing. VC’s and angels typically sit on funds worth millions, or sometimes billions, of dollars. They look for investment opportunities in companies that need capital to grow.
An example would be the recent IPO of the ride-sharing company, Uber. Before Uber went public, it endured a few rounds of private finance from venture capitalists and angel investors to gain its valuation.
These investors are looking for internal rates of return on their money upwards of 30-percent. The same goes for investors involved in large commercial real estate projects. Typically, these investors don’t take an active role in the company. They are there to provide capital, take no active part in the business, and then receive as much money as they lent in two to three years. How’s that for passive income?
It Takes Money to Make Money
As you can see from these two examples, there are extremes in creating passive income streams. However, one theme is consistent – it takes money to make money.
In the first example, the person did not have cash on hand to create a passive income stream. Therefore, they dedicate their time to the business.
Since our time is all we have to create income, applying your time to a project, like a network marketing business, costs money. Never forget that money is merely a reflection of the time we spend working.
Eventually, with persistence and dedication, the marketer reaches the point where their team takes over growing the business. All these people have left to do is sit back and coordinate things from a cellphone on the beach a few times a month, while thousands of dollars in commissions roll into their bank account each week.
In the second example, the angel already has money, and their priority is to grow the fund. Since they have access to millions or billions of dollars, they take the appropriate risk and gain a superior reward. At this level, its all about managing risk, and VCs are typically cautious about whom they lend money to in their business.
That does not mean they spend hours pouring over a company’s financial statement – they have staff for that. Owners of VCs live comfortable lives. While they may always have their money on their mind, and stay motivated to work, they do it because they love it – not because they have to earn a living working.
Passive Income Ideas for the Real World
By now, you should have a clear understanding of passive income and what it takes to achieve it.
We assume that the majority of readers are not yet VC multi-millionaires, although they may aspire to be one day.
With this in mind, we put together a few offline and online passive income ideas to get you started. Pick a strategy that resonates with you, and get to work building your first passive income stream.
Investing in Real Estate
The chances are that you have already heard someone speaking out how real estate is the best investment you can make. Real estate is the backbone of the American economy, and home prices continue to trend upwards as the decades fly by.
However, investing in real estate is very different from buying a home. Some people may tell you that your home is your best investment. However, these people are wrong. Your home is an appreciating asset, but it costs you money to maintain.
Even if you own your home outright, If you stop paying your property taxes, then what happens? The sheriff comes round to your home and seizes it for non-payment of your utilities and property taxes.
Every month most American homeowners take care of mortgage payments. Therefore, your home is actually an expense, and you should list it on the liabilities side of your personal balance sheet. However, there is a way to turn real estate from a liability into an asset.
When investors buy property, they do so intending to never live in the house, apartment, or condo they are buying. Instead, they intend to rent the unit out and make a profit from the rental income.
To make the real estate profitable from day one, and to earn the investor an income, it must produce cash flow. Cash flow describes the difference between the mortgage costs on the real estate and the rental paid by your tenant.
For example, the Mortgage, utilities, and taxes on the apartment are $1,750 per month. If you’re charging your tenant $2,500 per month for rental, then your apartment presents you with a net positive cash flow of $750 at the end of the month.
In other words, the tenant is paying off the asset for you, and you are earning a passive income from the rent every month. We call it passive income because you did not have to work to make that kind of money.
Think about how long it would take you to earn $750 at work. How many hours on the job does it take you to earn $750? You made that through one investment that provides positive cash flow. Now, let’s take that concept a step further. What if you had 10-properties all handing you $750 per month in positive cash flow?
In this scenario, you would have a passive income of $7,500, for doing absolutely nothing. Some people might argue that they don’t want to be a landlord and have tenants phoning them at 2 am because of the geyser bursting.
That’s fine, then hire a property management team to do the dirty work for you. Property managers might charge 10-percent of your annual rental income, but they are worth the money. Plus, you get to write the costs of the management services off from your taxes during the filing season.
Investing in a REIT
Investing in real estate doesn’t mean that you need to own property physically. There are other vehicles you can use for property investments, as well. An example of a high-yielding real estate asset that produces passive income is a REIT or Real Estate Investment Trust.
A RIET operates like any other company listed on the stock exchange. The REIT controls a real estate portfolio and makes money from lease agreements to large entities such as corporations and the government. To qualify as a REIT, the company must distribute 90-percent of its profits to shareholders in the form of dividends.
If you’ve ever heard anyone talking about receiving free government rent checks, then they are talking about investing in a REIT. The US federal government has over 2-million employees and lease agreements on some 55,000 buildings across the United States.
Investing in REITs that have the federal government as clients is a fantastic option to create another passive 9income stream. Every year you receive a healthy dividend for the REITs profits. With the federal government as a tenant., you don’t have to worry about defaults of business bankruptcies.
A REIT belongs in the investment portfolio of anyone looking to create more passive income streams.
Investing in a Business
Getting into business is the same as investing in real estate, concerning how most people view it as an asset. When you average American leaves their company with the hope of starting a business, they decide to work in the business, rather than on the business.
In other words, most business owners set up shop and then give themselves a position within the company. Often, this position has to do with the general management of the business. As a result, the person may have a more profitable job, but they have a job nonetheless.
If the business owner gets sick or dies, then the business fails. This strategy is not the way to invest in companies to create passive income. If you spend your days working as an employee of the company, you aren’t creating a passive income; you’re working for a living.
Investing in companies to create passive income requires a different strategy. With this model, you look to acquire a shareholding in undervalued businesses that you think are ready for a comeback in earnings.
By investing as a shareholder, you take no active role in the company. All you need to do is collect dividends and attend shareholder meetings. Therefore, you are creating money by investing in the company, not working for it to earn a salary. There is no time commitment on your behalf, only a capital commitment.
Buying a Cash Business
The second strategy for investing in a business to create a passive income is through purchasing a cash business. Companies that offer shareholding to investors are typically large corporations. You’ll only be buying a small number of shares with your capital and receive a dividend on your investment during the earnings season.
However, if you want to create a monthly cash flow from the business, then you need to take a different approach. Buying a cash business like a laundromat or a car wash is an excellent way to provide your portfolio with another passive income stream.
These businesses are self-managed operations, and you don’t need to spend any of your time washing cars or handing out change for the laundry machine. When you purchase a cash business, it comes with a full staff complement, including managers that run the company for you.
As a result, you get to keep the earnings of the business at the end of the month, and you pay your employees a salary. As a business owner, you get to take advantage of tax breaks to reduce your taxable income, increasing your profits.
Cash businesses are self-sustaining entities that pay you positive monthly cash flow. Make sure you get your accountant to go over the books before you buy any cash business. The owner may make accounting entries that hide the real value of the company or blow it out of proportion with its actual earnings.
However, your accountant can identify any funny business, and let you know if you are making a prudent business decision or buying a failing business. Once again, it’s important to note that you are not working in the business. In this case, you are working on the business, and therefore there are minimal restraints on your time.
Our third option for investing in a business to create a passive income is through network marketing models. Many people know of network marketing as a “pyramid or Ponzi schemes.” However, these descriptions of this business model are overly harsh.
The truth is that network marketing offers people with limited resources, the chance to start a successful business. Renowned best-selling author and financial guru, Robert Kiyosaki, calls network marketing “the perfect business.”
With network marketing, there is plenty of work involved in the initial stages of the business. Therefore, it’s not a true passive model. However, after you build a productive downline, the company takes on a life of its own.
Your downline grows without any input from your side, and you can stop recruiting new members into your business and training them. Every month you receive a commission check that gets larger and larger as your network and business expands.
Some talented network marketers earn 6-figure passive incomes, and they spend their days relaxing on a beach. Network marketing is a valid business model, but you need to be careful about which business you decide to join.
When joining a network marketing company, you must select an established company with solid ethics. Joining fly-by-night companies could wind up with you being part of a Ponzi scheme.
Investing in Managed Portfolios
The fourth option for investing in businesses and companies is through managed portfolios. Some investors like Warren Buffet, spend hours putting together investment deals before they buy a company. However, as a passive investor, you don’t have the time to complete due diligence on the assets you buy.
Therefore, the best strategy to use in this case is passive investment models. Passive investment models are typically portfolios of companies, index funds, ETFs, and other market constituents. A mutual fund pools together investors’ money, and then allocate the funds to various assets mentioned beforehand.
A fund manager controls the flow of money, as well as the investment strategy. You have no say in the strategy, and you receive annual returns on your capital. Most mutual funds return their clients around 6 to 9-percent per annum before deducting costs.
Later in your investment career, you can take advantage of setting up an account with a hedge fund instead of a mutual fund. The world’s best money managers run hedge funds, and some of them make their investor returns of over 90-percent per annum.
However, not all hedge funds follow the same investment strategy. Therefore, you’ll need to research your hedge carefully before deciding on where to park your money. Hedge funds are only available to qualified investors or high net-worth individuals. You must have a salary above $250,000 per annum, or net assets above $1-million, excluding your residence.
Breaking the Mold
Up until this point, we’ve been discussing the most common ways investors use their money to create passive income streams. However, it takes money to make money if you follow any of those models.
The chances are that if you’re reading this article, you are at the start of your investment career. As a result, you probably have very little in the way of disposable income or savings to help you start your investment journey.
That’s ok; everyone starts somewhere. We outlined the following passive investment opportunities for new investors. Follow any one of these strategies, and start boosting your paycheck with passive income today.
Sell Information Products Online
One of the best ways to create passive income online is through the creation and sale of information products. Information products don’t cost you anything to produce, and all you need to sell the product is a website. Therefore, the overhead costs of running this business are very low.
Some people may think that they need writing experience of specialist knowledge on products to create information-based products people will buy. However, this is not the case. Today, you don’t need to be an expert on a topic. There are thousands of people online that already know way more about the subject than you.
One of the most popular means of creating information-based products to sell online is to write an eBook. Ebook’s are in high demand, and they offer a recurring sale, where you don’t have to keep any inventory in stock.
Let’s say you do some keyword research, and you find that bonsai trees are a trending topic online in 2019. You don’t need to know anything about bonsai trees to write a great eBook. Hop over to sites like Upwork and Fiverr, and you’ll find thousands of talented writers looking for work.
Post your job proffering on the platform, and let the writers send you proposals for your eBook. Then pay them a minimal amount for the content, and launch your book online. Every time someone buys your book, you receive a commission.
This idea may not sound like something that can make you a steady stream of passive income. However, it’s easy to scale this model and produce 20-eBooks using other people’s knowledge and skills.
If you have a portfolio of 20-eBooks, each bringing you $100 in commissions every month, that’s a healthy passive income stream.
Ebooks are not the only information-based product that you can sell online. You could build a course that people might find value in using. For example, maybe you know how Facebook ads work. You could create a course showing people the strategy you use to make money through the social platforms ads manager.
Since 2015, podcasting experienced a boom in popularity. Today, millions of people have a podcast, talking about anything from religion and politics, to cultural issues, and entertainment. A great example of someone that turned their hobby into a viable business is comedian Joe Rogan.
Rogan launched his podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience,” in 2010. The idea of the podcast was to hang out with his friends and talk nonsense while they laugh and have a good time. Over the last 10-years of podcasting, Rogan amassed a YouTube following of nearly 6-million subscribers.
Today, Joe spends his experience talking to interesting people and learning new worldviews. You could hardly call what he does work; it’s more like hanging out and chatting with friends. Still, the recurring income from YouTube advertising nets Joe and his producer, Young Jamie, an average income of $30,000 per podcast.
Build a Lifestyle Blog
If you’re getting started on your journey to creating a passive income, then try out blogging. Building a lifestyle blog is an excellent way to generate passive income online. If you have a hobby you enjoy, then you probably can talk about it for hours. There are millions of people online that want to hear your viewpoint.
By building a blog, you get to capture an audience that’s in line with your values. If you release a steady stream of top-quality content, then you can expect to start to attract viewers. With the use of a few SEO strategies, you could begin driving serious volumes of traffic through your blog every month.
When your blog starts to receive decent traffic volumes, you can monetize it and charge advertising revenue. Advertisers and sponsors will pay your income to advertise on your site. Eventually, you can reach a place where you hire writers to keep your blog going while you pick up the checks.
The best thing about this model is it’s scalable. You can create dozens of blogs, monetize them all, and receive a healthy passive income each month from advertising revenue.
Vlogs are another similar concept that’s gaining popularity online. An excellent example of a vlogger that’s making money producing great content is surfer Koa Rothman. Koa started his vlog, “This is Livin’” in 2018. Since the vlogs launch, he has amassed nearly 50,000 subscribers on YouTube and continues to grow. Last year, Koa won Surfline’s “Best Vlog of the Year” award for his efforts behind the camera.
With over 30,000 views per video and counting, Koa is making a decent living from his YouTube vlogging efforts. What makes this a passive income model, is that he uses a professional editor to cut and edit his videos. Koa pays Jack with earnings from the blog, and all he has to do is surf and be himself.
Fulfillment By Amazon is a new business model that’s kicking up a storm of interest online. E-commerce is a growing industry that’s putting traditional retailers out of business. In 2018, consumers spent more than $510-billion online, and that number is set to grow in 2019.
Traditionally, e-commerce businesses had to import their goods from manufacturers in China or other regions of the world. The marketer then needs to store the goods and sell; them on their website. When someone buys a product, the marketer is responsible for shipping them their purchase and handling any customer concerns.
With FBA, you ship your goods to an Amazon fulfillment center. You then create a storefront on Amazon selling your products to people browsing the site. As an FBA partner, you get to benefit from all of the traffic entering the Amazon site, which accounts for more than 50-percent of global e-commerce traffic.
Amazon takes on the responsibility of storing and shipping your sales.
The company also takes care of handling any customer returns, as well. The company charges you a commission for handling all of the work, and you get to focus on marketing.
Start a Business and Have Someone Else Run it
Owning a business can be a profitable venture if you manage to get it right. Many people make the mistake of founding new companies and then working in the company to earn a salary. This strategy is a mistake.
Being a business owner means that you take no active role in the business. You have managers run it, and your accountant takes care of the books. In some cases, you might not ever even set foot inside the business premises.
All you are interested in is the bottom line and the advice of your team. You rely on your managers to direct the business and give you new ideas for growth. You rely on your accountant to ensure the ship stay afloat, and the books make sense for the tax man.
Cash businesses are a favorite for investors. Owning a gas station, a car wash, vending machines, or a liquor store is an excellent way to start building a portfolio of assets that provide you with passive income.
Many people may think theta they can’t afford to buy a business, but they are wrong again. There are various government programs and private lending institutions that provide entrepreneurs with loans to buy a business. Small business is the lifeblood of the economy, and the federal government wants to do all it can to stimulate small business growth.
Invest with Money Managers
Once your capital starts growing, you’ll need to allocate it to another financial vehicle other than your savings account. Leaving your cash in your account may look great on your monthly statement, but it’s doing nothing to bring you passive income.
Visit with a financial advisor and an investment specialist. These professionals draw up a financial plan for your future and suggest vehicles to park your money. Mutual funds, ETFs, and managed portfolios are all excellent options for generating Alpha on your money.
Most managers charge a 2/20 fee model, meaning they take 2-percent of your account value in fees each year, and 20-percent of the profits they make on your account balance. Eventually, you’ll reach a stage where your money generates a real passive income stream that requires no input on your behalf.
Other Articles to Help You Make Money Online
Build an E-commerce Store
E-commerce is taking the world by storm. Research shows that almost 20-percent of all retail sales worldwide happened online during 2018. That figure is set to increase in the coming decade, and you can get in on the cyber gold rush of the future.
Under most circumstances, setting up an e-commerce store is plenty of hard work. Building a site, sourcing products, and shipping your goods to customers takes up enough time to keep you busy all day, and that’s not an ideal passive income model.
However, Amazon made it easy to retail online when they introduced their “FBA” model. The Fulfillment by Amazon model works by using Amazon to create your storefront, saving you development costs while allowing you to benefit from the millions of daily visitors to the site.
Along with the free traffic, Amazon allows you to ship your goods to their warehouse locations across the United States. When someone orders a product from your store, Amazon employees process the order, pick and pack your product, and then ship it to the customer. They also handle all returns and customer service; all you need to do is pay them a commission for their efforts, sit back, and collect checks.
Sell a Virtual Product
Many talented entrepreneurs create information products like courses and eBooks and then sell them online. This strategy is an excellent method of generating residual income, without incurring monthly overheads like you would in a cash business.
A landing page and some SEO is all it takes to direct traffic to your offer. If you have expertise in a particular area, consider writing a book on the subject and sell it on Amazon. However, you don’t need to know what you’re talking about to write an eBook. Visit a freelance site and hire a writer to write the book for you.
Building an online course is also an excellent strategy for creating a passive income stream. For example, you could create a sales education course which consists of videos and PDFs. Sell the course for a profit, and guide your prospects through a sales funnel that offers them other products that they might be interested in, such as a leadership course.
Wrapping Up – Find a Mentor
Sit any successful investor down, and ask them about how they got started with investing, and they’ll tell you it was through the guidance of a mentor. Finding a mentor can fast-track your financial success.
A mentor has already experienced the pitfalls that lay before you as an investor. By learning from a mentor, and using them as a sounding board for investment strategy ideas, you gain from their experience. The mentor can point out any potential problems with your strategy, and help you to avoid mak9ing critical mistakes.
Remember, time is our most valuable asset. If it takes you ten years to make $10-million, and you lose $5-million overnight in a bad deal, then you have to rebuild your net worth by 100-percent, to be back at breakeven. How long would this take you to accomplish, and how much of your time does it waste to recover your investment loss?
A mentor is invaluable, and they are the secret to the success of many entrepreneurs. You can find a mentor in a variety of places. Attend marketing and networking events, personal growth seminars, and workshops. These events have tons of people walking around, and many of them have the same mindset as you.
You’ll meet people, and you might even bump into someone that you could use as a mentor. Business meetings and functions are also great venues for finding mentors as well. However, in the digital age, it’s not as challenging to find a mentor as you think.
If you have issues with meeting new people or blindly introducing yourself to another person in the hope they will be you, mentor; then there is an alternative.
The internet is a fantastic resource, and an excellent platform to find yourself a mentor. Look through videos on YouTube related to your niche and identify the influencers and leaders in your industry. Check out their website, and they may also offer a mentorship program.
By working with a mentor, you get to circumnavigate the treacherous world of personal finance and investment.
We hope you take some of these strategies and tips and make them work for you. Leave us a comment with your experience of investing, and which passive income model you think suits your situation.
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