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Steve Alvest


Best alternative investment platforms

Trading stocks through platforms like Robinhood or TD Ameritrade is well known. But there are other types of investments you can make online besides stocks.

I like to take a small percentage of my investment money and experiment with different types of investments. Some turn out to be profitable, while most are just novel ways to lose your money (classic 80/20 rule).

Here are some of the ones that worked for me, and a few that I haven't tried yet, but find intriguing.

Best alternative investment platforms

    1. Coinbase

    At this stage in the game, cryptocurrencies are pure speculation. I would advise against owning cryptocurrencies if you're just following the crowd. However, if you understand the technology and believe it has a bright future as I do, then Coinbase is probably the best way to start. Despite the recent meltdown in crypto prices, I've done well with my crypto investments on Coinbase (I started in 2016 and steered clear of the shitcoins).

    2. Masterworks

    With Masterworks, you can invest in fine art just like you invest in stocks. The company has a team of experts who buy fine art with the hopes of selling it years later at a profit. I think there's a minimum starting investment of around $1,200. I bought a share of a piece by Jean-Michel Basquiat a couple of years ago and it has appreciated by about 17% so far (despite the rockiness of the stock market).

    3. Fundrise

    Fundrise is kind of like a real estate investment trust (REIT), but offers investors more control of how their specific investments are allocated. It's a company that invests in real estate in hopes of turning a profit. You get to invest in parts of their business and share profits (or losses) with them. I've made a small gain in my investment with them over the course of the past couple of years, in a time when the overall stock market has lost ground.

    4. Collectable

    Collectable works a lot like Masterworks, but instead of fine art, you trade in sports collectables. I used their platform for speculative investment in high-end baseball cards for a couple of years, but cashed out and left the platform a few months ago with about a 30% overall loss. I have to say it's fun and gave me a way to own rare and expensive baseball cards, but in the end it's all pure speculation and not fit for true investing.

    5. tZERO

    The tZERO platform lets you buy and sell security tokens in tiny startup companies. These are like a hybrid between stocks and cryptocurrencies. In essence, it's like what the stock market would look like if it were powered by blockchain. I invested in a company that I'm a client of for a few years, but ultimately cashed out and got out with about a 30% loss. I like the platform, but I think it's still too early and the security tokens on the platform are still too thinly traded.

    6. AcreTrader

    AcreTrader is a platform for investing in farmland. I haven't tried it yet, but I find the idea intriguing. This might be the next platform I try next time I get some extra money I can afford to lose.

    7. Sweater

    Sweater allows nonaccredited investors (like myself) to participate in angel investing of startups. I also haven't tried this one yet. It works similarly to Fundrise, where Sweater invests in select startup companies, and you can put in money to get in on the action.

    8. Goldmoney

    Like many people, I've always had an interest in holding some precious metals, but I've always backed out once I consider the logistics of buying, secure delivery, storage, and ultimately selling of the precious metals. Goldmoney takes care of all that. I haven't tried it yet, but I'm assuming they make money by commissions and maybe storage/maintenance fees.

    9. Wealthfront

    Another one I haven't tried, but keep hearing about is Wealthfront. It looks like you deposit your money with them and they'll handle long-term investing with automated diversification and tax loss harvesting. Looks like a nice way to set it and forget it.

    10. YieldStreet

    One more I haven't tested out yet. YieldStreet helps you easily diversify your investments into several available categories of alternative investments like real estate, crypto, art, venture capital, short term notes, and others.

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