5 Ways to Invest in the New Year

by Miranda Marquit · 7 comments

Now that a new year is well underway, it’s time to figure out how to make it great.

One of the best ways to improve your life and your finances is to invest. You can invest your money and you can invest in yourself. Here are some of the best ways to invest in the new year:

1. Boost Your Retirement Account Contribution

One of the best ways to invest is to boost your retirement contribution. That’s money that will grow for you over time. It’s even better if you work for a company that offers an employer match. In those cases, you get free money to invest.

If you have room to increase your retirement account contribution, do so — even if it’s just by a few dollars every paycheck because getting into the habit of improvement will help you be able to increase the contributions even more down the road.

2. Start (or Grow) a Business

You might be surprised at how much of a return you can get when you start or grow a business.

Consider a side gig if you haven’t started one yet. You don’t need a business that allows you to quit your day job if that’s not your thing, since even an extra couple hundred dollars a month can add up over time.

And if you already have a business? Consider making a small investment in growing it this year. Just a little bit more can help you see big returns down the road.

3. Open a Taxable Investment Account for Different Goals

This isn’t for the faint of heart, but it can be a way to save for different goals. My long term emergency fund is in a taxable investment account (an all-market fund). So is my travel fund. If you are looking for a way to save for different goals that aren’t retirement related, then a taxable investment account can be one way to go about it.

You don’t even have to open an investment account if you don’t want to. Think about the things you want to do with your money, and at least open a high-yield savings account to help you work toward those goals.

4. Invest in Yourself

Don’t forget to make investments in yourself. Pay attention to things like your health. Your eating and exercise habits can make a big difference down the road. Better health saves you money in the long run, and it can help your overall quality of life today and during later years.

Make it a point to invest in learning as well. You don’t even have to sign up for expensive classes. I’ve downloaded a language app to help me practice another language. I also spend time on the piano and reading. Find things you love and take time to do them. You’ll be happier for it.

5. Invest in Others

Don’t forget to invest in others either. Build those relationships with your loved ones. These relationships, and the time and effort you put into them, will repay you many-fold later on. I already enjoy my relationship with my son, and am happy to think of how it can grow even more.

You can invest in others through charity as well. Charity helps the community and society as a whole, and that’s good for everyone. Plus, it can give you a good feeling to know you are helping, and that helps your mood and quality of life.

There are a lot of investments you can make in the coming year. Figure out what matters to you, and invest in it.

Editor's Note: I've begun tracking my assets through Personal Capital. I'm only using the free service so far and I no longer have to log into all the different accounts just to pull the numbers. And with a single screen showing all my assets, it's much easier to figure out when I need to rebalance or where I stand on the path to financial independence.

They developed this pretty nifty 401K Fee Analyzer that will show you whether you are paying too much in fees, as well as an Investment Checkup tool to help determine whether your asset allocation fits your risk profile. The platform literally takes a few minutes to sign up and it's free to use by following this link here. For those trying to build wealth, Personal Capital is worth a look.

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  • Richard D. Lum says:

    Building relationships with people you love and care about is the best investment for your future 🙂

  • Go Finance Yourself! says:

    Great list! I’m using my taxable investments as a long-term emergency fund as well. I’m also saving for our next car purchase and house purchase in taxable investment accounts. I just can’t stomach having that much cash earning just 1% interest!

    • David Ning says:

      I hear you. Banks are swimming in liquidity though so don’t expect rates to rise much anytime soon unless something else changes.

  • Freedom 40 Guy says:

    I opened a taxable investment account when I first started working – always knowing that this would be my “freedom fund” to get me to a point where I could retire well before the traditional retirement age. I’m on track to do so by 40 in large part due to this!


    Hello Miranda,
    Some good advice that we took this second have of the year. Also utilized our 401k options to invest in our own stocks and boosted our 2016 return to 38%. We are a believer in taking our own control!

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