How Would You Invest $10,000?

You’ve probably heard it said that it takes money to make money and that, in order to really strike it rich, you have to invest. On top of that, news stories of soaring stocks and even the recent rise (and fall) of cryptocurrencies can leave many wishing they had the funds available to get in on the action. So, assuming you had the money, what would be your top investment choice? A recent survey by LendEDU not only compiled the top answers to that very question but also looked at how those of various generations differed in their responses.

The LendEDU survey asked 1,000 American adults what they would do if they were given $10,000 tax-free and provided them a list of options to choose from. Not surprisingly the top response overall was “pay down debt,” with 27.5% selecting that option. In second place, 13.5% said they’d invest in real estate. More specifically 28.89% of those respondents said they’d invest via a real estate investment trust (REIT) while 22.96% would pool their money with other investors to buy a property. The third most popular answer overall was a more conservative option: invest it in a high-yielding savings account or CDs. That response was favored by 12.2% of those surveyed.

As mentioned LendEDU also broke down the various options by generation, comparing the responses of Millennials (18-34), Gen Xers (35-54), and Baby Boomers (55+). While some of the responses were in line with each other, there were some notable places where one generation’s choices stood out. For example, as you’d expect, 9.93% of Millenials said they’d use the funds to invest in their education compared to 1.08% of Gen Xers and .28% of Boomers. Millennials were also more likely to invest in peer-to-peer loans and cryptocurrencies than their elders, while being less likely to pay down debt or place their money in high-yielding accounts.

Meanwhile members of Generation X stood apart in a couple of their selections. Among those outliers, 11.32% of Gen Xers said they’d invest in their children’s education compared to 6.25% of Millenials and 2.8% of Baby Boomers. Gen X respondents were also slightly more likely to invest in a small business than the others surveyed. As for Baby Boomers, they were found to be more enthusiastic about paying down debt, investing in retirement accounts, and utilizing high-yield savings options than younger generations. Finally, while responses for those investing in peer-to-peer lending were low all around, 0% of Baby Boomers choose that as their option.

Intentionally or not, LendEDU’s survey actually highlights another reason why many average Americans aren’t investing their money: they have debt. This is especially evident among Millennials, who are most likely to have student debts among other obligations. Elsewhere it’s also interesting to see that more respondents are interested in putting their money into real estate than the stock market (which, thanks to apps like Robinhood, seems like a more accessible option). In any case it is good to see that people are thinking through their various investment options — and hopefully they’ll get to act on them someday in the future.

Author

Jonathan Dyer

I'm a small town guy living in Los Angeles looking to make solid financial decisions. I write for a number of finance websites, including HuffingtonPost and Business2Community. I founded DyerNews.com in 2015 to focus on personal finance and the emerging FinTech markets.

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