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How to Invest 100K to Make $1 Million [COMPLETE GUIDE]

How to Invest 100K to Make $1 Million [COMPLETE GUIDE]

Do you have $100k burning a hole in your pocket? Looking for the right investment opportunities to turn that $100k into $1 million?

From savings accounts, real estate, and stocks to index funds, retirement accounts, and cryptocurrency, there are numerous ways to multiply your money. A diverse investment portfolio is best, but which methods suit your goals depends on several factors, including your risk tolerance.

That said, we'll walk you through some top options, touching on your investment style, where to invest, how long it'll take to turn $100,000 into $1 million, and more.

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How To Turn 100k Into 1 Million

Investing $100,000 might give you the leverage you need to achieve millionaire status relatively quickly, but investing that kind of cash can also be a scary prospect. You're essentially losing access to your money in exchange for potential future gains. For this reason, you should take stock of your situation and assess the factors that impact how you invest before you put your hard-earned dollars into anything.

Before we dive into top investment opportunities that can help you 10X your money, let's take a look at the factors that typically impact your investment decision-making.

1. Your Individual Circumstances

How old you are, whether you're in good health, how much you earn per year, what your family situation is like, and whether you expect to receive an inheritance are just some of the things you need to consider before investing. All of these aspects impact your financial sustainability, which is all the more important if you're considering long-term investment strategies.

If you feel confident that you can financially survive possible dips in your investments, then a more aggressive strategy may be for you. However, if the opposite is true, low-risk investment strategies will likely be more suitable.

2. Your Financial Goals

Your main goal might be to grow $100,000 into $1 million, but what are your supporting goals? Do you want to build up your retirement account? Are you hoping to buy a home? Are you saving for your kid's college fund? Do you want to generate interest income you can live off every month?

Having clearly defined goals upfront will help you build an investment plan accordingly. Since you won't become a millionaire overnight, you'll also want to think about your objectives for the next one, two, five, 10, 15, 20, and 30 years. This will give you a better idea of how to invest your money.

3. Your Timeline

Consider how soon you'll need access to your investments. If you need to draw out money sooner rather than later, it's best to opt for less aggressive strategies. For example, equities (i.e., stocks) aren't the best solution for a short-term investment approach. The stock market fluctuates way too much, leaving you open to losses if you need to pull out money when the market is down. On the other hand, if you're investing for something like your golden years, you'll have a better idea of how long you can tie up your cash.

4. Your Emotional State

Money can heighten emotions. If your emotions aren't in check, there's a chance you may make irrational decisions. Even if you tend to be a logical person by nature, losing your capital in investments with no guarantee of return may cloud your judgment. Therefore, you should ensure you're thinking clearly before you stake your cash on anything—no matter how good the return sounds.

5. Your Risk Tolerance

Risk tolerance relates to the amount of loss you can handle when making an investment decision. If you can't afford to lose a good chunk of your money, your risk tolerance is low. If you'll be relatively unaffected, you have a high tolerance for risk.

As you'll see with the strategies outlined later, each type of investment comes with a different level of risk. This is something you'll need to assess before adding a particular type of investment to your portfolio.

Now that you know what impacts your investing style let's take a quick look at where you should put your money.

Where To Invest 100 Thousand Dollars

Your goals play a major role when it comes to where you invest, and where you decide to invest heavily depends on which investing strategies you prefer. For example, you'll want to invest in bonds or stocks in a company that pays dividends if you're looking to generate income.

With this in mind, here are the most common investment strategies to consider when evaluating where to invest.

1. Active And Passive Strategies

Following an active strategy means frequently buying and selling to outperform the market and gain greater returns than the average investor. It typically requires a hands-on approach, usually by a portfolio manager.

A passive strategy also involves buying and selling stocks (often index funds or other mutual funds), but the deals are less frequent, and investors hold the stocks for longer. This is a less risky approach and helps them avoid high transaction costs. People who follow a passive strategy do so because they don't believe they can outperform the market's volatility.

2. Income Investing

Investors wanting a steady stream of income usually pick this approach. The strategy focuses on buying stocks that will generate an income rather than buying stocks that only increase a portfolio's value. Investors can earn cash income through fixed interest income generated by bonds or through dividends.

3. Growth Investing

With a growth investing strategy, investors will buy and hold a company's stock for a period based on how much they want to add to their portfolio. They buy stocks in a company they believe will grow in value, thereby increasing the stock's value. The holding period also tends to depend on how soon they need to access their funds.

4. Dividend Investing

Companies with a track record of consistently paying dividends are less volatile than others, and they work toward increasing their payout each year. This kind of stability is attractive for investors who will often reinvest to take advantage of compounding over the long term.

5. Value Investing

Leveraged by investor extraordinaire Warren Buffet, value investing is an approach that requires an investor to invest in a company based on its intrinsic value. The belief is that the company is undervalued by the stock market. When the market corrects itself, the price of the stock will skyrocket, effectively producing high returns.

6. Indexing

Considered one of the smartest investment moves, investing in index funds allows investors to purchase a small number of stocks in a market index. This includes S&P 500, stocks, and exchange-traded funds. Index funds are not only affordable, but they also have lower expenses and fees, offer greater diversification, and generate attractive returns over time compared to other types of actively managed funds.

7. Multi-Asset Investing

While stocks are a common addition to an investment portfolio since they typically produce the highest returns over time, the reality is that they're one of the most volatile assets. One way to lower risk and volatility while generating superior risk-adjusted returns is to create a more diverse portfolio by combining several asset classes. This can include stocks, bonds, commodities, hedge funds, private equity funds, cash, and real estate.

You can create further diversification by leveraging several of the investment strategies outlined already. It's with this in mind that we put together a list of investment opportunities for your consideration.

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How To Invest 100k Today

Whether you've dabbled in investments or you're a complete beginner, the following assets are a good place to start building your portfolio. When assessing each option, let your investment style, how diverse you want to make your investment portfolio, and your risk tolerance guide your decision-making.

Savings Accounts

Risk level: Low

If you're looking for the safest way to invest, this is it. Money in a savings account comes with a guaranteed safety net, as the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) insures these accounts for investments up to $250,000. The money can't be withdrawn using a check and can only be withdrawn at an ATM if the account is linked to a debit card. You can open a savings account at most banks and credit unions.

One downside is that a savings account tends to yield low returns (usually less than 1%) since the interest rate is characteristically low. However, you can also open a high-yielding savings account through online banking, which earns a higher interest rate than standard savings accounts. This type of account also comes with FDIC protection, but the reason it earns more is that it requires a larger initial deposit. Typically, access is also much more limited. You'll find offers for high-yield savings accounts from various financial services, such as American Express, Goldman Sachs, and Barclay's Bank.

One thing to watch out for with any type of savings product is account restrictions. For example, if you go over the number of transactions permitted per month, you may incur a service fee. Be sure to shop around for the best savings account offers to maximize your earnings and read any terms and conditions that may apply.

Certificates Of Deposit

Risk level: Low

Certificates of Deposit (CDs) are not only safe, but they also usually earn a slightly higher return than a savings account, especially if you're willing to hold your investment for longer. CDs have set terms ranging from a month to 10 years, with interest rates increasing the longer the term. Although you can withdraw your money at any stage, you'll forfeit part of your interest earnings.

Like savings accounts, CDs are FDIC-insured if you purchase from a bank, and the payout is guaranteed. In addition, jumbo CDs (i.e., balances of $100,000 or more) earn higher rates of return.

Money Market Accounts

Risk level: Low

Another safe place to park your cash is in a money market account (MMA). These interest-bearing accounts are very similar to savings accounts, but they offer certain checking account features as well. You can open an MMA at most banks and credit unions. Your deposits are insured, your money is accessible (with limits), and you earn a higher interest rate than you would on a savings account.

Mutual Funds

Risk level: Low to high, depending on what investments are included.

Effectively pre-bundled baskets of investments, mutual funds can be made up of stocks, bonds, or both. They offer a great way to diversify without much work, which is perfect for anyone who wants to invest but doesn't have the know-how or time to research individual stocks.

Mutual funds are actively managed by a person or group of people, so you're essentially investing in a portfolio of assets preselected for you. Risk and returns vary based on the assets included in the bundling.

Exchange-Traded Funds

Risk level: Low

One of the main reasons exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are highly recommended by financial advisors is because they're likely to have fantastic investment growth, they provide exposure to entire asset classes, and they're a low-cost way to balance your portfolio. They're also the perfect option if you don't want to pick individual stocks.

Similar to mutual funds, ETFs are pre-bundled. However, they're different in that they typically follow an index like the S&P 500, they're passively managed, and you can buy ETFs that focus on specific industries (e.g., healthcare or technology), companies (e.g., large corporations), or other types of investments (e.g., real estate or bonds). The average annual return is anywhere between 7% and 10% (i.e., the average yearly growth of the stock market).

Index Funds

Risk level: Low

An index fund is essentially a group of individual stocks purchased together. Instead of having someone actively picking the stocks and making trades, index funds track a single market index's performance. The benefit is that you can easily and cheaply invest in an extensive range of companies, which offers some protection in case a specific company or industry struggles.

Index funds have one of the most reliable track records when it comes to building wealth, regularly outperforming actively managed funds over time. Although the process is slow, it's an investment that yields great results.


Risk level: Varies

Bonds are issued by governments, states, municipalities, and companies to help fund projects. When purchasing a bond, you're essentially lending the bond issuer money. The issuer then pays interest on the loan for the life of the bond, which has a fixed interest rate and term. Once the bond matures, you receive the face value of the bond back.

Risk varies depending on the type of bond you buy. For example, if you invest in a corporate bond and the company goes bankrupt, you're unlikely to recover your investment amount. Another con is that there may be commissions or penalties payable if you decide to withdraw early. Bonds can be good earners, though, so it's best to speak to a bond broker to review your options.

Dividend Stocks

Risk level: Moderate

Dividend stocks are an incredibly attractive investment because they provide an easy way to generate a stable source of passive income. You can either use this to supplement your existing income or reinvest to keep growing your money to reach $1 million faster.

A dividend is a portion of a company's profit distributed to shareholders. If a company consistently raises its dividend (usually quarterly), it's a sure sign the entity is growing, and it's a good investment opportunity. However, Investing in individual stocks this way is riskier than some other options, as dividend stocks are vulnerable to increasing interest rates.

If you're prepared to tolerate the risk level, the key to success with this type of investment is to buy the dividend stocks of a growing company and then use your returns to buy more shares. Just be careful not to invest in stocks with above-average yields since this is usually an indicator that something is wrong. You can use a robo advisor like SoFi, Betterment, or Wealthfront to make the process easier.

Retirement Accounts

Risk level: Varies

If your goal is to turn $100,000 into $1 million for your retirement, why not invest in accounts specifically for that purpose?

One major benefit of retirement accounts like a Roth IRA or 401k is that they offer several tax benefits that simply don't come with a traditional brokerage account. For example, Roth earnings can grow tax-free, and the account isn't subject to the IRS's required minimum distribution.

In addition, you can invest in mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, and other stock market investments within your retirement accounts. This can help you build real wealth over time.

Real Estate

Risk level: Moderate

Depending on how you invest in real estate, it can earn substantial cash flow that's steady, predictable, and passive. Unlike stocks and other investments, it's also a tangible asset you can use for personal use.

How can you invest in real estate?

There are three primary ways, each with its own challenges, risks, and earning potential.

Traditional Real Estate: This involves purchasing a property and either flipping it for profit or renting it out to generate monthly income. Both methods can be incredibly lucrative, but you'll need to determine whether you're up for taking on the responsibilities of a landlord or if you want the hassle of renovating a fixer-upper.

Real Estate Investment Trusts (REIT): These are companies that sell shares in various real estate investments. This allows you to not only get your feet wet in real estate investing without much hassle, but you can also buy into larger real estate projects rather than a small house or condo. You'll have little control over where your money is going, though, so you'll need to do your due diligence. If you want to diversify your real estate investment, you can do so by purchasing ETFs that bundle real estate investments.

Crowdfunding Real Estate: Similar to crowdfunding for a cause, crowdfunding real estate is when multiple investors pool their money to participate in larger real estate deals. You can earn through this method by either receiving a set dollar amount or by getting a cut when the building project is completed and generating an income. With crowdfunding real estate growing in popularity, numerous online platforms have emerged to make the process easy, including CrowdStreet and Fundrise.

Of all the investment opportunities listed here, real estate is likely to give you some of the biggest returns. However, it requires you to do your research to make sure the investment is sound before you part ways with your precious dollars.


Risk level: High

There's no denying that some people have made a fortune thanks to the growing popularity of cryptocurrency. However, it's an extremely volatile investment, with some cryptocurrencies experiencing swings in value of more than 10% in a day. If you can stomach that kind of risk, consider putting a small portion of your $100,000 into cryptocurrencies that have shown promise. You'll need to register with a crypto wallet like Coinbase, eToro, or Ledger to get started. The upside is that some of these services offer sign-up bonuses like free money or cryptocurrency to get going.

Although there's no secret sauce or magic wand for turning $100,000 into $1 million, the investment opportunities above are a good start. It all boils down to your strategy and how long you have to invest. The earlier you invest, the better. However, even if you begin investing later in life, it's still possible to cross the $1 million finish line while in retirement.

How Long To Turn 100k Into 1 Million

Unfortunately, there is no simple answer. Although you may be eager to enter the millionaire club, how fast you get there all depends on what you invest in, how long you invest, and projected returns. For example, an investment that yields a 5% return will take more time to grow than an investment that yields a 10% return.

You also need to remember that although a high-yielding investment will help you achieve your goal quicker, it also tends to come with more risk. That's why it's so important to make sure you build a diverse portfolio of assets with varying levels of risks and returns.

Final Thoughts

Think carefully before you sink a single penny into any particular investment—even if you're not overly risk-averse. Thoroughly investigate each opportunity to determine if it's really the right option for you. Often slow and steady wins the race, so keep most of your money in safer investments and put smaller amounts into high-risk, high-reward investments like cryptocurrency.