No matter how much money you make, $50k is a decent chunk of change. Invest it wisely with any of our top five picks. And with an amount this large, you have the freedom to choose as few or as many of these options as you’d like.
What should your $50k portfolio look like? It depends on several factors like your age, goals, risk tolerance and timeline.
Your investing goals will likely be more aggressive in your 20s to 30s than they will be in your 50s. If you’re in your 30s and looking to build a portfolio aimed for growth, this is what it may look like:
CDs and bonds
5% to 20%
Stocks, ETFs and mutual funds
50% to 75%
Peer-to-peer lending, real estate and alternative investments
0 to 25%
Before you invest $50,000
There are a few financial boxes you should check off before you invest $50,000:
Build an emergency fund. We recommend keeping three to six months of expenses in a high-yield savings account, so it’s available when life throws an unexpected curveball.
Save for your kid’s education. If you have children, consider setting aside a portion of the $50k to save for their college education.
Create a vacation fund. Pay for your next adventure in full by keeping some money in a high-yield savings account.
Pay off debt. It’s always best to pay off high-interest debt before you invest because you pay more in interest than you’d earn in any investment vehicle.
Anyone with $50,000 to invest should consider low-risk investments and some degree of diversification.
The best illiquid investment vehicles are certificates of deposits, with varying maturity dates. Many individuals may select a single certificate of deposit, but distributing funds across multiple provides added flexibility and ensures that, in the event of an emergency, it isn’t just one CD that needs to liquidate.
Mutual funds are also a good investment, but should not represent over 25% of an investor’s portfolio. Although mutual funds are usually well-diversified, a macro downturn will lead to a reduction in savings and can create a perfect storm as job security vanishes and savings dry up.
Consequently, any investment tied to market fluctuations should be kept to a minimum and only considered if the money invested there can be lost without creating significant issues.
Our pick: Vanguard
Personal advisor services can help investors with more than $50,000 build a custom portfolio.
There are several ways you could invest in real estate with $50k. You could purchase real estate investment trusts (REITs) through a site like Fundrise, invest directly in a commercial property through RealtyMogul or put a downpayment on a house and rent it out yourself.
Passive income. Real estate is an attractive investment because it produces a steady flow of income.
Plenty of options. With $50k, you can choose to invest in REITs, commercial properties or your own property.
Safe options. If you want to invest in real estate in the safest way possible, you can purchase REITs, which are made up of hundreds of different properties and trade like stocks.
May need accreditation. Some crowdfunding sites won’t let you directly invest in real estate without qualifying as an accredited investor.
Possible risk of default. If you choose to invest in a single property, you could lose your money if it defaults.
Illiquid investment. Real estate can’t be easily sold or converted to cash, so it may not be a good option if you’ll need your money soon.
Our pick: Streitwise
Streitwise offers a beginner-friendly way to invest in commercial real estate.
If you plan on making a big purchase in the near future, such as buying a home or sending the kids to college, it may make sense to invest your money in bonds. Terms typically range from a few months to 30 years.
Little risk. Bonds are considered stable investments and carry less risk than other securities.
Tax efficient. You typically don’t pay federal taxes on local, state and federal bonds.
Provide passive income. Bonds produce a steady, fixed income and offer higher returns than other safe investments like savings accounts.
Risk varies. Government bonds are typically safer than corporate bonds, although this isn’t always the case. You’ll want to check what letter grade it was assigned by the credit rating agencies.
High investment minimums. Bond prices usually start at $1,000. But some can cost much more than that.
Could lose value. Your bond could lose value if the issuing entity defaults or interest rates rise when you’re ready to sell.
Our pick: You Invest
Free online stock, ETF and options trades with $0 minimum to start.
INVESTMENT PRODUCTS: NOT A DEPOSIT • NOT FDIC INSURED • NO BANK GUARANTEE • MAY LOSE VALUE
Investing $50k can be exciting but also scary. If you have multiple goals you’re trying to reach, splitting it up among different investments may be the best option for you. Take some time to map out your goals and risk tolerance. Then compare investment platforms until you find the best options for you.
Frequently asked questions
If you know you’ll need your money in the near future, consider keeping it in a CD, savings account or in short-term US government bonds.
It depends. If you live in a low-cost area, $50k may be enough to cover the down payment, closing costs and some of the repairs. But flipping houses is one of the riskiest ways to invest in real estate, so make sure you do your research.
Cassidy Horton is a writer for Finder, specializing in banking and investments. She has a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations and a Master of Business Administration from Georgia Southern University. Cassidy enjoys educating people about financial services, exploring the Pacific Northwest and watching endless reruns of The Office.
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