Updated June 20, 2019

How to Invest $100k

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Investing large sums of money in a savings account or standard CD? That mistake may be costing you. Learn better ways to invest $100K and increase your profits in our guide.

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Even if you aren't an experienced investor, there are ways to make money without taking big risks.

Before you invest your $100K, you'll need a plan. First, let's assume you already have an emergency fund. This means you've set aside 3 and 6 months of expenses.

TIP: If you DON'T have a fully-funded emergency fund, start one right away. You never know when real life events like home repairs or the loss of a job might impact your financial future.

Next, consider any debt you need to eliminate. Chances are, the interest charges you pay on debts far outweighs the return on investment you'd make by investing the money.

Finally, you need to know what type of investor are you?

  • Do you need someone holding your hand through the process or do you want to take the reins yourself?

  • If you want to take control, do you want the process automated or will you oversee the accounts on a daily basis?

Knowing these answers will help you figure out which of the following methods you should invest $100K.

Where to Invest $100K
Your threshold for risk will help determine where you should invest your $100K.

  • Are you trying to keep it safe? Consider CDs, treasury bonds, money market funds, or ETFs.

    These aren't get rich quick" schemes, but they generally carry a lower risk of loss than other investment options.

  • If you have average risk tolerance, you can branch out from the standard high-yield savings, CDs, and money market accounts.

    A couple of popular ways to invest your $100K with medium risk include: blue chip stocks and peer-to-peer lending.

  • If you are willing to take a higher risk (a better option for young investors), try riskier investments like real estate investments, penny stocks, options, futures, and crowdfunding.

Best Way to Safely Invest $100K

If you would rather not risk your $100K or you need it in an account you can liquidate quickly, an online bank may be a good option.

    CIT Bank

    CIT Savings Builder - Earn 0.55% APY

    Earn up to 0.55% APY. Here's how it works: Maintain a minimum balance of $25k OR make at least a $100 minimum deposit every month. Member FDIC


    Betterment Cash Reserve - Earn up to 0.40% APY

    • FDIC insurance covering up to $1,000,000 at program banks
    • Access cash in 1-2 business days
    • No minimum balance
    • No fees on balance
    • Unlimited withdrawals

    Chase Savings℠

    • Enjoy a $150 bonus when you open a new Chase Savings℠ account, deposit a total of $10,000 or more in new money within 20 business days, and maintain a $10,000 balance for 90 days
    • Access to 16,000 Chase ATMs and nearly 4,900 branches
    • Link this account to your Chase checking account for Overdraft Protection.
    • Chase Mobile® app - Manage your accounts, deposit checks, transfer money and more -- all from your device.
    • Open your account online now.
    • Available online nationwide except in Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico. For branch locations, visit locator.chase.com.

You may be able to snag higher interest rates by investing in online banks rather than your local bank thanks to the lack of overhead online banks have. A few popular options include:

  • Synchrony Bank: Offering CDs and money market accounts, Synchrony offers higher interest rates for "large deposits."

    Synchrony offers taxable CDs and money market accounts, as well as IRA CDs and money market accounts.

  • Ally Bank: Offering high-yield CDs, money market accounts, and IRA online savings accounts, Ally is an online only bank.

    This allows them to offer slightly higher interest rates than your traditional bank may offer.

Watch Your CD Maturity Dates
If you choose to invest some or all of your money in CDs, make sure you pay close attention to the maturity date. You agree to tie up your money for a specific period with this savings vehicle.

While you may be able to end the CD prematurely, it could cost you as much as 90 days of interest as a penalty.

Best Way to Invest in Stocks with $100K

If you don't mind the riskiness of investing in individual stocks rather than ETFs or index funds, the stock market may be for you. In order to invest in stocks, you'll need a brokerage account. It's also beneficial to use a financial management tool, such as Personal Capital, to help you see all of your investments at once.

We recommend trying discount brokers (online brokers) to minimize your fees and maximize your returns. A few good places to start include:

  • Firstrade: At just $2.95 per trade, Firstrade makes it affordable to invest in stocks. With both an online dashboard and an app at your disposal, you can make trades anywhere you have Wi-Fi.

    As an added benefit, if you invest your entire $100K (or at least $50K) with FIrstrade, you get access to a dedicated financial advisor.

  • Lightspeed: If you are a day trader or aspire to be one, the Lightspeed platform may be just what you need. Lightspeed's commissions are on a tier basis; the more you trade, the lower your commission fees.

    Lightspeed specializes in low latency trades, which means fast trades, which is just what the day trader needs.

  • TD Ameritrade: If you prefer a robust platform, in-depth charts, and many investment options, TD Ameritrade may be just what you want.

    While their fees are higher, they offer 24/7 customer service and many opportunities for research to help with your investment decisions.

Difference Between Discount Brokers and Full-Service Brokers
Discount brokers charge less. But you handle most of the trades and transactions in your account. In other words, you need to be a DIY investor to use a discount broker.

A full-service broker does everything or mostly everything for you. Of course, they only conduct transactions with your approval, but all that lies on your shoulders is the decision making - they handle the rest.

Best Way to Invest $100K for Income

If you want your $100K to make income rather than mediocre interest, you'll need more aggressive investment options.

Real estate is a popular way to invest for income, especially if you purchase rental properties and keep them properly maintained and rented.

Whether you purchase a home worth $100K and reap the profits yourself or you make a decent down payment on a multi-unit property and manage the mortgage payments with the rental income, you may gain income.

You Should Know: Real estate can appreciate, in addition to any income you make from renting the property out.

This offers you the possibility of decent cash flow. If push came to shove, you could sell the property and accept the equity as your profits.

If managing real estate isn't your thing, consider crowdfunding in the real estate industry. A few popular options include:

  • Rich Uncles: Invest in commercial real estate without pouring all your money in one investment. Rich Uncles is a crowdfunding platform for commercial real estate.

    This crowdfunding platform gives investors access to regular income from rental payments and gives companies the money they need to buy the building/land that they need.

  • Fundrise: Along with many other investors, you can invest with Fundrise and help them purchase and renovate commercial properties.

    After Fundrise sells the property, the profits are divvied up between the investors according to the amount they invested. Fundrise tries to provide quarterly dividend payments until the property is sold and your investment paid off.

  • Realty Mogul: At Realty Mogul, investors can invest in equity or debt investments. Debt investments pay interest regularly (in many cases).

    Equity investments must wait until maturity of the investment to receive payment.

How to Invest $100K to Make $1 Million

If you're dream a lot bigger than your current $100K, you aren't alone. There ARE ways to turn that $100K into $1 million - you just have to be patient.

Start by watching your fees. If you aren't careful, brokerages can eat up your profits with their fees.

NOTE: You may think a 1% fee is minimal. If you look at it over the next 30 years, though, the compounded interest you can lose on that "measly" 1% really adds up. In fact, it may take away your chances of that $1 million.

If you have your eye set on that $1 million target, stick to robo-advisors or discount brokers. Both tend to have lower fees than your traditional broker.

You should also keep your investments in the more traditional options, such as blue chip stocks, ETFs, and treasury bonds.

Most importantly, you need a plan and you have to stick to it. Remove the emotion from investing and stick to your goal. In other words, you'll need to ride it out.

If you diversify your portfolio enough, one downturn may be offset by another successful investment, leading you to that $1 million target in a slow and steady fashion.

Other Ways to Invest $100K

Hoping to break away from the traditional mold? Here are a few other ways you can put your $100K to good use:

  • Robo-advisors: Robo-advisors, such as Wealthfront and Betterment offer automated trading services based on your risk level.

    You answer a few questions and fund your account and they handle the rest.

  • Peer-to-peer lending: If funding commercial real estate transactions doesn't peak your interest, you may like peer-to-peer lending. With this option, you invest in loans for individuals.

    Prosper and Lending Club are two of the more popular choices.

  • Options: If you're comfortable with trading stocks, you can complicate things by trading options.

    Buying and selling puts or calls can leave you with a higher return on your investment than stocks. But be careful - the loss can be equally as large.

  • Cash-value life insurance: Whole life or universal life insurance provides you with the same benefits AND a cash value investment that you can use as you age.

  • Start a business: If you prefer to keep your money out of the market and you have a business idea, the $100K can get you started.

    If you don't have the wherewithal to handle your own company, you can also invest as a silent partner in someone else's business/idea.

    TIP: Consider investing in yourself.

    Whether you go back to college, pay for additional training, or take an unpaid internship while living off the $100,000, there's value in bettering yourself.

Bottom Line

Every investor will chart their own course for investing $100K. Before you invest, do some soul searching:

  • What type of investor are you?
  • What type of risk can you take?
  • Can you stand to lose it all or do you need to be a bit more conservative?

Once you have these answers, you can make investment choices that are right for you.

Note: This website is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content. You do not have to use our links, but you help support CreditDonkey if you do.

TD Ameritrade has not influenced the content of CreditDonkey. CreditDonkey may earn compensation for accounts opened at TD Ameritrade.

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