2014 was a relatively good year for the US economy. The unemployment rate decreased from 6.6% to 5.8% (as of October 2014), stocks are up over 6% (DOW JONES), and many other economic indicators are pointing up as well. But still, many consumers have not yet replaced some of the wealth they lost during the great recession.
If you are looking to increase your wealth in 2015 then here are a few key strategies that will help you accomplish your financial goals.
Invest in your first stocks
Much of the wealth made over the past few years has come from the stock market. But the greatest benefactors were banks, and large investors. Many regular people feel they missed the boat. But an all-new investing service called Loyal3 makes it easy for anyone to buy their own stocks.
Loyal3 works by letting anyone invest in quality companies for as little as $10. So instead of spending $10 at Starbucks you can buy $10 worth of stock in Starbucks. What better way to take the first steps towards building wealth? Plus, Loyal3 has an email list that allows the general public to have access to IPOs (which have historically been reserved for bankers).
Pro tip: Check out Loyal3’s IPO access for the general public (IPOs have historically been reserved for bankers and large investors).
Lower you monthly car insurance payments
Another way to increase your wealth is to reduce the amount you spend on monthly recurring costs like car insurance. If you are sable to save even $50 a month on your car insurance you would save $600 a year. That’s $600 extra you can put towards investing.
Esurance.com makes it easy to compare car insurance quotes from multiple companies and you can get a free rate quote in minutes. Get your free quotes and see how much you can save.
Get rid of credit card debt with Peer-2-Peer lending
There is a new form of debt consolidation called peer-2-peer (p2p) lending that is available to borrowers with credit scores over 640. P2P websites allow you to borrow money from regular people (peers) to pay off your credit cards. You can often get a lower rate through these services, which can save you hundreds, if not thousands, in interest payments.
The largest P2P service is called Prosper Marketplace, where you can borrow between $2,000 and $35,000 at rates as low as 6.73% with payback terms of 3 or 5 years. You can get your free rate quote here.
Pro tip: Investors can also sign up to invest in consumer notes.
Refinance your mortgage while rates are still low
Another common monthly expense that people throw money away on mortgage payments. Many people have not been able to refinance to take advantage of historically low interest rates because their homes were under water from the collapse of the housing market. But now that the market has mostly recovered and interest rates are still near historic lows (around 4%), many homeowners are finally able to take advantage of these savings.
LendingTree.com is a website that lets you get multiple refinance quotes from multiple banks so you can get the best rate.
Pro tip: You can also get quotes for auto-refinancing, new home purchases, or home equity loans.
Invest in big ideas with Motif Investing
Building wealth is about spotting trends. Another new website called Motif Investing lets you buy portfolios of 20 to 30 stocks based on curated ideas, trends, or sectors. Each portfolio is called a “motif.” You can invest in motifs such as “Wearable Tech” or “Modern Warfare.” There are hundreds of motifs to choose from.
This unique approach takes the leg-work out of picking companies and let’s you focus on the ideas that you believe in. And, unlike traditional online investing platforms where you pay $9.95 per stock trade, Motif Investing let’s you trade an entire motif of 30 stocks for just $9.95.
Until December 31st Motif will add up to $150 to your account (on accounts opened with a minimum of $2,000 and 5 trades). You can open an account with as little as $250
Pro tip: Use Motif’s tools to see the historical performance of different Motifs.
With 2015 around the corner it’s time to start taking the necessary steps to build your wealth. Most economists are predicting that the economy will continue to improve. Do you want to be left out? Make sure you have at least some plan in place to take advantage of the improving economy.