Alternatives To Consider With Interest Rates At Record Lows

With interest rates at record lows, stocks and bonds are finding it extremely difficult to become stable and produce healthy returns with minimal risk for the investor. As a result, investors have shifted their focus to alternatives, which essentially consist of anything but the traditional investment vehicles such as stocks, bonds and cash. There are plenty of alternatives for investment-seekers to invest their money in, assuming they take the time to learn about investments and thoroughly research the risks associated with each option, to determine which opportunities are a worthwhile investment.

With that being said, when interest rates are at record lows and the investment community is faced with tumultuous markets and economic uncertainty, investments in foreign exchange, hard assets, exchange traded funds (ETFs), as well as options and futures, can present profitable opportunities for investors to capitalize on. Here is how:

Foreign Exchange: Trading foreign exchange will allow you to profit when you speculate on the value of one currency compared to another. Many Forex traders trade on margin, where their funds only cover a percentage of a trade’s total value and they essentially borrow the rest from their Forex providers. This method can be extremely profitable if executed correctly and investors understand the concept and can decipher economics movements.

Hard Assets: These alternatives include commodities such as oil, gold, silver, natural gas or any other investment with intrinsic value. These alternatives provide minimal risk to the invest in times of economic uncertainty and thus represent a popular trend in modern investing. In addition, hard assets like shipping container investments, are excellent courses of inflation hedge, again representing a need in today's global economy.

Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs): These alternative investment offerings are a lot like managed funds, and as such, very often hold a combination of traditional investment assets like stocks, commodities and/or bonds. This common investing strategy generally aims to replicate returns of an index, or another underlying asset, at a much lower cost. In addition to this, Exchange Traded Funds are traded like shares on the major global markets, thus they are widely regarded as much easier to invest in and easier to liquidate, than actual managed fund investments.

Options and Futures: These types of investments are alternative ways of trading assets like shares, currencies, indices and commodities. Options and futures allow an investor to buy or sell the share on a specific date in the future, at a specific price. This essentially means that instead of buying a share now and holding it for say, a year, you can a premium for the right to buy it at a certain price anytime. Nevertheless, the risk is that investors are betting that the price will rise.

With increasing risks associated with investments and uncertainty looming over the global economy, it is paramount that today's savvy investors carefully consider all of their investing alternatives before making their final investment decision. As mentioned above, Forex, ETFs, hard assets, options and futures can provide dependable ways to overcome investing challenges in difficult markets, and have proven they can deliver steady investment returns if investors do the proper research and carefully consider the amount of risk they can bear.