Guide to Low-Risk Investing

 401k Match 

This is the easiest decision imaginable. If your company matches your 401k contribution, make sure you invest at least up to the match (e.g., if they match 50% of your investment up to 6%, contribute 6% to get a free extra 3%).

Pay off credit cards 

If you have any cash lying around after that 401k contribution, my first recommendation would be to invest it in any high-interest debt you may have. With the average credit card interest rate now at an astronomical 21%, I almost long for the days when I owed $100,000+ in credit card debt, just for the massive return I’d make by paying it off.

Solar Panels 

I should start this recommendation with a caveat: the savings one gets from solar panels can vary from state to state (depending on incentives) and varies by climate (panels in sunny, warm climates generate more power, so the savings are greater). Studies have shown that the savings on solar panels, even at a $15,000- $20,000 investment, can range from 10-25%.

Electric Car 

After federal tax credits, electric cars cost about $4,000 more than comparable gas-powered vehicles. However, annual savings are approximately $632 per year – for a yield of 15.8%.

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