Here's an Easy Way to Make Money While You Sleep

I’ve never considered myself a lazy person. Quite the contrary — I don’t do well with sitting still and have always been a hard worker.

When I was too young for a traditional job, I babysat in my spare time to earn extra cash. And even once I began working full-time, I took on side projects to pad my income.

But years ago, I discovered an even easier way to make money on top of my regular paycheck. And unlike some of the side hustles I’ve had, this tactic required absolutely no effort on my part other than a tiny bit of legwork at first. If you like the idea of earning money while you sleep, then read on to see how you can do it, too.

Put your money to work for you

You could do actual extra work to make more money. Or, you could have your money do the work. I prefer the latter.

Years ago, I set myself up with a portfolio of stocks in a brokerage account. If you do the same, you may find that you’re able to generate ongoing income in a couple of ways.

First, some stocks pay dividends, which is companies’ way of giving shareholders a chunk of their profits. Dividends are commonly paid on a quarterly basis. And even though they’re not guaranteed, there are many companies with a strong history of paying dividends for decades.

So if you were to load up on dividend stocks, you could see money hitting your brokerage account every few months. That’s cash you can use or reinvest.

Now, perhaps not every stock you decide to own pays dividends. But that’s Ok, because stocks on a whole have a tendency to gain value over time. So that’s another way for you to generate completely passive income. Once you do the research to decide which companies to add to your portfolio, you just sit back and watch your money grow.

And if you don’t want to do the legwork of picking individual stocks, you don’t even have to. You can instead load up on S&P 500 ETFs, or exchange-traded funds, which basically allow you to invest in the broad market.

How much income could you be looking at from a stock portfolio?

That depends on how much money you invest and how long you invest for.

But over the past 50 years, the stock market’s average annual return has been 10%. So let’s say you have $10,000 you can put into the market right now. If your portfolio generates that same return, then in 30 years, you could be sitting on almost $175,000.

Sit back and let your portfolio grow for 40 years, and you could end up with a little more than $450,000.

Now, think about all of the extra hours you might have to work throughout your career to turn $10,000 into $450,000. Wouldn’t you rather not have to put yourself through that grind?

It’s OK to take the easy way out

Being a hard worker is easy for me. It’s something my parents taught me years ago, and it’s stuck with me since.

But that doesn’t mean I feel compelled to work harder than necessary. And you shouldn’t either.

So if you’re looking for a way to earn money without having to break a sweat, start investing as soon as you’re able to — even if it’s with $50 here or $100 there. The earlier you can get started, the more wealth you’re likely to grow through the years without having to lift a finger.

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