Four income streams that young professionals should develop

“According the IRS, the average millionaire in the United States has at least five different sources of income.” –James Altucher

Whether you’re making minimum wage or pulling down $250K per year, if your day job is your only source of income, you should start working on developing additional income sources. The biggest reason to do so is to start transitioning from working for your money, to making your money work for you: you need passive income sources which build wealth with minimal effort.

While you might never want to retire, financial security (not being financially stressed by losing your job) is something you can achieve in your 20’s, and financial independence (not needing to work a regular job at all ) is possible in your 30’s or 40’s.

Here are the four income streams you need to build:

1: Your day job. This seems obvious, but keep in mind that you don’t need to quit your day job to pursue your passion – you can use it to fund your passion if/until it becomes your day job.

2: Your investment portfolio. Even if you make minimum wage, you can save $25 every month and invest it in Stash Invest. If you invest $500 per month, you can be millionaire in under 30 years. If you invest $1666, you can do it in 15 years (at 10% return).  Build an aggressive but diversified portfolio with minimal fees by using a robo-trader. 

3: Your side gig. You may love your job and make great money, but it’s always smart to find something to do on the side. Side projects in your current field often allow you to be in charge of a small project and use the latest technology or techniques that are too risky or difficult to approve with your boss. I’ve used this trick to qualify for jobs that I couldn’t dream of otherwise. If you don’t like your job — here is your chance to develop a new skill! If you can’t think of anything else, try driving for Uber, put up a room on AirBnB or sell something on Etsy. If you can’t think of anything, volunteer for a cause to help you develop useful skills.  Most people find that their lifestyle grows with their income, so it is difficult to achieve a high savings rate from your day job – side gigs are a great way to generate income that goes directly into your savings.

4: Asset-derived income. This is money you earn from buying things that grow in value or generate money. For most people, this is real estate, including their own home (don’t buy one until you read this), or better yet, properties they can rent out. However, you should also consider diversifying into gold, cryptocurrency (such as Bitcoin), or other assets which you believe will appreciate in value. You should choose assets that you will hold for years if not decades because you believe in their fundamental value, and not because you’re betting on short-term trends.  For entrepreneurs, this also includes ownership in businesses which produces income from dividends.


One thought on “Four income streams that young professionals should develop”

  1. Thanks for the article David. I can certainly vouch for Etsy (an excellent source of passive income). Everyone has a skill or something they can market.

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