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The following table lists various types of investments with a summary of the key properties of many investment types.

AssetExampleTypical annual return [%]Risk Liquidity Notes
StocksApple, GE7ModerateModerate Own part of a company
Mutual fundsVOO, PTTAX6ModerateLow-moderate Avoid high fees which are NOT linked to better performance (passively managed index funds typically preferable)
Savings account0-1Very lowVery high FDIC insured
Money market account1-2Very lowVery high FDIC insured
Minimum balance & withdrawal limits
CD2-3Very lowVery low No liquidity until expiration date
Peer to peer lendingLending tree, Prosper4-10VariesVery low Risk of loss on each loan
Can diversify over several loans
Need to be an accredited investor
Digital tokensBitcoin, Ethereum?Very highHigh Limited history (more uncertainty)
Many hacks have resulted in lost funds, but security of major exchanges improving
BondsUS Govt, CorporateLarge rangeLarge rangeLarge range Big loss if underlying entity folds
Return & risk highly dependent on issuer
CommoditiesOil, cattle, corn3LowHigh Alternatives: ETFs like GSG and PDBC
Real estateLease home or office space6ModerateVery low Significant time may be required
Alternatives: REITs, stocks like DHI, TOL, LEN, PHM
Foreign currency9HighModerate Economic knowledge normally req’d for good returns
Precious metalsGold, silver2ModerateLowStorage, theft, loss
Can also invest in ETFs like GLD or SLV
Can be hard for an individual to sell @ market price
CollectiblesArt, baseball cards1HighModerate Damage, storage, theft, loss
Fun for some people