Ever wonder why Martin Scorsese opened the film “The Wolf of Wall Street” with a coke addled investment banker hiring a green behind the ears wannabe? Because chasing high returns is addictive as cocaine. It’s an ironic foreshadow.

And chasing high returns is about as unwise as getting addicted to cocaine. Which is why we’re here to talk about small investments that, over time, could actually make some good money.

It’s the age old wisdom that says, “slow and steady wins the race.” With these investment ideas, you won’t be tempted to jump out of a building if the stock market crashes.

Yes, you’ll need some resources. It wouldn’t be called investment if you didn’t have to invest.  But you won’t need much to get started.

1. Invest in Your Peers

Without the smartphone app economy, peer-to-peer lending would not be possible. Sure, we could say that it all began with Napster and their Robin Hood-esque severing the middle-man P2P file sharing. But that had absolutely nothing to do with investment.

It really began in 2005 with a company named Zopa in the UK. And it grew into what we know today as the multi-billion dollar industry called P2P lending.

Prosper and Lending Club are the two major companies that facilitate P2P lending. And they don’t require you to invest your house payment.

You can invest as little as $25 and it’s not put into one loan. They spread your money across dozens of investments. And the rate of return isn’t bad either.

You’re lucky to get a 2% return on a lot of investments. But with P2P, the middleman out of the way, you can get 6% or more on your money.

2. Invest in Precious Metals

This is not an investment for returns. If you want to invest in something that will make you money on top of your money, look elsewhere. The point of investing in precious metals is to protect against inflation.

Here’s the thing: Nothing lasts forever. Empires collapse, nations rise and fall, and we are all trapped in the middle.

Before the end comes, there is inflation. When you invest, you’re constantly fighting the inflation of the dollar. But inflation does not touch intangibles.

This is why people buy real estate. Not only does it not inflate, it gets more valuable over time.

Precious metals like gold, silver, copper, palladium, and platinum are fairly static investments. There is only a certain mount of these in the world and therefore supply is almost cemented in place.

Invest a small amount of money in precious metals as a sort of reserve and a little bit of protection against inflation. You’ll be glad you did come the collapse.

3. Invest in The Stock Market

This might seem common sense to some. But since the financial crisis in 2008, a lot of people in my generation have been hesitant to invest. They saw their parents lose their retirement, saw people lose homes, and they’re wondering if it’s a safe bet.

They’re making riskier investments in less historically known places instead (cryptocurrency, anybody?). But the stock market is still an historically sound place to invest.

Even now with a lot of stocks possibly overvalued, some stocks will go up.

Remember: we are not high rollers here. You’re here to make small investments that will reap benefits over time. This means you won’t have to buy a ton of stock to get off the ground.

Knowing where to start is tough. And that’s a hindrance to entry many find overwhelming. Yet, you can weed out options by focusing in.

Do your research. Check out ETFs and Mutual Funds. And join an online brokerage. And if you want some help, find a financial adviser to work on your behalf.

4. Invest in Your Own Business

Brian Clarke built a business that makes $1 million a month with only $1000. If you’re a highly driven individual, investing in a your own startup could be the best way to spend your money.

Some business ideas require as little as a few hundred dollars to get started. Take drop shipping as an example. You become the storefront but you don’t have to carry the inventory.

Everything is fulfilled by someone else. All you have to do is set up the website and do the marketing.

Leverage a skill you have. If you’re a writer like me, go freelance. Some freelancers spend almost nothing on their business and make as much or more than they did in their day jobs.

This leads me to my next bit of advice.

5. Invest in Yourself

Lifestyle marketers like Time Ferris might seem like hacks to outsiders. But these men spend a ton of time investing in their own minds and their own skills.

Your skills are the only asset you have that’s truly safe from inflation. You can’t get fired by anyone else from a skill set you built. Therefore, hit the books.

The more you learn about the world, your niche, or your job, the more valuable you become. There is no limit to the investment return you spend on yourself.

Read books. Take courses. Go on retreats. Anything you can do to improve your skill set is a worthy investment.

Analysis Paralysis

When choosing a path to take and being unable to choose, we call this “analysis paralysis.” Too many choices, too little brain power. But when you boil down the choices, write them down, you’ll have an easier time choosing where to put you money.

Learn wisdom. Keep your end goals in mind. And you will see a solid future of prosperity.

By Ben Mattice

Benjamin Mattice is a freelance writer/editor, horror and sci-fi writer, SEO and affiliate marketing newbie, dog wrestler, cat wrangler, capoeirista, and long distance runner. He lives in the Palouse with his wife, three dogs, two cats, and two rats. Yes, that would probably be considered a mini-zoo.