Making your first investment late in your career can feel daunting. While the timeline for growth may be shorter, strategic investments can help build a robust financial portfolio even in the later stages of your professional life.

Here, 19 Forbes Finance Council members share the smartest avenues for late-career investing, such as low-risk bonds, dividend-paying stocks and real estate. With the right approach and careful planning, late investors can achieve financial security and enjoy the benefits of their investments well into retirement.

1. Focus On Investments That Align With Your Goals

Focus on investments that align with financial goals, risk tolerance and time horizon. It’s never too late to start investing, and people can adjust their investment strategy to prioritize capital preservation and income generation. – Asli EremVarious

2. Consider A Diversified Portfolio

For late-career investors, consider a diversified portfolio to include public market securities and alternative or private equities with a lens on tax efficiency. Alternatives could have a higher yield in a shorter period. If done well, this can significantly increase wealth, creating an exponential effect on accumulated wealth. For legacy wealth creation, consider insurance instruments. – John GarciaSolyco Capital

3. Self-Assess Your Goals And Risk Appetite

It’s never too late to start making smart financial decisions. Start with a self-assessment of your current state: your assets and goals. Once determined, understand your own risk appetite and need for liquidity, and build a well-diversified portfolio to match. Get support where you need it. The key is to make informed decisions, stay disciplined and regularly review and adjust your strategy. – Ximena AlvaradoRelay

4. Pay Attention To Risk And After-Tax Returns

It’s never too late. I have two recommendations: 1. Pay particular attention to the risk side of any investment. A shorter timeframe until retirement requires more attention to risk; and 2. Focus on the after-tax return. Later in career tends to mean higher income and higher tax rate. It’s not just about seeking alpha on your investment, it’s about the bottom-line after-tax return. Concentrate on after-tax alpha. – Alvina LoWilmington Trust

5. Invest In Peer-To-Peer Networks

Late-career investors can invest in peer-to-peer networks. These platforms offer diversity, little initial investment and regular interest income. Starting later in life may shorten investment development time, but smart planning and risk management can still yield high returns and financial security in retirement. – Neil AndersTrusted Rate, Inc.

6. Pay Off Debts First, Then Research Passive Income Streams

In life, there is always time to pursue your goals. Pay off your debts first. I would then research passive income-producing real estate opportunities. After building a real estate portfolio, look into alternative passive income sources. You could quit your full-time job and earn a lot of money through these channels; you never know. You only need to be driven and passionate. – Gomathy PeriathiruvadiAlita Systems

7. Diversify Investments Across Asset Classes

It’s never too late to start investing! The power of compound interest can still benefit you. Diversify across asset classes for safety. The key is to begin now and make the most of your investments, regardless of when you start. – Sonya Thadhani MughalBailard, Inc.

8. Fund Retirement Accounts First, Then High Yield Savings Accounts

No matter your age, no matter the amount, start with $100. First? Make sure you’re funding your retirement accounts, and that these accounts are invested, not sitting in cash. Second, take advantage of high interest rates by opening a High Yield Savings Account. Instead of keeping large amounts of cash in a regular savings account, with a HYSA you can earn over 4% interest on your money! – Crissi ColePenny Finance

9. Explore Opportunities In Infrastructure And Real Estate

It’s worth considering exploring potential opportunities in the realms of infrastructure and real estate. In particular, investors may wish to explore the potential benefits offered by Infrastructure Investment Trusts (InvITs), rental properties or Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs). These options have the potential to provide a stable income stream and the opportunity for capital appreciation. – Pankaj VasaniCube Highways InvIT

10. Invest In Low-Cost Index Funds Or ETFs

Investing in low-cost index funds or exchange-traded funds (ETFs) can provide broad market exposure and diversification without the need for individual stock selection. These options can be a good choice for investors looking for a hands-off approach to investing. Investing in high-quality dividend-paying stocks can provide a source of passive income in retirement. – Abiodun SowemimoCapitalMetriQ Swift Bank

11. Leverage Your Existing Knowledge And Experience

Start by leveraging your existing knowledge and experience. We all have unique financial needs and goals, but we also have unique knowledge, such as a specific industry or market, or understanding of a sector as a customer. These insights will allow you to invest with intent and minimize risk. If you are involved in non-profits, look at impact investing. If you work in oil and gas, look at renewable energy. – Karim NuraniLinqto

12. Consider Creating A Foundation

People often overlook the value of creating a foundation and investing from it. A foundation only pays 1.4% investment income tax compared to 30%-plus of individuals or companies. It’s never too late to set up a foundation and invest in the most tax-efficient environment all while making a bigger impact in your community – Khurram ChohanTogether CFO

13. Broaden Investment Horizons With Alternatives

Asset classes, such as private equity and credit, can be good starting points due to the potential for higher returns and yield generation. Alternative investments offer unique diversification prospects that can complement public market assets. Though high minimums and illiquidity are key considerations, the growth of secondary markets has significantly broadened individual investor access. – Anna FeeGoodFin

14. Consider Investing In Crypto

It is never too late to start anything. The best industry to start in terms of risk-reward in my opinion is crypto, as it is following many of the trends demonstrated by IT companies in the late 90s-early 2000s. Now is the best time to start, and the right place to start would be in getting a grasp on fundamental aspects of the technology and market psychology. – Tatiana KellerCFST

15. Consult An Investment Professional

How late is too late to invest? If you’ve spent the better half of your career working for money, it’s never too late to have your money work for you. Start with familiar options, consult an investment professional or consider investing in a side hustle to boost your income. Remember that investing is a business—and all businesses need a plan. – Mark KaneSunwise Capital

16. Complete A Risk Assessment And Establish Timelines

Step one: Begin by completing a risk tolerance questionnaire, such as Riskalyze, to gain insights into your risk preferences. Step Two: Establish clear timelines for your income needs. Step three: Based on your risk score, construct a portfolio that aligns with your risk tolerance and investment goals. – Anthony WilliamsMosaic Financial Associates

17. Maximize The Power Of Compound Interest

We are all going to start living longer. The need to save and invest is more important now. Open a 401(k), IRA or tax saving vehicle. Start investing in low-cost index funds and add to it every month. Einstein said that the power of compounding was the eighth wonder of the world! Saving, investing, re-investing and the power of compounding will get you far, even if you started investing late. – Paul DaneshradStarPoint Properties

18. Aim For Diversification And Rely On Experts

If starting late, aim for diversification and leveraging the expertise of career investors rather than trying to select individual stocks. Using Investment ISAs to invest in funds can both maximize tax-free investments and take advantage of the diversification and expertise of investment professionals. – Sabrina CastiglionePento

19. Start With Your Employer’s Retirement Plan

It is never too late to begin investing. There is always time to make small progress to create a retirement plan for yourself and your family. The smartest place to invest if you are employed is your employer’s retirement plan. Your pre-tax contributions into an employer-sponsored plan lower your taxable income and may offer the advantage of an employer’s contribution matching into the plan. – Lindsey AllardBeirne

The information provided here is not investment, tax, or financial advice. You should consult with a licensed professional for advice concerning your specific situation.

Successful finance executives from Forbes Finance Council offer firsthand insights and trends.

Link to Forbes article HERE

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