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So you’ve got a bonus, won the lottery or simply want the best for your savings. It’s Easter – a good time to think about how to get the most from a nest egg.

 

Here are five ways to invest your extra cash this Easter:

  1.  A high-interest savings account

You can invest the money in a high-interest savings account via a brick-and-mortar bank or, as many people are now doing, using online banks which sometimes offer the best rates.  According to finder.com.au, RaboDirect offers the best deal at the moment on balances below $250,000 with its High Interest Savings Account. It has an introductory rate of 3.05% pa for four months, reverting to a standard variable rate of 1.80% pa. There are no monthly fees.

Another to consider might be Bankwest’s Hero Saver account which is currently offering a variable 2.60% pa rate when you deposit at least $200 each month and make no withdrawals. It is also available on balances up to $250,000. And Easy Street is offering a bonus saver rate of 2.55% if you deposit $50 a month with no withdrawals.

Westpac’s eSaver account is currently offering an introductory rate of 2.51% pa for five months, with the standard variable rate of 1.80% pa. There are zero monthly account fees, 24/7 account access and a Safe Online Banking guarantee. You will need to link this savings account to a Westpac everyday account, however, and fees could apply to the everyday account.

Of course, you may eschew conventional wisdom and decide instead to put that $10,000-plus windfall to more practical use including:

 

  1.  DIY stock market

If you have a knack of making money trading stocks on your own, this might be an opportunity to take that up to the next level.

Online share trading makes it easy and affordable for anyone to begin investing in shares and build a portfolio through the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) and other markets.

 

  1.  Invest in real estate

While $10,000 won’t make much of a dent on a down payment on the purchase of an investment property these days, you can still dip your toe in the property market with a small amount of cash through real estate investment trusts (REITs). These investments have several advantages over owning property outright, including:

  •   High liquidity – you can buy and sell shares in REITs much the same way you trade stocks
  •   High income – the dividends paid by REITs are usually well above the dividend yields on stocks
  •   Tax advantages – REITs don’t sell properties nearly as frequently as mutual funds sell stocks; the net result is much lower capital gains

If you prefer to own property, pooling your $10,000 with one or more other investors and buying an investment property outright might be the way to go.

 

  1.  Start your own business

How about investing in yourself? The internet makes it relatively easy to start your own business for a relatively small outlay. Once you’ve decided on the kind of business you’d like to start, scour the internet to find the best ways to market it, and write a business plan. $5,000 should be more than enough to get started with. There are many ways to start a home-based business that require very little up-front capital.

 

  1.  Pay off debt

Arguably, the most prudent and risk-free way to invest $10,000 or more is to pay off any outstanding debt. By paying off a credit card with an outstanding balance of $10,000 and an annual interest rate charge of 19.99%, you will not only erase the debt, but you will also lock in what is effectively a 19.99% return on your money. While it doesn’t mean you will be collecting a 19.99% rate of interest as a cash income on your money, it will mean that you are no longer paying it – which is pretty much the same thing.

It may not seem like a great deal of money these days, but a spare $10,000 is a good launching pad to get into some interesting and rewarding investments. Use them to grow your nest egg.