3 New Income Generators to Explore This Year

We’ve all heard the phrase, “work smarter, not harder.” And, if you’re like most of us, you love the idea, but when it comes to putting it into action, you don’t have a clear idea of how to start. This phrase often refers to what is called passive income—money made with little labor investment. Income generators such as these can take many forms, including property investment, a passive business partnership, or royalties on a digital product you’ve created like an ebook or coursework.

Of course, we would all love to make money in our sleep, but the thing about passive income is that it’s not all passive; it does require a substantial investment in time and effort upfront. Think of business ventures, such as writing a book, creating an online course, or building a business—all of these require a lot of work to create a product that people will want to buy. 

In this article, we will discuss three different forms of passive income you should consider if you are trying to provide a boost to your current income. 

1. Invest in Stocks and Bonds

Investing in stocks and bonds can be a quality investment options to help you make money. That is, as long as you do it in a smart and less risky manner. Dividend-yielding stocks are a good choice because you will receive payments from the company at regular intervals, similar to a paycheck*. The more shares you own, the higher the payout, since dividends are paid per share of stock.

Bonds are often considered the less volatile investment option, as they include a signed document that explicitly states the amount, date, and conditions that the entity will be required to give the investor. When choosing to invest in bonds, it can be a smart choice to build what is called a “bond ladder;” this is when an individual invests in a series of bonds that mature at different times over the years. 

2. Invest in Real Estate

This is undoubtedly one of those streams of revenue we mentioned above that can require an intensive amount of time and energy upfront in order to eventually sit back and enjoy. Though you might initially be inspired by the ease and glamour TV personalities seem to have while managing various real estate projects, it can be much easier to start small and ask for plenty of help. 

Whether you decide to “fix it and rent it,” or “fix it and flip it,” depends on many things, including the state of the real estate market in your area, the state of your personal finances, and whether you plan to be a landlord or to outsource the job (adding additional expenses). Additionally, prior to investing in real estate, consider the following:

  • A thorough analysis of the total cost and expenses of the project
  • An honest look at the risks of owning/renting the property
  • Your total return on investment

3. Affiliate Marketing

If you have already created a website or blog that you wish to monetize, affiliate marketing could be an easy way to generate passive income. Affiliate partners, such as Amazon, allow you to provide a link on your site to promote a product. Every time a viewer of your site clicks the link and makes a purchase, you have a potential to earn a commission (potentially around 3-7%). 

Although this is an easy way to make money, it requires you to build your following so that your site has enough traffic to generate income. This could take some time, so if you are looking for a paycheck next week, you may want to consider choosing a different stream of revenue.

Could You Benefit from a Financial Strategy?

It’s important to remember that no income is entirely passive; most streams of revenue require an initial load of work, or at the very least, regular maintenance. Working with a financial advisor can help you set realistic expectations and make a clear plan help you to generate income. Contact Southwestern Investment Group today to schedule a consultation!

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Jeffrey T. Dobyns


President, SageSpring | Financial Advisor, RJFS 

Jeffrey T. Dobyns

President, SageSpring | Financial Advisor, RJFS

Beyond crunching numbers and investment strategies, at SageSpring, we’re about building relationships. When you encounter Founder & President of SageSpring, Jeff Dobyns, it’s easy to understand why this is at the very heart of who we are as a firm. You won’t find stuffy formalities with Jeff; instead, you can expect to find him sharing a warm smile, communicating a compelling vision, or patiently untangling life’s complex challenges with clients. He believes in truly getting to know clients, understanding their aspirations and priorities, and navigating their financial plans with a tailored, comprehensive approach. Our team members have often been caught taking notes on Jeff’s effortless relationship skills from a distance, and we admire them for striving to learn from one of the best. 

Jeff’s financial expertise and wisdom are the perfect match to his innate people skills. Jeff holds the prestigious CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM certification, Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU®), and Chartered Financial Consultant (ChLU®) designations, and has held executive positions with financial planning firms for more than two decades. 

His dedication extends beyond the office to the boardroom and the local community, where Jeff is passionate about giving back. He serves as Chairman of the Board of Men of Valor, a prison ministry and mentoring program. Jeff also serves on the board of Send Musicians to Prison, which shares hope, healing and restoration with the imprisoned through musicians & artists. Jeff actively supports other initiatives in the community by sitting on the board of The Signatry of Middle Tennessee and the Halftime Institute of Nashville. 

Witnessing his four children, Gracyn, Hunter, Tanner, and Logan, excel on the field is almost just as rewarding, if not more, than celebrating the victories of seeing his clients overcome obstacles and build wealth. Spending weekends boating on the lake, hiking mountain trails, and fishing with his family are the moments Jeff cherishes most. It’s this grounded perspective that reveals the true meaning of wealth for Jeff: not just numbers on a page, but the freedom to create experiences that enrich your life and the lives of those you love. When you choose the Dobyns McMillin Wealth Team, you choose more than financial expertise. You choose a partner who champions your dreams, celebrates your victories, and walks besides you on the path to achieving your unique goals.

**Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER TM, CFP® (with plaque design) and CFP® (with flame design) in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements.