How to Plan Your Passive Income The Right Way?
Hello readers! Today, we at TradeBrains, are covering a topic that might stir up a lot of interest and intrigue within our community. In recent years, we have been seeing a lot of interest among our readers to generate a second source of passive income to meet their financial goals. While stock investors do manage to achieve this when their portfolio companies shell out dividends, the reality is that for most individuals passive income requires conscious planning and periodic review.
Today’s post should help answer some of your questions and perhaps guide you on your financial journey going forward. So let’s get started.
What is passive income?
In the most general sense of the phrase, passive income usually refers to consistent and periodic income you may gain without dedicating large amounts of your time. Some people would even go so far as to say that passive income is the “income you gain while you are asleep”.
A prudent investor would, however, understand that even though the statement puts across the idea of passive income bluntly, one would have to live in a fool’s paradise to assume that passive income actually requires no work (it requires less work, not zero work). However, by making some smart moves anyone can create a source of income to add more teeth to their financial firepower.
Why do people try to create a passive income source?
In the simplest language, passive income reduces the dependence of your lifestyle on a single income source. In other words, you ensure that you do not put all your eggs in a single basket.
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Again here quite a few people may argue that the real benefit of substantial passive income is realized when one does not feel pressured for working extra hours at work to earn a meager overtime pay during uncertain times. When things go haywire in life, which happens more often than not, a second income does indeed come as a relief especially when you carry a financial burden like an enormous EMI on your housing loan.
Another reason which might have some sense is that a passive income usually acts as a force multiplier in your financial journey. You could get additional fire-power for your monthly SIPs or you could buy assets that get you even more side income all the while riding on the power of compounding to grow your wealth over time.
The motivation for generating income could also differ according to a person’s age or situation in life as well. Individuals working in senior management in private sector companies that do not pay pension might actively scout for an income post-retirement than a younger person.
What are the sources of second income?
And a comparison of skill-based and investment based sources of income.
For quite a large section of the society, the main sources of passive income are either in the form of interest gained from bank deposits or rental income from a real estate asset. However, things have changed in the last decade or so, the fixed deposit interest rates are being lowered every year and the real estate prices continue to break a new ceiling in most cities. These two powerful macro trends have rendered conventional sources quite inefficient in developing a passive income source for a young person who has just started earning.
Looking at the other options available, your second income could be either skill/service-based or investment-based. You could sell your existing skills to provide services or advice as a consultant for other people or companies that might need them. Another option could be to collect royalty income from intellectual property or any other creative services.
But, to play the devil’s advocate, even though selling skill is rewarding, it would still require some time and effort on a consistent basis to generate a steady income. Hence, an investment based income would be more ideal if you are not able to put in lots of time or effort for any reason.
Investment based ideas could include dividend investing, fixed deposits, rental/lease income from real estate, peer to peer lending, etc. In most cases, the metric used to judge an investment based income source would be the interest rate or the yield. Although seemingly easy to execute, an investment base income strategy would require portfolio adjustments based on a periodic review of risk and reward of the portfolio.
For a list of ideas you could refer to another of our articles:
- 11 Best Passive Ways to Make Money While You Sleep.
- 7 Incredible Side Hustle Ideas to Make an Extra Income
How to plan your passive income portfolio?
The most important thing to consider while planning your passive income portfolio is time, the time you can invest and also the time you would be willing to wait for your portfolio to build up in value. However, prudence doesn’t hurt and it would be advisable to look at qualitative factors like repeatability and consistency while deciding on your chosen method for generating a passive income. If your passive source also happens to be scalable, then who knows? Maybe one day it might lead you to new and exciting business ventures.
The lazy way to start building a portfolio for most people with significant day time commitments would be to focus on generating steady interest income every month. Although savings schemes and fixed deposit plans have been the conventional go-to strategies, in recent times the rise in web and mobile technology adoption rates have facilitated the feasibility and importance of peer to peer lending platforms as another significant source for earning interest income.
Some people may prefer to keep a mix of side hustles and investment-based income in starting their portfolio, while others may look for only investment based avenues. Although there is no single right way, keeping repeatability and consistency as a priority would really go a long way in helping anyone build a process for growing their passive income.
6 Steps to create a passive income source
Creating a passive income is going to be tough, a lot of time will have to be spent on researching new investment sources, gaining new skills and performing tasks which can be monetized. The whole journey could be a whole lot simpler if we were to follow a process-driven approach. We, at TradeBrains, have compiled a list of things anyone could start doing right away to begin their own passive income portfolio.
1. Evaluate your time
The most important asset you have is your time so it is only reasonable to find out whether a particular side hustle is worth your time or not. In case you do not have too many hours to spare it is perfectly fine to start only on investment based income strategies.
2. Save until it hurts
Be thrifty, pay your EMIs and get out of debt as soon as possible. Try to cut corners wherever possible to get extra cash. Try cooking your own food instead of ordering every time. Only buy things you need from e-commerce websites.
3. Learn about income-generating assets and focus on buying them
Dividend stocks, REITs, government bonds, savings deposits, you name it, anything that provides you income on a regular basis should be included in this list
4. Calculate how much passive income you would need
It’s important to have a figure you can aim to act as a compass else it is possible for you to get lost and even lose motivation towards achieving your goals. A good goal is to try and generate enough alternate income to cover for your rent, food and monthly running expenses
If your annual expenses are around 6lakhs then divide the number by your expected return to get the capital you may need to save up. So if you are expecting a return of 10% from your investments, then having a capital base of 60lakhs would suffice for you to cover your expenses.
5. Grow multiple streams over time, Be diversified
Given the uncertainty of the world we live in, we simply can’t underscore the importance of diversification of income streams. Capital preservation is simply underrated in our daily conversations about money that a lot of the times we even pretend like money cannot be lost in investments.
If we were to look back into history, after the burst of the dot-com bubble it took roughly 10 years for Nasdaq investors to just break even. Your passive income portfolio should be diversified to absorb any impact in your life in case one single income source stops churning out cash for you.
6. Be patient and don’t give up
All the above steps would amount to nothing if it is not given time to grow. Compounding works and it gives astounding results over large spans of time. Sure the wait to building wealth is always slow and long but it is definitely worth the wait.
Levin is a former investment banker and a hedge fund analyst. He is an NIT Warangal graduate with around 5 years experience in the share market.