25 Assets That Generate Cash Flow To Help You Grow Your Wealth
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Looking for greater financial freedom, a source of retirement funds, or simply want to supplement your income? Well, creating multiple income streams with assets that generate cash flow is what you'll need.
And in this article, we will explore 25 different income-producing investments that can help provide your bank account with some extra money.
We include some of the best assets to invest in, such as blogs, stocks, bonds, real estate, crypto, and more. Regardless of your investment preferences or experience level, there is sure to be something for you from our list of income generating assets in this post.
Let’s dive in.
- 25 Assets That Generate Cash Flow
- 1. Create A Website And Monetize It With Display Ads
- 2. Create A Digital Product
- 3. Affiliate Marketing
- 4. Create A Course And Sell It Online
- 5. Buy Or Start A Website, Grow It And Flip It
- 6. Invest In Dividend Stocks
- 7. Buy a Property and Rent It Out
- 8. Airbnb Your Spare Room
- 9. Create an App Or a SaaS Product
- 10. Invest In Index Funds
- 11. Invest In ETFs
- 12. Create a Store on Etsy Selling Your Designs
- 13. Consider Crypto Passive Income Opportunities
- 14. Grow A Youtube Channel And Earn From Adsense
- 15. Invest in a REIT
- 16. Sell Lesson Plans to Teachers
- 17. Build and Sell a Puzzle Subscription Box Business
- 18. Create and Build an AI Tool
- 19. Create a Free Stock Photo Site
- 20. Become an Influencer and Make Recurring Revenue
- 21. Create a Newsletter
- 22. Invent Something, License It, and Earn Royalties
- 23. Write and Sell an Ebook Online
- 24. Buy In-Demand Equipment or Products and Rent Them Out
- 25. Invest In Treasury Bonds
- Final Thoughts On The Best Assets That Generate Cash Flow
25 Assets That Generate Cash Flow
Let's look at some of the best income-producing assets and investments you should consider adding to your portfolio.
1. Create A Website And Monetize It With Display Ads
If you have a website, you can monetize it in a number of ways, but one of the most common is by displaying ads.
Advertising networks like Ezoic will pay you to display their ads on your website. And every time someone clicks on one of those ads, you will earn money.
This is a great way to generate income from your website because it’s completely passive – you can set it up once and then start earning money from it without having to do any additional work.
Plus, as opposed to other ways of monetizing your website, like affiliate marketing, it is much more flexible.
This is because affiliate marketing usually involves creating content that is geared towards promoting certain products, which can quickly get restrictive and often penalized by Google.
However, monetizing your site with display ads instead means that you can effectively monetize almost any content.
Example: A great example of a successful entrepreneur who uses display ads exclusively to monetize his niche websites is Jon Dykstra (owner of FatStackBlogs).
2. Create A Digital Product
If you have valuable skills, talent, or experience, you can create a digital product and sell it online. Options range from an online course to a PDF ebook to a mobile app.
The best thing about digital products is that they can be delivered automatically. Once someone buys your product, you don’t have to do anything else. This makes for a very passive income stream that can generate steady cash flow for years to come.
However, you should note that creating and marketing a digital product takes time, effort, money, and a bit of skill. Digital products aren't a get-rich-quick scheme by any means.
If you’re ready to commit the time or already have a lot of traffic to your blog or website where you could market your product, it can be a great way to generate long-term passive income.
Example: Link Whisper is a highly successful digital product used by website owners the world over.
See how 7 website owners use Link Whisper to their advantage here.
3. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is a type of marketing where you earn a small (or large) commission for promoting someone else’s product or service.
As an affiliate, you simply need to find a product that you like and promote it to your audience. After someone clicks on your link and makes a purchase, you will earn a commission on each sale.
This can be a great way to generate income, especially if you have a blog or website with a loyal following.
According to a recent study by Glassdoor, affiliate marketers make an average of $89,162 per year and can even make millions on the higher end.
And the best part is that you can promote affiliate products without having to spend time and resources on creating your own product.
See our ultimate guide on Affiliate Marketing for Beginners here.
4. Create A Course And Sell It Online
If you’re an expert on a particular topic, then why not create a course and sell it online?
Not only can you make money from the sale of the course, but you can also potentially make money from using other strategies like advertising and affiliate marketing too.
Additionally, once your course is created, it can double as a solid passive asset that generates cash flow regularly without needing any further work or effort on your part!
Some of the best websites to sell your courses include platforms like:
Example: if you have a sizable following and are respected in your field, you can also sell high-end courses to your audience. A good example of this is the Authority Hacker courses, which have a starting price of $997.
5. Buy Or Start A Website, Grow It And Flip It
Another option to earn a decent amount from assets that generate cash flow is to buy or start a website and then grow it until it’s valuable enough to be sold. This is often referred to as flipping a website.
- The key here is to choose a niche that you’re interested in or well-versed in and then build out the site with quality content.
- Once the site starts getting some traction, you can then sell it for a profit to a buyer who might be interested in using it to target affiliate marketing.
- This can be a great way to make some decent money, but it does require a bit of work and time upfront.
Of course, you can always outsource the content creation if you don’t have the time or desire to do it yourself. Alternatively, skip the hassle and buy a website that is already making money from affiliate marketing or has a decent amount of monthly traffic and build up from there.
You can find some options at Motion Invest.
Bonus Tip: If you’re interested in buying and flipping websites to earn a quick buck, here is Mushfiq's basic 5-step process for buying and flipping websites.
6. Invest In Dividend Stocks
Dividend stocks are one of the best assets to generate cash flow. Because companies that pay dividends tend to be stable and mature, this makes them less risky and volatile than other types of stocks.
Many companies also offer dividend reinvestment plans (DRIPs), which lets you automatically reinvest your dividend payouts and acquire greater shares of the stock. This makes it a great way to compound your gains and grow your income over time using the stock market.
Plus, dividend paying stocks also offer another significant advantage: liquidity. This means that you can easily sell your stocks for cash if you need to, which is not always the case with other types of assets.
However, it’s important to realize that no two companies are exactly the same. The percentage return for your dividends often varies from company to company. This is why it’s always a good idea to invest in successful and well-known brands on the stock market that pay shareholders dividends regularly and provide consistent earnings.
These companies are often referred to as “blue-chip stocks” and include big names such as:
7. Buy a Property and Rent It Out
Another popular way to generate income is with rental real estate - buy a property and rent it out. This can be anything from a single-family home to a multi-unit apartment complex.
The key here is to find a real estate property that will produce a steady monthly cash flow after all expenses are paid.
This means your rental income should be greater than your:
- Mortgage payments
- Property taxes
- Other associated costs
A rental property will provide you with a regular income. Not to mention, real estate investments often appreciate in value over time, providing you with the potential for even greater returns than other income generating assets.
Just be sure to do your due diligence and research the real estate market before buying any rental property.
Also, be ready to put in some sweat equity in managing the property on your own if you’re not planning on outsourcing the property management to a third party.
8. Airbnb Your Spare Room
If you have an extra room in your house or apartment that you’re not using, you can list it on Airbnb and earn income from people who rent it out.
Surprisingly, this can be quite profitable. According to surveys by Earnest.com, AirBnB hosts made an average of $924 a month off the platform in 2021.
This means it is a great way to produce income, especially if you live in an area known for tourism or near a popular city. And the best part is you can set your own rental rates and schedule.
Just be sure to read over Airbnb’s host requirements before getting started, and remember that the amount of money you make monthly will depend on a number of factors, including your location, the type of room you have, and how often you’re able to rent it out.
9. Create an App Or a SaaS Product
If you’re someone with a few technical skills looking for assets that make you rich, a great option is to create an app or a software-as-a-service (SaaS) product.
If you can create a product that solves a problem or fills a need, you can then easily sell it in the form of an app or subscription-based service.
This can be a great way to generate income, especially if you can get your app or product in front of a large audience.
But the best part?
You can do this all from the comfort of your own home and it can be anything you’re passionate about.
For example, this Reddit user made an app on iOS as a side project for his girlfriend that lets freelancers make invoices, and now that app is generating about $1,000 a month for him.
However, it’s important to note that cash-generative businesses like these do require some technical skills, knowledge, and time to get started.
If it feels overwhelming at the beginning, you might want to consider hiring a developer to help you create your app or product.
10. Invest In Index Funds
Investing in index funds is another example of great assets that generate cash flow and can help you grow your wealth over time.
Index funds are a type of investment that tracks a basket of stocks that represent a particular market or sector. For example, you may want to invest in the S&P 500 Index Fund, which tracks the 500 largest companies in the US stock market.
Not only are index funds a great way to diversify your investment portfolio, but they’re also relatively low-risk. Plus, they have the potential to generate a lot of income over time.
In fact, according to Investopedia, the average annual return for index funds has been about 11.88% since its inception in 1957.
To get started with investing in index funds, you’ll need to open a brokerage account with a reputable trading company like:
- Fidelity Investments
- Charles Schwab
- TD Ameritrade
- Interactive Brokers LLC
- Ally Invest
After setting up an account, you can then start buying and selling index funds that fit your investment goals.
Just keep in mind that investing in any type of security comes with risk, so be sure to do your research and understand the risks involved before investing any money.
11. Invest In ETFs
Speaking of Index Funds, another good asset to invest in is exchange-traded funds (ETFs).
Similar to index funds, ETFs track a basket of securities, and you’ll need to open a brokerage account with a reputable firm to start trading them.
But the biggest difference is that, unlike Index Funds, they can be traded throughout the day on stock exchanges. This makes them a bit more volatile, but they can also offer the potential for higher returns.
According to a study by dontworkanotherday.com, the average annual return for the S&P 500 ETFs is around 10%.
12. Create a Store on Etsy Selling Your Designs
If you’re someone who likes to design and create things, another solid way to generate income is by setting up a shop on platforms like Etsy and selling your designs.
Etsy is an online marketplace for handmade and vintage items, as well as arts and crafts supplies. And it’s also a great platform for selling your designs, whether you create them yourself or outsource the production.
Simply create an Etsy account and start setting up your shop by listing your products.
Take some time to research and browse other similar shops on Etsy as well to get a feel for the market of what’s selling well and how to price your own products.
And once you get started, be sure to promote your Etsy shop on your social channels to get the word out and start making sales!
To maximize your earning potential, here is what you need to know about selling digital downloads on Etsy.
13. Consider Crypto Passive Income Opportunities
If you're okay with something more high-risk/high-reward and want to dip your toes in digital income-producing investments, you might want to consider putting some money into cryptocurrencies.
Cryptocurrencies are digital or virtual tokens that use cryptography to secure their transactions and control the creation of new units.
Created in 2009, Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency and remains the most well-known. Since its inception, thousands of other cryptocurrencies flooded the market and there’s now a wide range of crypto assets to choose from.
While investing in cryptocurrencies can be risky, there are also a number of potential benefits. For example, some cryptocurrencies offer the potential for very high returns, while others offer the opportunity to earn interest or dividends.
And because there are so many different cryptocurrencies to choose from, you can easily diversify your investment portfolio with minimal risk.
To get started with investing in cryptocurrencies, you’ll need to set up a digital wallet to store your coins. You can then buy and sell cryptocurrencies on online exchanges or through brokers.
Just be sure to do your research before investing in any cryptocurrency and never invest money that you can’t afford to lose (like your retirement funds) as the market is usually very volatile and there’s always a risk of losing money.
As far as assets that generate cash flow go, this one isn't recommended to anyone who wants to play it safe.
14. Grow A Youtube Channel And Earn From Adsense
Making money from YouTube is a very viable way to generate income and cash flow using Google AdSense which allows you to earn money every time your viewers click on an ad.
To get started, you’ll need to create a YouTube channel and start creating videos regularly.
You’ll also need to meet the Youtube Partner Program’s eligibility criteria to monetize your videos with Google Adsense.
Before you can start monetizing, make sure your channel includes all of the following:
- Your channel shouldn’t have any active community guidelines strikes against it and should follow Youtube’s policies and guidelines.
- It should have more than 1,000 active channel subscribers.
- It should have clocked in more than 4,000 valid public watch hours within the last 6 months.
However, to be successful with this, you’ll need to produce high-quality videos that are entertaining or informative, and you’ll need to grow a sizable audience. But if you can do that, YouTube can be a great way to generate income from your passion.
Example: Ryan Trahan decided to drop out of college and pursue his YouTube dream full-time. (Here's his video from 2017 announcing his decision.) Fast-forward to today: Ryan's got 10.5 million subscribers to his channel and is earning an estimated $60K/month from ads alone.
Among all the assets that generate cash flow, this would be one of our favorites. The competition is fierce, but YouTube's algorithm is always hungry for fresh talent and content.
15. Invest in a REIT
Real estate investment trusts (REITs) are businesses that operate, own, or finance revenue-producing real estate.
Often referred to as the “mutual funds of real estate,” real estate investment trusts can offer a number of benefits, including:
- Potential for high returns
- Monthly dividends
- The ability to get involved with investing in the real estate sector without taking on the responsibility of directly purchasing property
There are several different types of REITs, but most allow you to get into real estate investing by investing in a basket of properties without having to directly manage them.
To start investing in real estate investment trusts, you can purchase shares in a publicly traded REIT on a stock exchange, or you can invest in a private REIT through a broker.
Just be sure to research properly before investing in real estate assets because, as with most other things on the stock market, there's always an element of risk involved.
16. Sell Lesson Plans to Teachers
If you’re a teacher or have experience developing quality lesson plans, you can make a surprisingly large amount of money by selling your plans to educators.
In fact, one couple even managed to make a whopping $1 million a year by selling their lesson plans online!
To get started, you’ll need to create a quality portfolio of your work. You can then list your plans for sale on different sites like Teachers Pay Teachers and Lesson Planet or try the old-school approach and reach out to librarians, educators, and schools directly to sell your plans.
If you’re able to create high-quality lesson plans that are well-organized and easy to follow, with a bit of luck, you can expect to earn recurring cash flow that could add up to a full-time income from home.
17. Build and Sell a Puzzle Subscription Box Business
Who doesn’t love a good puzzle? If you’re passionate about puzzles, you can actually make money by starting your own subscription-based puzzle business.
To get started, you’ll need to create a quality website and market your business to potential customers. You can then start putting together boxes of puzzles to sell, which customers will receive on a monthly basis.
This can be a great way to earn recurring income from home, and it’s actually not as difficult as it might sound.
Example: If you need some inspiration, check this IndieHacker who built and sold a subscription-based puzzle business for $20,000 within a year.
18. Create and Build an AI Tool
It's no secret that AI is constantly evolving and becoming more and more popular, with businesses of all sizes starting to use it in a variety of different ways.
So, if you have experience with AI or know how to code, now is the best time to seriously consider creating and building your own AI tool as an income-producing asset that you can sell to businesses or directly to consumers.
A prime example of a highly successful AI tool in 2022 is Jasper.AI.
This AI writing tool was created by Dave Rogenmoser as a way to help eliminate “writer's block” and make use of AI to help create text-based content.
It was recently recognized by G2 as the Summer Leader Business in 2022 and is also used by some of the world’s best marketing teams including big names like :
If you have a strong programming background and if you're familiar with GPT-3, you too can create an effective and functioning AI tool that solves a specific problem or performs a specific task.
Keep in mind that you’ll almost definitely need to have a strong understanding of AI (including the forthcoming GPT-4 update) and possibly some seed money in order to be successful.
Important to remember: The jury is still out on whether Google will tolerate fully AI sites. So approach this idea with caution.
19. Create a Free Stock Photo Site
Another easy asset to invest in that can also generate cash flow is to either sell your images to a free stock photo site or create one yourself.
There’s a huge demand for high-quality stock photos as more and more businesses start to understand the importance of using quality visuals in their marketing strategies. If you’re a professional photographer, there’s a good chance you already know about the many stock photo sites out there where businesses and individuals can purchase photos.
But not many people know that you can actually make money by submitting your photos to these sites.
While it takes time and effort to build up a large enough portfolio to make serious money from stock photo sites, it can still be a great way to generate cash flow income if you’re able to consistently submit high-quality photos.
Example: Create your own company and potentially earn up to $120,000 per year by simply running ads on your free stock photos site.
20. Become an Influencer and Make Recurring Revenue
If you’re someone who is already active on social media and has a large following, then your social accounts can act like passive assets that generate cash flow. You can potentially start thinking about leveraging your influence to earn passive income.
This is done by partnering with brands and businesses in your niche who will pay you to promote their products or services to your followers. The amount you can earn will depend on a number of factors, such as your social media platform, the size of your following, and your engagement rate.
But if you have a decent enough following on social media and are able to effectively promote products and services that your followers are interested in, then becoming an influencer can be a great way to earn a full-time income.
The key is to figure out how to do this passively with a strong MRR (monthly recurring revenue).
Example: one IndieHacker success story used the power of TikTok influencers to grow their productized service by a sizeable $4,000 MRR.
If you want to learn how to become an influencer, check out our guide here.
21. Create a Newsletter
Another popular income-producing investment that ranks high among our income generating assets is a newsletter.
With a newsletter, you can reach a large audience of people who are interested in what you have to say and offer them valuable information, resources, and exclusive deals that they won’t be able to find anywhere else.
Not only is this a great way to build rapport with your audience, but it’s also an excellent way to generate leads and sales for your business.
If you have a large enough audience, you can even charge businesses for advertising space in your newsletter.
Example: For some inspiration, here’s one Reddit user explaining how he was able to generate more than $1,000 in a single day after only 3 months of running a newsletter.
For those who want to start a subscription newsletter, check out our full Substack review here.
22. Invent Something, License It, and Earn Royalties
If you’re an inventor or have a knack for coming up with new ideas, then you can make money by licensing your ideas and earning royalties. The process looks something like this:
- Create a prototype of your invention and then market it to companies who are interested in manufacturing and selling it.
- If they decide to go ahead with your idea, they will pay you a royalty for each unit that they sell.
- While it can take time, effort, and luck to get your invention off the ground, it can be a great way to generate passive income once it’s been licensed and is being sold by other companies.
So if you have a good idea for a product, don't hesitate to pursue it as a potential income generating asset!
Who knows, maybe you'll end up with a solid product that you can license and sell for royalties down the line.
Example: The Zip It Drain cleaner was a simple invention that was licensed in 2000 and has since sold over 33 million units. That's a lot of royalty checks in the mail.
23. Write and Sell an Ebook Online
If you’re a good writer and have something valuable to say, then writing an e-book may be one of the best income-producing investments you can make.
Not only can you earn royalties from each sale, but you can also potentially make money from advertising and affiliate marketing by including links to sponsored products inside it as well.
The best part is that once your e-book is written, it can be sold over and over again without any additional effort on your part.
So, if you have a passion for writing and want to find a way to make money from it, then writing and selling e-books is something you should definitely consider as passive income streams for generating income.
Is writing a book profitable? Learn the ins and outs of the industry here!
24. Buy In-Demand Equipment or Products and Rent Them Out
If you have some extra money to invest, one of the safest ways to do so these days is to buy in-demand equipment that you can rent out.
The key is to buy equipment that is in high demand but in relatively low supply. That way, you can charge a premium for renting it out.
As long as you keep the equipment well-maintained, you should be able to generate a decent return on your investment while providing a valuable service to those who need it.
- Photography equipment
- Construction equipment
- Musical equipment
- Camper Vans
- Baby equipment
And much more besides. Some people even rent out their broadband to generate cash flow.
25. Invest In Treasury Bonds
Last on our list of common income generating assets, treasury bonds are a type of investment that is backed by the US government and pay regular interest payments. A few facts to be aware of:
- They are generally thought to be one of the safest forms of investments because they’re supported by the credit of the American government and have a very low likelihood of default.
- While they don’t offer the high returns that some other investments do, they are still a decent way to generate steady income.
- They are very low-risk, which makes them ideal for those who want to preserve their capital.
- This makes treasury bonds ideal for people looking for safe and reliable income-producing investments.
Final Thoughts On The Best Assets That Generate Cash Flow
As you can see, there are a lot of different income producing assets that generate cash flow. Deciding which ones are best for you will depend on:
- Your individual circumstances
- Your appetite for risk
- How much work you want to initially put into them
However, the 25 best income generating assets that we’ve discussed in this article should give you a good starting point to consider what might work for you.
Take some time to think about which of these would be the best fit for you and your situation.
We’re positive that whether you’re looking for safe and reliable income-producing investments or more speculative ventures, there’s sure to be an asset on this list that fits your needs.
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