Passive income. Passive income streams. Multiple income streams.
All words and phrases that once upon a time, were associated with fast talking characters who would lure you into their business web with dreams of overseas holidays, fast cars and cash falling from the sky.
These days, savvy businesspeople can create passive income streams from just about anything.
So, what’s a multiple income stream, what’s the best passive income stream to opt for and how do you go about creating one yourself?
What are multiple income streams?
Just as the words suggest, it’s earning income from more than one source. But the object is to earn extra money without having to work extra hard. It’s not the same as having two jobs. It’s more like having a side hustle and making money on the side.
Maybe you have a corporate day job but you’re also a talented writer. Then why not write at night and on weekends and earn extra some dollars. Just remember, JK Rowling wrote Harry Potter in her spare time!
What is passive income?
Passive income is making regular money from something you’re not actively involved in. It can be something outside of your usual business or income, or it can be an extension of your usual business. It would be fair to say that when most people think of passive income, they think about real estate, usually residential real estate and investment properties or earning dividends from the share market.
And while they would be correct, and investing in real estate and the share market are excellent ways to create a passive income stream, it’s not the only way.
Creating passive income from real estate
There’s no denying that a solid real estate portfolio has the potential to give an investor a great rental income for years to come. In fact, people can build their fortunes and take early retirement after investing wisely in Australia’s relentlessly upward property market. Buy the property, put in some tenants, hand the reins over to a property manager and then sit back and enjoy the passive income, year after year. The fact that the property itself is likely to increase in value is another reason why property investment continues to be a major passive income stream for so many Australians.
With record low interest rates, and an assurance by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) that interest rates will not rise until at least 2024, there’s never been a better time to invest in bricks and mortar.
However, before investing in the property market, unless you’ve got great wads of cash lying around, you need to consider the tax implications and that the expenses involved in maintaining an investment property can make property ownership feel less passive than you thought it would be.
Tax incentives – the ATO has some great tax incentives for investors. From claiming on loan interest, real estate fees, insurance and even property and garden maintenance, you can read all about it in our ultimate guide to investment property tax deductions.
Capital Gains Tax (CGT) – any asset you buy is subject to tax. When you buy, sell or dispose of an asset, such as a property or shares, the difference between what you paid for the asset and what you sell it for, is called a capital gain. If you lose money in the sale, it’s called a capital loss. We show you how to minimise your CGT.
Property gearing – this is when you borrow money to buy a property. If you’re making a profit on your investment, that’s called positive gearing. If you’re losing money, you’re negative gearing. There are benefits and drawbacks to each investment type so be sure to speak to a financial advisor before making any decisions.
While buying an investment property may be a time honoured Aussie tradition, there’s lots of other ways you can make money from a passive income stream.
Investing in shares
For most people, investing in shares is a long term decision with the view that the money you’ve invested will increase over time. When you buy a share, you’re buying a piece, known as a unit, in the company. The companies in which you can buy a share are listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), known as the stock market or stock exchange.
To buy or sell shares, you need to use a broker but once this is done, you just have to sit back and wait for dividends to be paid, usually twice a year. It’s probably the closest thing to passive income that you’ll find, but knowing where and what to invest in at the start requires thought and often advice too.
Running your business
As your business and team grows you may find yourself in a position where you have the ability to be less involved in the day to day running of the business and you’re able to spend less hours in the business.
Being able to make a profit from your business without needing to be hands on can be another profitable stream of income for many people.
Renting out your spare room or using your investment property as an Airbnb is an amazing way to make some extra money. While it wouldn’t be considered exactly passive income if you do all the cleaning etc yourself, it’s still a pretty easy way to set up a long term income stream once you sort out the logistics. As with any income, there are tax implications that should be discussed with your financial advisors.
Write an online course or an eBook
Do you run a business or have a hobby that has people asking you all the time ‘how do you do that?’ Do you spend lots of time helping people out? Then perhaps you should put together an online course or e-book using whatever skills and techniques are appropriate to monetise your skillset.
Lots of people are making money by sharing knowledge and helping others do what they do well. There are courses and e-books out there for just about anything you can think of and once you set it all up, you don’t have to do much else except wait for the income to start rolling in.
Create an app
Do you have a brilliant idea or wish there was an app for something (and there isn’t)? Do you think others may want the same thing? Then why not create an app. Every app we use started as an idea.