8 Best Income Generating Assets Everyone Should Know

European suburban house

In my journey through the investment landscape, I’ve always been drawn to the allure of income generating assets, finding them to be the cornerstone of a solid financial portfolio.

Particularly, real estate has stood out to me as a profitable endeavor, with rental properties promising regular rental income alongside the potential of appreciating property values over time .

Moreover, venturing into Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) has offered me high returns and a chance to diversify my investments across various segments of the real estate market.

I’ve learned that investing isn’t solely about pouring capital into the stock market; it encompasses a wide range of vehicles, from dividend-paying stocks to bonds and annuities, each contributing uniquely to cash flow and portfolio diversity.

This narrative of investing, in my experience, underscores the importance of aligning one’s choices with personal financial goals and risk tolerance.

As such, I’ve found that a comprehensive approach—balancing between direct investments like rental real estate and indirect ones through REITs or the stock market, along with solid strategies in managing mutual funds and index funds—can enhance returns while managing risks effectively.

The journey doesn’t stop at selection, however; constant market research, prudent financial planning, and regular portfolio reviews have been integral in ensuring these assets contribute meaningfully towards achieving my long-term financial aspirations, from establishing a steady stream of passive income to optimizing returns through tax-efficient strategies.

Best Income Generating Assets in 2024

Rental Real Estate

In my exploration of income generating assets, I’ve discovered that rental real estate holds a unique position, especially as we approach 2024. Here’s why I believe it’s a cornerstone for anyone looking to diversify their investment portfolio:

    • Stability and Inflation Hedge: Unlike other investment types, rental real estate offers a tangible safeguard against inflation. With fixed-rate mortgages, while your repayments remain constant, rents can increase with inflation, enhancing your income over time. This characteristic not only provides a stable cash flow but also protects the purchasing power of your earnings.

    • Appreciation and Tax Benefits: Over the years, I’ve observed that property values tend to rise post-economic downturns, making real estate a resilient long-term investment. Moreover, the tax write-offs associated with rental properties, such as deductions for mortgage interest, property taxes, and operating expenses, amplify the returns. This dual benefit of appreciation and tax efficiency is a compelling reason to include real estate in your portfolio.

    • Technological Advancements and Market Resilience: The advent of technology, with platforms like Belong, has simplified property management, making it more accessible for investors like me to manage properties efficiently. Even amidst economic fluctuations, with CBRE forecasting a moderate recession and Fannie Mae predicting shifts in multifamily cap rates, the fundamental demand for housing underpins rental real estate’s resilience. The expected increase in demand leading to lower vacancy rates in desirable neighborhoods further strengthens its position as a top income-generating asset for 2024.

As I navigate through the complexities of the investment world, the allure of rental real estate as a stable, appreciating, and tax-efficient asset class becomes increasingly evident. Its potential for generating passive income, coupled with the benefits of leveraging and the tangible security it offers, positions rental real estate as a pivotal component of a diversified investment strategy. The anticipation of continued demand and limited supply driving the market reinforces my confidence in rental real estate’s enduring value as we move into 2024.

Dividend Paying Stocks

Transitioning from the tangible asset of rental real estate, my investment journey led me to explore the potential of dividend-paying stocks. These stocks have not only diversified my portfolio but also provided a steady stream of passive income. Here’s a closer look at some of the dividend-paying stocks that caught my attention:

    • Technology and Healthcare Sectors:
        • United Micro Electronics (UMC): With a dividend yield of 7.0%, UMC benefits from the burgeoning demand for chips in AI applications, smart cars, and IoT.

        • Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ): Offering a dividend yield of 6.7%, Verizon is poised for growth with lower capital expenditures and a stronger balance sheet, making it an attractive choice for income-focused investors.

    • Consumer Staples and Utilities:
        • Coca-Cola Co. (KO): A staple in dividend portfolios, KO boasts a dividend yield of 3.2% with consistent earnings per share, making it a reliable income source.

        • Essential Utilities Inc. (WTRG): With a dividend yield of 3.4%, it represents a solid investment in the utilities sector, trading at 18 times forward earnings.

    • Real Estate and Energy:
        • Enbridge Inc. (ENB): With a 7.6% dividend yield, ENB benefits from the shale and fracking boom, offering a lucrative income stream amidst constraints on new pipeline constructions.

        • Mid-America Apartments Communities Inc. (MAA): This REIT, with a 4.5% dividend yield, is poised to benefit from favorable operating conditions, making it an attractive option for real estate investment in the stock market.

    • Emerging Markets and High Yield:
        • Ecopetrol SA (EC): With an astonishing dividend yield of 14.6% and trading at 5.6 times forward earnings, it’s a standout in the emerging markets, offering both high yield and growth potential.

        • Hercules Capital (HTGC): As a Business Development Company (BDC), it offers a dividend yield of 10.6% and has delivered a total return of 230% over the last decade, showcasing the potential for both income and capital appreciation.

Investing in these stocks has allowed me to tap into various sectors, from technology and healthcare to consumer staples and utilities, each contributing to a robust and diversified income-generating portfolio. The selection reflects a strategic mix of stability, growth potential, and high dividend yields, aligning with my goal to minimize the impact of market volatility while securing passive income streams. Moreover, the inclusion of stocks from emerging markets and high-yield segments introduces an element of growth equity, diversifying beyond traditional dividend sectors and enhancing the overall portfolio performance.

High-Yield Savings Accounts and CDs

After exploring the dynamic world of dividend-paying stocks, I turned my attention towards the more stable, yet equally vital, income-generating assets: High-Yield Savings Accounts and Certificates of Deposit (CDs). Here’s what I’ve learned about these options as we approach 2024:

High-Yield Savings Accounts

    • Flexibility and Accessibility: High-yield savings accounts offer a significant advantage in terms of flexibility. With the ability to withdraw money freely, depending on the bank, this could mean accessing savings via an ATM or electronically. This ease of access makes high-yield savings accounts ideal for those who may need their funds in a pinch.

    • Variable APY: While these accounts provide nearly as high Annual Percentage Yields (APYs) as CDs, it’s important to note that the APY is variable and can adjust with market changes. Despite this, they offer an appealing option for earning interest without the restrictions of a CD.

    • No Early Withdrawal Fees: Unlike CDs, high-yield savings accounts do not impose early withdrawal fees, maintenance fees, or minimum balance requirements, making them a hassle-free option for generating passive income.

Certificates of Deposit (CDs)

    • Fixed Interest Rates: CDs currently offer the enticing opportunity to lock in today’s high interest rates, which haven’t been this favorable since 2007. By committing your money to a CD, you secure a fixed interest rate for the entire term, protecting your investment from future rate decreases.

    • Early Withdrawal Considerations: While CDs offer higher interest rates, they require keeping your money locked in for the chosen term, with penalties for early withdrawals. This makes CDs less ideal for emergency funds but excellent for long-term savings goals where you won’t need immediate access to your cash.

    • Hybrid Strategy: For many, a combination of high-yield savings accounts and CDs forms a smart approach. This allows for both the security of fixed rates on a portion of your savings and the flexibility to access funds when necessary.

Interest Rates Forecast for 2024

    • Potential Rate Decreases: With the Federal Reserve signaling up to three rate cuts totaling 0.75% in 2024, we’re likely to see a decrease in interest rates for both CDs and high-yield savings accounts. This makes the current high rates an attractive opportunity for investors looking to maximize their returns.

    • Choosing Between Savings and CDs: Ultimately, the decision between opening a high-yield savings account or a CD comes down to when you’ll need access to your funds. If you’re comfortable locking away money for a set period, a CD might be the better option to capitalize on today’s high rates before they decrease.

As we navigate the shifting landscape of interest rates and investment opportunities in 2024, understanding the nuances of high-yield savings accounts and CDs becomes crucial. With their respective benefits and considerations, both options play a pivotal role in a diversified investment strategy, offering avenues for both security and growth in your income-generating portfolio.

Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs)

Venturing further into the realm of income-generating assets, I’ve found Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) to be an indispensable part of my diversified portfolio. REITs offer an excellent way to invest in real estate without the hassle of direct property management, providing a passive income stream through dividends. Here’s a closer look at some standout REITs that have caught my eye:

    • Specialty and Healthcare REITs:
        • American Tower Corp. (AMT): Specializing in wireless communications and broadcast towers, AMT boasts a forward dividend yield of 3.4%, making it a prime choice for those interested in the telecommunications sector.

        • Welltower Inc. (WELL): Focused on health care facilities, WELL offers a forward dividend yield of 2.6%. Investing in healthcare REITs can be a strategic move, given the growing demand for senior housing and medical services.

        • Public Storage (PSA) & Extra Space Storage Inc. (EXR): With forward dividend yields of 4.2% and 4.5% respectively, these self-storage REITs reflect the ongoing need for storage solutions, marking them as solid choices for portfolio diversification.

    • Residential and Data Center REITs:
        • AvalonBay Communities Inc. (AVB) & Equity Residential Properties Trust (EQR): Specializing in upscale apartment communities and diversified apartment properties, these REITs offer forward dividend yields of 3.8% and 4.4% respectively, highlighting the robust nature of the residential sector.

        • Digital Realty Trust (DLR): As a leading provider of data center solutions, DLR’s dividend yield of 3.4% and a 32% increase in the last year underscore the burgeoning demand for digital infrastructure.

    • Emerging and Undervalued REITs:
        • Modiv Industrial (MDV) & Iron Mountain (IRM): With dividend yields of 7.6% and 3.9% and notable increases in value over the last year, these REITs represent the industrial and information management sectors, offering unique growth opportunities.

        • Healthpeak Properties (DOC) & Kilroy Realty (KRC): Undervalued relative to their fair value estimates, with forward dividend yields of 6.81% and 6.08%, these REITs present an attractive entry point for investors looking to capitalize on market adjustments.

Incorporating REITs into my investment strategy has not only diversified my portfolio but also fortified it against traditional market fluctuations. The variety of sectors within the REIT domain, from healthcare and residential to data centers and industrial, provides a broad spectrum of opportunities to generate passive income. Moreover, the potential for capital appreciation in undervalued REITs adds an exciting dimension to the mix, offering a balanced approach to both income and growth investing. As I continue to explore the dynamic landscape of REIT investments, the blend of stability, diversity, and growth potential they offer reaffirms their place in my income-generating assets portfolio.

Peer-to-Peer Lending

Diving into the world of peer-to-peer (P2P) lending, I’ve discovered it’s a fascinating alternative to traditional financing methods, where individuals can lend and borrow money directly from each other, bypassing traditional financial institutions. This democratization of lending and borrowing has opened up new avenues for both investors and borrowers alike. Here’s a breakdown of what I’ve learned about the services and opportunities within P2P lending:

    • Diverse Services Offered:
        • Auto-Related Services: From Auto Loans to Car Shipping and even Auto Warranty, the range of auto-related services caters to various needs around vehicle ownership and transactions.

        • Business Services: Services like LLC Formation, Best Registered Agent Service, and CRM solutions are crucial for entrepreneurs looking to start or streamline their businesses.

        • Finance Services: This includes Personal Loans, Home Equity, and even Insurance Services, offering a comprehensive suite for personal financial needs.

        • Health and Home Services: With options like Hearing Aids, Medical Alert Systems, Home Warranty, and Home Improvement, P2P lending covers a wide array of personal and home care needs.

        • Solar Services: For those interested in sustainable living, services include finding the Best Solar Companies and calculating potential savings with a Solar Calculator.

    • Top Platforms for P2P Personal Loans in 2024:
        • LendingClub: Known for debt consolidation loans, it allows co-borrowers and offers loans from as low as $1,000 without prepayment penalties. The quick application process is a plus.

        • Prosper Personal Loans: Ideal for quick funding, Prosper supports co-borrowers, offers APR discounts for repeat borrowers, and provides a wide range of loan amounts.

        • Upstart Personal Loans: A great option for those without a credit history or with fair credit, accepting applicants with insufficient credit history and no early payoff fees.

    • Comparison of Selected P2P Platforms:PlatformAPR RangeLoan Amount RangeProsConsProsper8.99% – 35.99%$2,000 – $50,000Joint applications, quick fundsOrigination fees, payment by check feesFunding Circle7.49% – 28.99%$25,000 – $500,000Pre-qualification, quick fundsOrigination fees, requires good credit

P2P lending has not only expanded the horizon for accessing various services but also offers a platform for investors seeking higher returns, albeit with a higher risk profile. The growth of P2P lending is anticipated to continue in 2024, providing attractive returns but necessitating a careful approach to manage the inherent risks. My exploration into P2P lending has revealed its potential as a versatile component in my portfolio, offering both income opportunities and a broad spectrum of services that cater to diverse needs.

Investing in a Business

Stepping into the realm of business investment has opened up a whole new avenue of income-generating assets for me. The diversity in the types of businesses to invest in, from traditional setups like franchises to modern online ventures, has provided a wide spectrum of opportunities to generate income with varying levels of involvement. Here’s a glimpse into my journey:

    • Traditional and Online Businesses:
        • Franchises and Silent Partnerships: These offer a chance to be part of established business models with the potential for steady income. My involvement can range from being a silent partner, where I contribute financially without day-to-day management, to more hands-on roles.

        • Online Ventures: Platforms like Amazon FBA, e-commerce stores, and blogs have allowed me to explore flexible work arrangements. The digital landscape offers scalability and the potential for passive income, making it an attractive option for diversifying my portfolio.

Diving deeper into the mechanics of business investment, I’ve realized the importance of various investment vehicles and tools. Stocks, cryptocurrency, and bonds are just the tip of the iceberg. Here’s a breakdown of the methods and tools that have facilitated my investment journey:

    • Investment Vehicles: Stocks, cryptocurrency, bonds, ETFs, options, derivatives, commodities, and trading have all been part of my toolkit. Each offers unique advantages and risks, allowing me to tailor my investments according to my risk tolerance and financial goals.

    • Automated Investing and Brokers: Utilizing automated investing platforms and brokers has streamlined the investing process, making it more accessible and less time-consuming. This automation allows me to focus on strategic decision-making rather than getting bogged down in the minutiae of trading.

Understanding the broader economic and financial landscape has been crucial in making informed investment decisions. Here are some of the key areas I’ve focused on:

    • Fundamental Analysis: This method involves examining economic, financial, and other qualitative and quantitative factors. It’s been instrumental in evaluating securities and making decisions that align with my investment goals.

    • Key Topics for Investors: Staying informed on a wide range of topics, from personal finance issues like budgeting and insurance to broader economic indicators like government policy and monetary policy, has been vital. This comprehensive approach ensures I’m well-equipped to navigate the complexities of investing in businesses.

My foray into investing in businesses has not only diversified my income streams but also deepened my understanding of the financial world. The blend of traditional and online business investments, coupled with a strategic approach to utilizing various investment vehicles and tools, has been a rewarding part of my investment journey.

Index Funds and ETFs

After delving into the world of P2P lending, I turned my focus towards another cornerstone of my investment portfolio: Index Funds and ETFs. These vehicles have been instrumental in spreading my investments across various sectors and risk levels, providing a balanced approach to achieving my financial goals. Here’s a breakdown of some of the safest and top-performing Index Funds and ETFs for 2024, alongside the best picks for income-focused investors.

Safest Index Funds and ETFs to Buy in 2024

    • Vanguard S&P 500 ETF (VOO): A staple for those seeking exposure to the largest U.S. companies.

    • Vanguard High Dividend Yield ETF (VYM): Perfect for dividend hunters looking for high-yield stocks.

    • iShares Core S&P Total U.S. Stock Market ETF (ITOT): Offers comprehensive coverage of the U.S. stock market.

    • Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLP): Targets the consumer staples sector, known for its stability.

    • Vanguard Utilities ETF (VPU): Focuses on utility companies, often seen as a defensive play.

Top Income ETFs for 2024

    • Vanguard Dividend Appreciation Index Fund ETF (VIG): Emphasizes stocks with a record of growing their dividends.

    • iShares International Select Dividend ETF (IDV): Diversifies income sources with international dividends.

    • SPDR S&P Dividend ETF (SDY): Selects companies that have consistently increased dividends for at least 20 years.

Best Index Funds for 2024

  • Fidelity 500 Index Fund (FXAIX): Tracks the performance of the S&P 500, a benchmark for U.S. equity performance.

  • Schwab S&P 500 Index Fund (SWPPX): Another excellent choice for those looking to mirror the S&P 500’s returns.

  • Shelton Nasdaq-100 Index Investor (NASDX): Offers exposure to 100 of the largest non-financial companies on the Nasdaq.

In my journey, I’ve found that diversifying across different types of ETFs and Index Funds not only spreads risk but also taps into various income streams and growth opportunities. For instance, investing in the Vanguard Real Estate ETF (VNQ) allows me to gain exposure to the real estate sector without the complexities of direct property management. Meanwhile, the iShares U.S. Healthcare Providers ETF (IHF) and the Vanguard Utilities ETF (VPU) provide sector-specific investments that can offer stability and growth in their respective fields.

Navigating through the myriad of options, I’ve learned the importance of balancing my portfolio with both growth-oriented and income-generating assets. The blend of safety, income, and growth potential in these ETFs and Index Funds makes them an essential part of my investment strategy as I aim for a well-rounded and resilient portfolio heading into 2024.

Royalties from Intellectual Property

Diving into the world of royalties from intellectual property (IP) has been an eye-opening part of my investment journey. Essentially, royalties are payments made by a licensee to a licensor for the right to use the licensor’s IP. This can include anything from patents and trademarks to copyrights and trade secrets. The beauty of this income stream is its versatility and potential for passive income, especially when you have a valuable idea or creation that others want to use. Here are some key insights I’ve gathered:

    • Royalty Agreements: These are crucial in defining the terms of use and ensuring that I, as the licensor, receive fair compensation. The agreements can specify whether royalties are a fixed fee or a percentage of revenue, and they often include minimum payment guarantees to protect my earnings.

    • Payment Frequency and Rates: Royalties can be charged monthly, quarterly, or annually, allowing for regular income. Setting the right rate is a delicate balance – it requires understanding the value of the IP and considering factors like market demand, competition, and the uniqueness of the invention. Tools like RoyaltyRange can be instrumental in benchmarking rates against the market.

Understanding the valuation and protection of IP is paramount. Valuation methods include cost-based, market-based, or income-based approaches, each offering a different perspective on the IP’s worth. Protecting IP through patents, copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets ensures that it remains a viable asset. For example, the University of Wisconsin–Madison has a royalty distribution program that rewards inventors with a significant percentage of the generated royalty revenue, highlighting the potential financial benefits of IP ownership.

In summary, royalties from intellectual property represent a fascinating avenue for generating passive income. The process involves navigating licensing agreements, understanding valuation, and protecting the IP to ensure it continues to provide financial returns. This venture into IP royalties has not only diversified my portfolio but also deepened my appreciation for the value of creative and innovative ideas in the investment landscape.


Throughout this article, we’ve traversed the diverse landscape of income-generating assets, exploring everything from the tangible returns of rental real estate and the strategic dividends of stocks to the more nuanced realms of P2P lending, business investments, and royalties from intellectual property. Each of these avenues offers unique opportunities to fortify a financial portfolio, balancing between the pursuit of steady income streams and the potential for substantial growth. Our journey underscores the importance of diversification, strategic planning, and an open-minded approach to investment, aligning choices with personal financial aspirations and risk tolerance.

As we look ahead, the dynamic nature of the financial world and the evolving opportunities it presents beckon us to stay informed, agile, and proactive in our investment decisions. The potential of these income-generating assets to contribute meaningfully to financial success cannot be overstated, offering both stability and growth in an ever-changing economic landscape. Reflecting on this exploration, the path to unlocking wealth through informed investments is paved with knowledge, diversification, and an unwavering focus on long-term financial goals, emphasizing the profound impact of strategic asset selection on achieving financial security and prosperity.


What is the highest earning type of asset?

The asset that commonly generates the most income is rental property. This type of investment involves buying a property and leasing it to tenants. The income from rent is used to pay for the property’s expenses, including mortgage, taxes, and maintenance.

Can you provide three examples of assets that can create wealth?

Assets that typically appreciate in value or yield returns, thus creating wealth, include:

    • Savings accounts

    • Retirement plans

    • Stocks and bonds

    • Real estate, such as owning a house

What is the net worth required to be in the top 1%?

To be in the top 1% in the United States, an individual needs a net worth of at least $5.81 million. However, a minimum net worth of $30 million is necessary to be classified among the ultra-high net worth individuals. As of late 2023, there are approximately 626,000 people globally who meet this criterion, an increase from just over 600,000 the previous year.

Which asset is considered the best to invest in currently?

As of now, the top investments are:

    • Money market funds

    • Mutual funds

    • Index Funds

    • Exchange-traded funds (ETFs)

    • Stocks

    • Alternative investments

    • Cryptocurrencies

    • Real estate

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