Once you’ve hit the 10 million dollars mark, you are definitely very rich. Sit-on-a-leather-chair-smoking-a-cigar-just-to-feel-rich rich, use-hundred-dollar-bills-to-fan-myself rich… You get the idea. And now you must be wondering how to invest that 10 million dollars.
You’ve definitely made your way through the investing learning curve and have overcome some significant challenges, like:
- increasing your income potential (at the $1K – $100K mark)
- Keeping your wealth very safe (at the $1M mark)
- Generating a stable income replacement (at the $3M mark)
- You’ve even learned how to invest huge sums of money (at the $5M mark.)
And now you have new, better, more exciting issues.
And in case you’re wondering…
1 – No, don’t use hundred dollar bills to fan yourself. That goes against my stealth wealth guidance.
2 – This is part of my larger “How to invest at any wealth level” series where we go from $1K all the way up to $10M. So if you’re not a deca-millionaire yet, finish this article and then read the rest of the series.
But today we’ll learn:
What’s the issue with investing 10 million dollars?
The issue is not whether you can find a way to live comfortably. You can easily invest in some super-secure 2% return investment and live off that forever.
The issue is that we want to do something impressive.
This is the amount of capital that can work on a grand scale. No, you’re not even close to being your own tiny country, and you probably won’t get invited to any billionaire retreats, but if you focus your money and your energy on something – you can become a large force to reckon with.
So how do you invest your 10 million dollars to achieve that? I’m there yet but I plan to be someday and this is my plan.
Top 3 impressive investments
Buy whole neighborhoods
Want to be impressive. Start locally. And you can make a serious change to an entire neighborhood.
I generally don’t recommend keeping up with single-family rentals once you pass the multi-millionaire mark because it’s too overwhelming even with good managers, but this is a slightly different idea.
Your 10 million dollars can buy a lot of properties. Houses, buildings, and small business fronts – you could potentially own a chunk of a neighborhood. And here’s where it gets fun:
- When you buy a property and fix it up, its value goes up, right?
- Now what happens when a whole bunch of homes’ prices go up?
- The whole neighborhood increases in value!
- So your home-improvement efforts have super-compounding effects.
You’re forcing appreciation!
Once you improve a neighborhood, you can personally lure startups or business owners with something incentivizing. If you make an area enjoyable to both live and work, after 5 years you’re transforming it into something whose value will exceed your typical 11% rental returns!
There are interesting enclaves all over North America (like the innovation culture in Waterloo, Ontario) that are becoming their own little Silicon Valley. Growth brings more growth, but someone has to get the ball rolling.
I’m still on my way to 10 million dollars, but on top of my personal goal to make 6,000 people into millionaires just from following what I teach on this blog, I have another personal goal:
I want to raise my tenants out of poverty and do this on a large scale in a small area to really see the effects of my effort. I’m dreaming big!MrFIREescape
Maybe some of my new millionaire friends can help me, wink-wink? I guess that’s a discussion for another time though.
Here are a few things to bear in mind if you go the buying neighborhoods route. Choose an area that:
1 – Could benefit from an update. In essence, you want your efforts noticed as early as possible to create momentum.
If the area is too expensive already – your updates won’t put any kind of dent into the neighborhood’s value. If it’s too crummy – the momentum might be impossible to overcome.
2 – Already has a mix of businesses, apartment buildings, and single-family homes.
You may want to diversify your investments in different types of properties. It will also let you get started at the level you’re comfortable at. Besides, you don’t want to have to create something from nothing. You can’t bring in new business if there’s no commercial space, and you can’t bring in tenants if there are no homes.
3 – Is close to a passion of yours.
This one’s not a must in the business sense, but it will keep you motivated. If you’re into tech and start-ups, choose an area close to a university. If you want to see more arts and culture, choose an area that can support that.
You get the idea. Make it fun!
Keep investing yourself
I’ve always recommended skipping the managed funds route – at any wealth level. (And fiduciary investing rules got all messed up in 2018.) Even if a special manager was ONLY going to charge you 1% per year, that’s still an ungodly amount of money for your 10 million dollars.
Remember, managers take a cut of your total portfolio, regardless of whether or not your money grows. They also typically don’t outperform the stock market.
I spend maybe ten hours a year on investing and reading about markets. (Don’t get me wrong, I used to pore hours and hours into it, until I discovered that just does not make a difference.)
But even if I had to double the amount of time to spread my 10 million dollars across multiple ETFs once a year, I’d still do it myself.
If I were to pay a manager – 1% of 10 million dollars is $100K. I’d rather put my own hours into investing, and use the money to hire an assistant or two to help me run my real estate empire.
I’ve covered this in my earlier “how to invest” articles. When it comes to your wealth, it’s better to get your ducks in a row before things get overwhelming. So now that you have 10 million dollars, you need to set everything up to deal with your eventual death.
You can only pass down $22M to your heirs and if you’re on your way to having that much money, find the proper channels to funnel it into a trust.
Or just go straight to…
Honorable mention – Philanthropy
I know. This isn’t really an investment, but since we both decided to be impressive you get to read about it here.
You’re not Bill Gates, so limit your scope to something easier than eliminating malaria. At the same time, recognize that focusing that much money on one thing can make a real difference.
Bring drinking water to an area that needs it? Build a tutoring center for underprivileged teens? Fund research for a rare disease? Your money could be the difference between it being a dream and a reality.
Even if you’re not at a stage where you can eradicate an illness, holding on to this idea can be hella motivating to grow your wealth. (And in the meantime, you can always get into socially responsible investing.)
So what do you think? What are you going to do with your mega-millions?
TL;DR – How to invest 10 million dollars
- You’ve overcome most issues, and now it’s time to do something impressive.
- Consider buying whole neighborhoods where you can personally force appreciation through value growth
- Keep investing yourself. Forget managers.
- Start funneling money into trusts if you want your heirs to have an inheritance.
- And start dreaming big with philanthropy