What should you be investing in this year?

Do you have spare capital that you would like to set to work for you? As the economic environment continues to sharply shift, you need to keep a clear eye on the associated changes in your investment options.

In the past, you might have decided to abide by the old adage of ‘safe as houses’, but the tide has turned on buy-to-let investments in the last few years. New legislation has included less favourable tax rules for landlords as well as tougher rules for new borrowers.

So, if property is losing its appeal, where else should you turn? Which investments are more attractive right now?

Forex trading

We live in a turbulent world. A single speech by a leading politician is all that’s needed to send a currency into a mild panic. It’s in this environment that currency investors can earn their corn. Currency is traded in pairs, so the art here is learning which ones will grow in comparison to another. It also means that you could benefit from a fall in the pound, for example. It might take you a while to learn how to trade forex, but the returns could be considerable.


The Bitcoin market increased by 300% in 2020. Clearly, for the intrepid investor, there are potentially amazing returns to be had. But it is of course an unregulated and volatile market environment for now, so advance with great caution. If you’re ready to find out more about Bitcoin trading, click here.

Peer to peer lending

You can choose to use your money to help ‘crowdfund’ an up and coming business. This is managed for you through a lending platform, with borrowers vetted before they can access to your cash. Sites offering this service do take a fee – but they still offer a better rate than banks for both borrower and lender which is why they’re increasingly attractive. Some firms can deliver returns of higher than seven per cent, but even a modest investment can deliver two to three times the amount of one of the better savings accounts on the market.

Real estate funds

The FTSE 100 had a torrid year in 2020, falling by almost 15%. So, perhaps not the best time to get into funds wedded too closely to that index. Instead, look at global real estate investment trusts (Reits), which remain a hot tip for 2021.

Houses, after all

We started by looking at the issues facing buy-to-let investors. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that you should abandon the housing market entirely. It might well make sense to invest in housebuilders rather the houses themselves, especially if this is a market you have some experience in. As Ross Clark of the Spectator notes: “Over the past decade housebuilders’ shares have been a supercharged play on the property market. Even in the hottest of hotspots you would have been better off buying housebuilders’ shares than buying property directly. Over one, three and five years the shares of every housebuilder have comfortably outperformed the value of the products they build.” Clearly shares carry a risk but, unlike properties, they require less of a commitment up front and are easier to move on should things move downwards.