If you're young and brash, or even if you're old and still have some risk appetite, you may be looking around for new investment ideas.
Trouble is, you probably won't find any on CNBC, Fox Business or any of the traditional media outlets. You'll have to dig a little deeper, maybe even start researching financial blogs, but there are literally thousands of them. Finding the right kind of investing advice for your particular risk level can be as daunting a task as picking a particular stock out of thousands of those listed on the major exchanges.
For some, whose primary goal is to protect wealth, the answer is simple. Gold, gold and more gold, but make sure it's physical and you can keep it in your own possession. Playing around with the SPDR Gold Trust EFT (GLD) may bring you profits, but in the end you have paper, not gold. You want physical, and it's as easy to get as a trip to a local coin or precious metals dealer or from various international dealers such as AMPEX or KITCO, who generally can suit the needs whether you're spending $10,000 or $10 million.
Those same coin shops and dealers usually also do a brisk business in silver, which is a little more speculative, but carries the same kind of wealth protection as gold, but at a fraction of the cost (the current gold:silver ratio is right around 40:1, though it's traditionally been closer to 16:1).
Another place to buy silver and gold is - of all places - eBay, where there are hundreds, if not thousands of auctions for gold and silver every day. The prices are fair, usually around spot, often less, and the action is fast-paced and addictive.
For those who are tired of the mainstream stocks, many of which have been gyrating and grinding higher and lower without any regard to fundamentals, a more rigorous test of one's due diligence comes in the form of penny stocks, which are just what they sound like, small companies selling shares in a smaller, and consequently, less liquid, market, known in the trade as the "pink sheets" or simply, "the pinks."
Penny stocks are not for conservative investors; they carry a high level of risk. Many of these companies aren't even known to the general investing public and most of them are unprofitable or just barely turning a small profit. The key is to know which ones are actually going somewhere, have good management and are on their way to becoming the next Microsoft or Google. Most companies start small and penny stocks offer investors to get in on the ground floor, before their idea, application, service or product goes viral or mainstream.
Many of these companies are bought out by larger firms, resulting in hefty profits for shareholders, but finding the good ones takes time and research, to say nothing of an iron stomach.
There are dozens of sites offering penny stock picks but clicking the preceding link will take you to one that has a proven track record, offers quality content and does great research on companies you may have never heard of but could be regional powerhouses, national or global leaders years from now.
So, there you have it: three investments for three different levels of risk appetite. Low: Gold; Medium: Silver; High: Penny Stocks. And you don't have to watch a minute of CNBC for any of them.