Aug. 5, 2014 – Financial advisors, business columnists and even Lottery representatives all across the country always say the same things: be smart and make good choices with your money when you win big.
But good choices don’t have to be boring. Far too many pieces of financial advice for lottery winners focus on the relatively risk-free investments that will generate millions of dollars a year in income, so winners can enjoy seven or eight-digit spending accounts without lifting a finger.
But life, as we all well know, is not just about spending. Below you’ll find six ways you could invest a big jackpot win. They might not be recommended investments from your Wall Street wealth manager, but who ever said hitting the jackpot has to be the last time you take a chance?
Invest in a Business
For the very affordable price of $30 million, you could buy yourself a vineyard in the Tuscany region of Italy. Now that you’re very, very rich, you shouldn’t just develop a taste for wine – how cliche. Instead, drop a nice chunk of your winnings, hire a world-class vintner, and have a wine crafted around your tastes.
Chump change of a few hundred thousand dollars could buy you a fancy restaurant, where you can sell bottles of your Mega-Vine-Wine with a large profit margin. Just don’t forget to hire a good manager – there’ll be a lot of employees to pay, unless you want to pick, stomp, taste, and serve all that wine yourself.
Buy Yourself a Sports Team
As an adult with full knowledge of all the training that professional athletes do, I’ve come to admit that my chances of becoming a superstar athlete in any sport have passed. If I were a better golfer, perhaps…
Despite forgotten dreams of Olympic medals, I could still own a sports team, and owners get trophies too.
The best sport to invest in right now seems like Major League Soccer. MLS franchises are popping up all over the country, and are beginning to make more of an appearance on television in the U.S. as well. The fan base is unquestionably there.
The best part – you could get in on MLS action for somewhere between $40 and $100 million. While forking over your entire after-tax winnings isn’t advisable, many MLS teams have been purchased by groups rather than individuals, so you and your new rich buddies can go in on this prime investment together.
Give To Charity
Not every investment has to be about profit, and plenty of people would tell you that donating to charity pays dividends in its own way.
Just a part of your jackpot could help a lot of people – tonight is National Night Out, why not throw your local police a party to say thanks.
You could make donations to hospitals, schools or other research institutions, too, helping advance important sciences and making life a little better for everyone.
Of course, your donation doesn’t need to be anonymous, and if you donate to schools, they might even let you name your very own building.
Speaking of schools, many U.S. lotteries support education, among other great causes across the country. Visit your state lottery’s website to see where the money helps in your state.
Invest in Yourself
That’s right, school. Your teenage self wants to strangle you for even considering it, but getting an education is a great investment.
If you plan to keep working after your big win, it could help in getting you a raise, or landing you a dream job – being a millionaire means you’ve got time to figure out what you want to be when you “grow up”.
And plenty of people just like learning. Find a new hobby, perfect it, and go back to number one in this list. Going back to school could help you start that business you’ve always wanted to get off the ground.
Invest in the Stock Market
We’re back to Wall Street, but wait! Stocks don’t have to be boring. Financial advisors tell lottery players to invest their winnings in a “conservative” portfolio. That’s because with major money here and there, even a small price increase per stock can mean big profits.
A good stockbroker can help handle all of this. I’m a writer, so the technicalities evade me at a certain point, but what I do know is that “conservative” is relative. If you hit it big on Mega Millions tonight, that means you’ve taken some risks with your cash.
Tell your financial team to put aside some money – call it an “oops-proof” fund – and be a bit more aggressive with another chunk of your winnings. Some stocks could pay like crazy – enough to buy several of your own islands – or you could lose that other chunk.
Just make sure you’re safe when you decide to take chances with your stock portfolio.
Invest in your Country
You patriot, you! I’m not talking about throwing money at politicians (legally or, hopefully not, illegally), but rather investing in government bonds.
Likely the most boring of all investment options, government bonds are guaranteed to grow, and best of all, they’re tax free.
Let’s face it, that jackpot-winning Mega Millions ticket might have been your lucky break, but it was also your one-way ticket into America’s highest tax bracket. Like your financial advisor would tell you: finding a way to minimize your income tax is a good idea.
When you finally win big, remember that listening to a team of financial advisors and playing it safe is a great idea. But don’t forget to have a little fun, too.
Good luck in tonight’s drawing!