Owning a collection of stocks or a total market index fund is only one way to invest. Increasingly, people are benefiting from getting into alternative asset classes like aquafarming, timberland, wind and solar power, and oil and gas to diversify their holdings. One of the more attractive qualities of alternative assets are that sometimes you can manage them yourself and they often pay a reasonable monthly or yearly income too.

Here are a few alternative assets that are interesting.

Shrimp Farming from Home

Shrimp farming is an interesting investment for someone wanting to get into aquafarming. It is a home-based investment for people who live on land with some open space to create several ponds or to put in water tanks. The tanks or ponds must have enough insect larvae or developed algae in the water to provide a ready supply of food for the shrimp to eat. Because of this, the farming of shrimp in the first year is ill-advised.

Preparing tanks or ponds ready to farm shrimp the following year is the best approach to take. It gives new farmers the chance to prepare their land, structures their planning and read all they can about this type of farming for profit. It does require daily tending to the ponds once the shrimp are situated to get the best results. As such, it’s not a passive investment but it can be a rewarding one once you have some experience.

Energy as an Opportunistic Investment

Whether buying into energy stocks or wind/solar energy stocks at opportunistic prices, it can be profitable when your timing is right. While these stocks often do well when the price of oil is higher and poorly when it’s fallen in value, alternative energy investments like solar and wind are ecologically friendly and with the lower prices of wind turbines and solar panels, it is profitable on a larger scale.

Investors must pick through the different energy and alternative energy investment possibilities to find the diamonds in the rough. Sometimes there’s an experienced management team that have started up a new venture and other times it’s all about finding a profitable energy business at a low price.

There are investment newsletters with analysts that keep current with the latest in the energy industry and share investment ideas with their subscribers. Read up on some energy advantage group reviews to learn about both energy-related or other stock picks as ideas for people to invest their savings.

Fish Farming for Profitable Returns

fishFish farming is an activity that can be performed at home or from a fish farm. Farm-fresh fish is becoming more popular on the plate with people worried about eating meat with that has had chemicals added to the feed or injected antibiotics. Getting away from GMO-created crops is also a concern for people worried about what that will mean for health long-term.

Fish provides a stable and safe source of high-quality protein along with ample amounts of Omega oils which is appealing to consumers. The continued interest in fish that’s grown domestically and sold by fish farms is great news for people who wish to get into farming fish this way.

Tilapia is a popular fish to raise. There are several types include Blue tilapia, Nile tilapia, and Mozambique tilapia. Most buyers don’t distinguish between the different types. It is a substantial fish which provides plenty of meat. This type of fish grows well in a home pond too. They grow to full size in under 7 months which is quicker than many other fish.

Each pond housing tilapia must be at least 2.5-feet in depth. This is important because when shallower, the water temperature won’t stay consistent as the weather changes. Also, when the square footage of a pond is over 150 square feet, tilapia have the space to grow to full size otherwise their growth is stimmed. Tilapia grow best when the water is between 82-86 degrees Fahrenheit. Getting into the 50’s and below leads to possible infection or disease. Using a water heater to maintain a set water temperature is often best.


Timberland investing comes in a variety of forms. Private investors can buy forestry lands and occasionally harvest the older standing timber. The price of timber logs is set at local markets throughout the US and Canada. Owners of forestry lands can decide when higher prices make harvesting a smart move and when to delay it longer. By managing harvest timing, higher returns are possible.

Some investors buy land with forests and build a cabin to live there. They may occasionally harvest trees for personal use or to generate some revenue. Other investors own primarily for both the timber harvest cash flow and the long-term land appreciation. A few people are also lucky enough to get into the energy or precious metals market when deposits below the surface of their land suggest mining or drilling may provide additional resources for sale. Often, they sell the right to drill or mine to other teams that specialize in it rather than do the exploration themselves.

It’s also possible to invest in timber-based companies that are listed on the US stock market. They often pay good dividends which compare well to real estate investment trusts. Rayonier is one such company that owns large forest areas and produces products using their timber. The NCREIF Timberland index provides an idea about what owners of timberland are seeing for returns.

Just like with most investments, it’s a good idea to read up about each type of investment before jumping on-board. For instance, there are books on timberland investing, buying oil wells, or aquafarming to learn more about how they work, ways to get started, and what returns might be possible. Alternative assets have a feel-good factor that’s not present when buying paper assets on the stock market alone. For people looking for something different to invest their time and money into, there is a growing number of options available now.

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