Smart Strategies: Buying Assets That Generate Income

Buying assets that yield income doesn’t have to be daunting. This article simplifies the process, detailing how to buy assets that generate income and how to select and invest in a range of assets from the safety of high-yield savings accounts to the growth potential of dividend-paying stocks. 

Equip yourself with the knowledge to start building an income-generating portfolio today.

Key Takeaways

  • Income-generating assets like REITs, dividend-paying stocks, CDs, and savings accounts can provide multiple streams of income, aiding in achieving financial goals such as early retirement or portfolio diversification.
  • Not all assets are equal for investment; investment assets must be able to have their worth determined, be owned indefinitely or through maturity, and generate income, like real estate or dividend stocks, as opposed to depreciating assets like cars.
  • Understanding the liquidity of your assets is essential, as it affects access to your investments and cash flow. A balanced portfolio should include both liquid assets (like stocks for flexibility) and illiquid assets (like real estate for potentially higher long-term returns).

Understanding Income-Generating Assets

Income-generating assets, as the name suggests, are investments that offer you a steady stream of income. They can be a game-changer when it comes to building wealth and securing financial stability. Some common income-generating assets run the gamut from:

  • Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs)
  • Dividend-paying stocks
  • High-yield Certificates of Deposit (CDs)
  • Savings accounts
  • Earnings from royalties
  • Stocks dividends

Should you consider income-generating assets? 

Income-generating assets provide multiple streams of income, which can help you achieve financial goals such as retiring early, diversifying your investment portfolio, and even working part-time. That’s the advantage of passive income – it keeps performing even when you’re not actively working for it!

Moreover, these assets are not reserved for the financial elite. Whether you’re a recent graduate just starting to earn money or someone nearing retirement, income-generating assets are accessible to a wide range of investors. All it takes is some research, planning, and the right approach to investing.

Real estate investing, for instance, is a popular way to generate a steady income stream. Rental income from investment properties can provide substantial returns over time. Plus, the tax benefits associated with real estate assets are an added bonus.

On the other hand, if you’re not keen on managing rental properties, dividend-paying stocks could be your ticket to earning passive income. Companies that pay dividends are essentially sharing a portion of their profits with you.

High-yield savings accounts and CDs, while not as glamorous as stocks or real estate, are some of the best income-producing assets for those who prefer a low-risk strategy. The right savings account can offer a steady income stream with minimal risk, making it ideal for conservative investors.

Not All Assets Are Investment Assets

While it’s enticing to jump into the investment conversation, it’s crucial to remember that not all assets are suitable for investment purposes. An asset is anything of value that can be converted into cash. But what distinguishes an “investment asset” from a regular one? Three key elements define an investment asset - its worth can be determined, it is owned indefinitely or through maturity, and it pays you to own it.

For instance, let’s consider real estate properties. Their worth can be established based on market rates, they can be owned for an indefinite period, and they generate rental income – making them prime examples of income-producing assets.

On the other hand, consider a car. While valuable and convertible into cash, it is not typically an income-producing asset. It doesn’t generate income (unless you’re using it for a rental service or similar), and its value generally depreciates over time.

The world of investment assets extends beyond real estate. Some options to consider include:

  • Mutual funds
  • Bonds
  • Dividend-paying stocks
  • Private equity

Each type of asset carries its own set of risks and rewards, and it’s essential to choose the right income-producing assets based on your financial goals and risk tolerance.

In the end, the goal is to create a portfolio of income-generating assets that aligns with your financial objectives and comfort level with risk. Remember, investing is not a one-size-fits-all approach. What works for many investors may not be the right strategy for you.

How Liquid Or Illiquid Are Your Assets?

A crucial aspect of managing your investment portfolio is understanding the liquidity of your assets, which directly impacts your cash flow. But what exactly does liquidity mean? Simply put, liquidity refers to how quickly and cost-effectively an asset can be converted into cash.

If you can convert an asset to cash in less than three days at a cost of less than 1%, it’s considered liquid. On the other hand, if it takes more than three days or costs more than 1% to convert the asset into cash, it’s illiquid.

Why does liquidity matter? 

It directly impacts your access to your investments. For instance, stocks are considered highly liquid assets as they can be readily sold on the stock market, with funds usually available in a few days. On the other hand, real estate properties can be significantly less liquid, often taking months to sell and convert into cash.

It’s crucial to strike a balance in your portfolio between liquid and illiquid assets. While liquid assets provide flexibility and accessibility, illiquid assets, like real estate, often offer higher returns over the long term.

The key takeaway? Understand the liquidity of your assets and consider how it aligns with your financial goals and needs. After all, your investment portfolio should work for you, not against you.

Your Asset Mix: Stocks, Bonds, And Cash

The journey to building wealth and financial freedom doesn’t end with understanding different types of assets and their liquidity. It’s also about creating the right mix of assets in your portfolio. Think of it as a financial recipe for success, combining various ingredients - stocks, bonds, and cash - in just the right proportions.

Typically, stocks are designated for growth, while bonds are there to provide income. Depending on your financial goals, risk tolerance, and investment horizon, you may choose a variety of asset mixes. A great starting point is a 65/35 mix - two-thirds stocks and one-third bonds.

Why this mix? Stocks, especially individual stocks, have the potential for significant growth and can supercharge your portfolio’s value over the long term. However, they also come with higher risk, as stock values can fluctuate based on various factors.

Conversely, bonds, while offering lower growth potential, provide a steady income stream. They can be an excellent choice for those seeking stability in their portfolio. The interest payments from corporate bonds can serve as a consistent income source, making them a well-favored income-producing asset.

What about cash? Including a portion of cash in your portfolio provides liquidity and acts as a safety net. It can be held in traditional savings accounts or high-yield savings accounts, providing easy access when needed.

Let’s dive a little deeper into each of these asset types, starting with dividend-paying stocks.

Dividend Paying Stocks

Dividend-paying stocks, also known as dividend stocks, are a favorite among investors looking to earn passive income. When you invest in these stocks or in funds such as dividend index funds and exchange-traded funds, you get regular payouts along with potential growth through reinvestment. Some stocks, known as preferred stocks, offer large, regular dividend payments, bordering on the characteristics of a bond.

However, dividend investing is not without challenges. The key lies in selecting the right stocks or diversifying risk through funds such as a preferred stock fund. Various factors influence stock values and consequently dividend payouts, including company performance, economic trends, and the general mood among investors.

Despite these challenges, with careful research and planning, dividend-paying stocks can be a valuable addition to your income-generating asset portfolio, delivering both growth and income.


Bonds are another trusted go-to income-generating asset for many investors. Issued by companies or governments, bonds pay a stated interest rate and can be a reliable source of income. But it’s important to note that the market value of a bond changes over time based on its attractiveness to potential buyers.

Generally, higher-quality bonds, which are more likely to be paid on time, offer lower interest rates. Similarly, bonds with shorter maturities also tend to offer lower interest rates. While they may not provide the high returns of stocks, bonds can add a level of stability to your portfolio, making them a worthy component of your asset mix.

Money Market Funds and Accounts

If you’re looking for a low-risk investment option that combines the convenience of checking accounts with higher interest rates, money market accounts, and funds might be for you. They focus on short-term debt instruments and often provide better returns than non-interest-bearing accounts.

However, while money market accounts and funds may seem like an attractive option, their yield may not always outpace inflation. This could potentially affect the real value of your returns. Therefore, while they can be part of your portfolio, it’s crucial to diversify with other income-generating assets to achieve a balanced investment mix.


In the journey towards financial freedom and wealth-building, income-generating assets are your strongest allies. From dividend-paying stocks and bonds to real estate investments and high-yield savings accounts, the options are diverse. The key lies in understanding these assets, their liquidity, and how they fit into your overall asset mix. Remember, investing is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Tailoring your portfolio to align with your financial goals, risk tolerance, and investment horizon is crucial. 

So, the question to ask yourself is: are you ready to embark on your investment journey and unlock a different financial potential?