Best new ways to make money

From building a better portfolio and locking in retirement income to finding a better job, here's how to be more prosperous in the new year.

Best new investment ideas

best new money makers portfolio

Best new retirement tool...that you might be using wrong

From virtually nothing, sales of a product called a deferred-income annuity shot to $2 billion in 2013. What is it? Insurance against outliving your cash.

You pay a lump sum now and pick a future date to start collecting a monthly paycheck for as long as you live. The annuities caught on thanks to a bumpy stock market and a new marketing twist: Insurers now let you get income as soon as 13 months after you buy, so people are using the policy for income at younger ages.

Michael Kitces of Pinnacle Advisory Group likes the insurance feature -- you don't know how long you'll live. But he says returns are less appealing if you collect too young. "You need to start in the mid-seventies or eighties," he says.

For $100,000, a 55-year-old man can buy about $48,000 of income starting at 80. As with any insurance, you might not collect, but you'll be glad you're covered if you do.

Best new way to build a better bond portfolio

An advantage of individual bonds over funds is that you know what you get back if you hold to maturity. That allows you to "ladder": Use short-term bonds to protect against rate spikes, but also grab higher rates by buying longer-term bonds with money you won't need until later years.

Now a new kind of exchange-traded fund -- assets hit $4.3 billion in 2013 -- lets you ladder with diversified corporate bond funds. ETFs like the Guggenheim BulletShares series and iShares term-maturity funds give you exposure to bonds maturing in the same year. You might, for example, spread your interest-rate risk by splitting money among the 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 Guggenheim funds.

Best new index fund

The missing piece no more. If you want to diversify, you shouldn't ignore foreign bonds. But it took until this year for indexing giant Vanguard to launch Total International Bond. With fees of 0.23% of assets, VTIBX is the cheapest international bond mutual fund you're likely to find.

Best new way to build a better bond portfolio

An advantage of individual bonds over funds is that you know what you get back if you hold to maturity. That allows you to "ladder": Use short-term bonds to protect against rate spikes, but also grab higher rates by buying longer-term bonds with money you won't need until later years.

Now a new kind of exchange-traded fund -- assets hit $4.3 billion in 2013 -- lets you ladder with diversified corporate bond funds.

ETFs like the Guggenheim BulletShares series and iShares term-maturity funds give you exposure to bonds maturing in the same year. You might, for example, spread your interest-rate risk by splitting money among the 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 Guggenheim funds.

Best tweet

Man creates "all weather" portfolio strategy, God laughs. @ReformedBroker -- The Reformed Broker is Joshua Brown, an adviser and blogger

  @Money - Last updated December 03 2013 04:04 PM ET
Join the Conversation
Best New Money Ideas
Best new ways to save money

From an app that pumps up your card rewards to tools for finding the great college your family can afford, here's how you can keep more money in your pocket in 2014.

Find Homes for sale
  • Property Type
  • Find a home in:
    New York | Atlanta | Chicago | Los Angeles
    Washington D.C | Houston | Philadelphia | More options
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.