And real estate does more than just track inflation – it throws off income (which is important to some people and useful to most). And while your underlying asset is appreciating, the income also grows as rents increase over time. And if you make smart and well-timed purchases, both rents and asset values can increase at well above the rate of inflation.
Thanks for the great article…although I have to point out many of the items listed are not passive but active, such as selling bodily fluids, writing blogs or resumes, and collecting bottles and cans. To be truly passive, the income source must require no effort on your part (after initial setup). Real estate, dividends, P2P lending…these are truly passive income sources.
Varolo is an advertising campaign that allows major corporations (like Coca Cola, Lysol, and others) to reach their target audiences with a high return on investment. Major corporations are desperately trying to find new ways to advertise to people as the newspaper continues to decline in demand and in an age of DVR. Varolo is the newest opportunity that actually pays you, the one being advertised to, to watch their advertisements. You can join the campaign and earn a little extra spending money by viewing and rating commercials and even trailers for major motion pictures. While the trick is to devote 5 to 10 minutes of each day rating what you see, you should also be motivated to invite others along through Facebook, Twitter and other social media so that you can increase what you profit each week.
I just started out with Affiliate Marketing (idea # 8) and it is not as easy as people make out to be. For me, the hardest part so far, is learning Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and driving traffic to my website. I’m only 3 months into it, but I am confident that the site will begin to generate some incom., I have to give it 6-9 months, so we’ll see.
I own several rental properties in the mid west and I live in CA. I have never even seen them in person. With good property management in place (not easy to find but possible) it is definitely possible to own cash flowing properties across the country. Not for everyone and not without it’s drawbacks, but it seems to be working for me so far. I’m happy to answer any questions about my experience with this type of investing.

Hey Alison! thanks for taking the time to check out the post! I specifically outlined the post so it would follow a specific structure. This is so readers know what to expect and it helps with the flow of the piece. I’ve actually just finished up a (shortened) PDF version of the post that includes a bonus idea not mentioned here. I’ll be adding this to the post shortly! You’re right on the ebook suggestion — could easily have been made into one. I noticed that you linked to it from the millionaire blog post, thank you so much. Kimberly and I really appreciate the mention.
2) Focus on income producing assets. Internet growth stocks may be sexy, but they provide no income. To build a large enough passive income stream to survive, you must invest in dividend generating stocks, certificates of deposit, municipal bonds, government treasury bonds, corporate bonds, and real estate. You’re free to invest in non-income producing assets for capital appreciation too. You just want to earn reliable income when the day comes to leave your job.
In 2012, even I wrote a 150-page eBook about severance package negotiations that still regularly sells about ~35 copies a month at $85 each (2nd edition for 2017) without any effort. In order to generate $2,975 a month or $35,700 a year in passive income as I do now, I would need to invest $892,500 in something that generates a 4% yield! To earn $10,000 a year in passive income would therefore need roughly $250,000 in capital.
"Multiple Streams of Income" by Robert G. Allen is a book is full of great information on how to free yourself from "the rat race." Although some of the information is outdated for our current economic climate, the information is still valuable, and heartily recommend the read. There are many chapters of relevant information to balance anything you may consider unusable. He teaches you that there are many ways to earn money outside of a regular job. He also leads you through determining which avenue is right for you, and gives you all the tools you need to get started on the basics. "Multiple Streams of Income" has helped me alot.
It’s outdated as far as referencing information contained within. It’s just detailed enough to make you feel like your getting some good information but in reality since the links don’t work your really getting nothing except some information that you then have to find detailed answers elsewhere, to bad they turned off their website with that supposed information. I also emailed the company for links for these detailed answers that they left me wondering and they never replied. I would pass on this book unless you want to get a general idea of some things to look at doing but they are not worth the read since they failed to uphold their website that had more information.

Remember, a successful business solves people’s problems. At first, you’re going to have to do the legwork and put in the time. But it’s about building something now so you can reap the benefits later, with the help of software, tools, automation, and people you hire. In this way, you can then turn this business that solves people’s problems into something that generates passive income for you!


Think about it.  If you are saving for retirement, you are trying to save enough in investing to generate enough income to replace your primary salary.  Let’s take my friend’s example above: $50,000 a year.  To generate $50,000, you would need to have almost $1,700,000 saved, and be able to generate a 3% cash flow on that money (which is reasonable if invested in dividend paying stocks).
Cantillon develops a circular-flow model of the economy that shows the distribution of farm production between property owners, farmers, and workers. Farm production is exchanged for the goods and services produced in the cities by entrepreneurs and artisans. While the property owners are “independent,” the model demonstrates the mutual interdependence between all the classes of people that Adam Smith dubbed the “invisible hand” in The Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759).[7]
The sky is the limit but some alternative income ideas are better than others.  Stanley and Danko in The Millionaire Next Door, are quick to point out that millionaires allocate their time, energy, and money efficiently, in ways conducive to building wealth.  That means that a millionaire is much more likely to spend Saturday mornings checking on his rental property rather than cruising garage sales looking to add to his garden gnome collection.  Robert Kiyosaki of Rich Dad Poor Dad fame likes to emphasize the benefits of a passive income.  The books aren’t exactly a prescription for wealth, but he makes two excellent points.  The first is that a stream of income that provides money when you’re sleeping is preferable to one that requires you to work.  The second is that passive income often enjoys much better tax treatment than the income from your professional work.  Here are some income streams that are fairly common among physicians:
A good portion of my stock allocation is in growth stocks and structured notes that pay no dividends. The dividend income that comes from stocks is primarily from S&P 500 index ETFs. Although this is a passive income report, as I’m still relatively young, I’m more interested in building a large financial nut through principal appreciation rather than through dividend investing. As an entrepreneur, I can’t help but have a growth mindset.
Camps, ski resorts, cruise ships, airlines, expeditions etc all may have need for part-time or full-time medical expertise.  Part of the compensation may be taxable income, or it may simply be opportunities.  For example, I work at a ski resort several days a month.  I take runs and a P.A. sees the patients.  If the P.A. needs me, I’m there in 5 or 10 minutes.  If they don’t, I get a free day of skiing in for my family and friends.  At the end of the day, I sign 4 or 5 charts.  Sure, it’s not much money (perhaps the equivalent of $100-200 a day in lift tickets and meal discounts), but it’s still an income.  When engaging in this type of work, look carefully at the liability issues.
According to Uncle Sam, you need to be "materially involved" in an enterprise to earn active income. With passive income, it's just the opposite, as the IRS deems you to be earning passive income if you're not materially involved with a profit-making enterprise. By and large, expect income to be taxable if you are engaged in a passive income enterprise. You will need to report earnings to the IRS.

Hello from the UK! Fundrise and Wealthfront are only available to US residents it seems :(. Any other readers from the UK here? The only thing I have managed to do from Sam’s list is getting a fixed rate bond (CBS is having a 5-year fixed rate at 2.01% – not great but the best I could find ). Don’t know if the FIRE movement will ever take off here but would love to trade tips/ideas on how to reach FI and have the freedom to consider alternative rythms to living.


Many people talk about passive income and create the impression that you never have to do anything to keep that income going. The truth is that you will normally have to keep your eye on things if you want it to run smoothly. For example Richard Branson doesn’t run any of the 400+ companies he started but he goes over the numbers each day to make sure they’re performing well and calls the CEO if there are any problems.
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