How to Invest a Million

Someday soon you may have $1,000,000 to invest. For some of us...not so soon!  🙂 How would you invest it?  Enter your ideas at for a chance to win "best portfolio" for $1,000,000.

Here's my entry!


$1,000,000 Portfolio Summary

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    $100,000 Vanguard Total Stock Market Fund
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    $100,000 Gold
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    $100,000 Vanguard REIT Fund
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    $100,000 Vanguard Long-Term Corporate Bonds
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    $250,000 Funding Circle Small Business Loans
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    $150,000 Thrive FP Senior Living Fund
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    $100,000 Cardone Capital
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    $100,000 RealtyShares / PPR Note Company / Your own business

​1. $100,000 into Vanguard Total Stock Market Fund (VTI)

I would say the backbone for a good investment portfolio is the Vanguard Total Stock Market Fund...  Very popular with the financial blogging community, very low expense ratio, very diversified across 3500+ of America's best companies.  As a financial advisor told me recently: "You can't go wrong with Vanguard..."  This is an excellent start to any portfolio, and for some may be all you'll ever need to invest in.

2. ​$100,000 into Gold (GLD)

Now this is going to be controversial.  I don't find much support for gold in the blogging community, but gold has outperformed the S&P 500 for the past 10 years+.  Check it out:

Why would I go to gold second?  You may have heard that the #1 rule of investing is to not lose money.  When you combine stocks and gold, you have a portfolio that rarely loses money.  This chart shows 3 portfolios: 1. Stocks (Blue), 2. Gold (Red), and 3. Stocks/Gold 50/50 (Yellow).

50% Stocks / 50% Gold sure smooths things out.  Just some food for thought.

3. $100,000 into Vanguard REIT Fund (VNQ)​

"The best investment on earth is earth..."  You may have heard this saying, and many a fortune is built on real estate.  This fund has a solid dividend and a diversified mix of real estate investment properties.  Real estate was hit hard in 2008-2009, but over the long haul, like stocks, real estate should be a solid investment.

4. $100,000 into Vanguard Corporate Bonds - Long Term (VCLT)

Some bonds rounds out my first $400,000 invested, and here we're going for the dividend, the diversification, the deflation protection...  Why corporate bonds?  Well, the returns are better than a total bond market fund, and if you have a million that's diversified, I think going for higher-returning bonds is reasonable.

Now I have my Simple Investment Portfolio covered, and I'll move on to the more complicated investments...

I have $600,000 left to invest and you may wonder why I don't just put $250,000 into each of the above four options and call it good.  Well...having a million to invest means that you're probably an accredited investor, and there are a few options out there for accredited investors that I think will outperform the above options.  I would still start with the above options because they are the foundation upon which you can build your investment "bank", retirement, cash-flowing machine, etc.

5. $250,000 into Funding Circle small business loans

"Invest in American small business" is their motto, and Dr. Kenyon Meadows reports that he's received 14% returns from Funding Circle in his book Alternative Financial Medicine.  You won't get 14% returns from VTSAX... Vanguard reports that the next 10 years of stock market investing will return a muted 5-8%.

Why $250,000 you might ask?  That happens to be the minimum investment to participate in Funding Circle.

6. $150,000 in Thrive FP's Senior Living Equity Program

I first heard of Thrive FP from Mike Dillard.  He has a great YouTube series on "How to Build Your Business, Build Your Life, Live Your Dream."  He claims he received 16% returns on his investments with Thrive FP.  Here is a snapshot of their Senior Living Equity Program:

7. $100,000 into Cardone Capital

Grant Cardone is the author of The 10X Rule, and is famous for his sales books, courses, conferences/classes, and now for his real estate investing!  If you watch his Instagram videos, he seems a bit crazy, but his success is undeniable...  

I'll finish off with a few more ideas for that last $100,000.  RealtyShares is one of many real estate crowdfunding sites, but is one I've heard about from several bloggers, including Sam at  

The PPR Note Company is another recommendation by Dr. Kenyon Meadows of the Alternative Financial Medicine book.  It's a way to buy distressed mortgage notes at discount prices, and then PPR works with the homeowner to get them caught up on their payments.  It's a way to do good while investing...

Lastly, if you're the entrepreneur type, I'd recommend putting some of that $1,000,000 into an online business of some sort.  Whether it be a membership site, blog, online resource, etc the online business world moves fast and can produce an incredible return if you're an entrepreneur who doesn't give up. Here are some ideas:

There you have it!!!  And it works with Solomon's advice from Ecclesiastes 11:2.

​Invest in seven ventures, yes, in eight; you do not know what disaster may come upon the land.

Until you're retired, you probably won't have time to manage more than 8 investments well, so it's probably best to keep your investing somewhat simple or you may end up like J. Money with 47 Stocks/Funds: "My New [Lazy] One-Fund Investing Strategy."

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