I think with the possibility of the upcoming “interest rate drought” some discussion as to safe as possible alternatives may be in order.
One of the most commonly used is to invest in stocks that pay a dividend. Now there isn’t any FDIC insurance here so we want to minimize the risk to our investment as much as possible. That being said how about 8 stocks that have paid their dividend for 125+ years? That sounds pretty reliable to me. The motley fool site provides a lot of really good information on stocks/investing. You can read other articles to get additional stocks that may be a good fit. They have subscription services which will even suggest what stocks you should purchase at the current “time” to aim at beating the stock market.
Normally stock trades would cost you money per each trade but both robinhood.com and firsttrade.com are brokerages that offer FREE trades of stocks and ETF’s. Firsttrade also offers free trades of mutual funds. Using services like this lets you minimize the overall cost by letting you buy into these stocks whenever you want to or even on a planned schedule. The one risk that cannot be eliminated is that a stock price can rise and lower over time but if you have no plans to sell it and are primarily interested in the dividend it becomes less of an issue. For those that want to be able to setup a schedule of x dollars every week/month etc without dealing with individual stocks maybe a company like m1finance.com might be of more use. It’s a “robo-advisor” that lets you setup your own custom portfolio’s/percentages and then as you contribute cash it makes the purchases in the appropriate percentages. One catch here is m1finance makes purchases one time a day (10-11am EST) so if you put in money after that it won’t actually make the purchase till the next day but it allows for “partial shares” where buying the stocks directly requires having enough to purchase an even share. m1finance is also “no fee”.
In the past many people were fond of dividend re-investment programs(or DRIP plans) to buy more of a particular stock. It let them spread the cost of the purchase across all the people purchasing at that time and could lower costs however now that we have brokerages offering free trades THAT becomes the more attractive option and allows more flexibility.
I should also mention that qualified dividends are taxed significantly lower than interest income. You can read up more on that here: https://smartasset.com/taxes/dividend-tax-rate. What makes them qualified? Basically it’s a USA stock and you owned it for 60 days previous to the ex-dividend date (the cutoff date for when the next dividend will be paid out). Dividends can be paid out Monthly, Quarterly or Annually depending on the stock or fund.
I’ll end here for now and if something wasn’t clear feel free to ask for a follow up.