Real Estate News & Commentary

Survey Says: These Are the Best & Worst Investments for 2021

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commissioned by Sophisticated Investor found that a majority of Americans view real estate, stocks, and bonds to be the safest investments in 2021.

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The survey asked nearly 5,000 people the following question: Which of the following investments do you think will do best in 2021?

  • Real estate
  • Stocks & bonds
  • Gold & silver
  • Savings account at the bank
  • Cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin, Ethereum, etc.)
  • Fixed annuities
  • U.S. Treasury-issued securities

Related: The Irrefutable Advantage Real Estate Investors Have Over Stock Investors

Which Investments Will Do Best in 2021?

Xổ số vuông hôm nayOut of everyone surveyed, 27.33% of Americans found real estate to be the safest investment in 2021. Following a tumultuous year in the housing market, Americans view property to be the most secure and stable investment.

Xổ số vuông hôm nayInterestingly, women were more likely to view real estate as a better investment than men. Based on the survey results, with demographic filters applied, 30.7% of all female respondents indicated that they had the most confidence in real estate. Conversely, only 23.7% of all male participants chose this option. Women 55-64 years old were the strongest cohort in favor of real estate with 33.6%.

Related: What Offers the Best Return on Investment? 145 Years of Real Estate vs. Stocks

Instead, 27.9% of men felt that stocks and bonds were the safest investment and their preferred asset in 2021. Only 22.7% of females agreed. Furthermore, 31.1% of men ages 55+ found stocks to be the safest investment.

“This survey provides vital and compelling analysis into which assets investors have the most confidence in, now that we’re in the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic,” stated John Karr, COO of Sophisticated Investor.

The reasoning for the gender divide isn’t entirely understood, but some surveys in the past have found women to when choosing investments, making real estate the more sensible option.

Xổ số vuông hôm nayAmong the other asset options, gold and silver placed third, with 18.24% of survey participants voting in favor of it. Savings accounts came fourth, with 10.74%. The emergence of cryptocurrencies in recent years led to 8.66% choosing this option. Finally, fixed annuities (5.47%) and U.S. Treasury bills (4.37%) rounded out the list as the least favored assets this year.

The Bottom Line

Xổ số vuông hôm nayWith 2020 being one of the most unpredictable and unprecedented years on record, it’s hard to imagine what will happen in 2021. It will be interesting to see how this year’s economy shapes up with a new presidential administration and vaccine distribution growing by the day.

While you can never be sure whether investments will pay off, historically, real estate has generally proven to be safer than other securities.

What are you investing in this year? Why?

Tell us your thoughts in the comment section below.

BiggerPockets is the nation’s largest and most active real estate investing social network, designed to simplify and enhance networking, deal-making, data evaluation, education, marketing, and transactions for investors, consumers, and professionals.
    Matt Thompson from Cleveland, Ohio
    Replied 14 days ago
    Which investment will do best doesn't equate to the safest investment. The "best" investments are usually those with the highest return and the highest risk. Cash is the safest investment, but is often the worst investment because of inflation. Due to the survey using best and safest interchangeably, I don't think that the results can be trusted.
    Kristin Kiddy Real Estate Agent from Ormond Beach, FL
    Replied 12 days ago
    That was my first thought as well.
    Larry Dowde Rental Property Investor from Colorado
    Replied 12 days ago
    Good point, the terms need better clarification to be better understood. But for the question “ Which Investments Will Do Best in 2021?” - I have to agree real estate is still going to be #1. BTW: Watch out, the Biden team is already on the attack. Lots of new taxes and real estate is in the crosshairs.
    Brad Taylor from Chicago, IL
    Replied 12 days ago
    The Biden team is not “on the attack.” That’s absurd. Trump blew up the deficit with a couple trillion dollar tax cut for the 1% and corporate promises to hire tons of people. Those jobs Never happened. What DID happen was lots of share buybacks and stockpiling cash and execs bumping up their salaries. Guess what, those are services and programs for average Joes like most of us that will also be PAID for by most of us. That’s way more of an “attack”, don’t you think?
    Tim Parker Investor from Bremerton, Washington
    Replied 12 days ago
    No. You are both wrong. The Fed and low interest rates are to blame for the widening gap between the .1% and the bottom 90%. Both parties are in and have no intention of derailing the gravy train. Don't blame the corporations. They make the most money from financialization, not investment in production. It's wrong and totally short-sighted because eventually the masses will not be bought off by bread and circuses. And real estate investors, don't complain too much. That's a huge contributor to our success as well
    Brian Gray
    Replied 10 days ago
    Spot on. The "federal" Reserve and our federal government's constant desire to keep the economy humming (which generally gets them re-elected) is what is responsible for such significant financial distortions over the last 100 years. Inflation benefits those that owe money and nobody owes more money than the federal government.
    Russell Brazil Real Estate Agent from Washington, D.C.
    Replied 12 days ago
    Good job fear mongering.
    Marcus Norton
    Replied 14 days ago
    Cryptocurrency has boomed this year so far. So technically speaking if you were to sell while it's at it's height it could very well have been the best investment for someone in 2021. I'm not saying it's a wise investment just that it's possible that it was the best investment some people have had in 2021.
    Carlos Ptriawan
    Replied 13 days ago
    why one needs a survey for something that's so logical. If one can't understand this better they don't invest.
    Mike Arman
    Replied 12 days ago
    Bitcoin etc. are only worth anything because everyone involved thinks they are worth something. As soon as doubt creeps in, virtual currencies are done. This is the 2020 equivalent (how appropriate!) of Beanie Babies. Yes, lots of people made money on both these bubbles, but lots of people got really burned when the music stopped. Any investor, in fact ALL investors, before they part with the first dime, should Read Charles MacKay's book "Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds". It discusses financial bubbles of all kinds (which are a recurring phenomenon, people just. won't. learn.) including the great Tulip bubble in Holland. One of the most important guides to investing is "when everyone is doing it, it is time to get out". Houses are a good investment, when a bubble goes blooie (What? In real estate? Never happen!) at least you have someplace to live because houses have an intrinsic value in the real world. Bitcoin is imaginary, intangible, backed by the full faith and credit of nobody, and you can't cook or eat beanie babies.
    Josh Lipinski
    Replied 12 days ago
    oh come on. Cash is literally un-backed now. You think when the government throws trillions in stimulus at the general population that cash doesn't suffer? Housing, yes, is a real asset, but what makes a 4 bedroom house in greater NYC worth 1M+ and the same house in rural Alabama worth 80k? Everything other than a physical asset is a derivative - and almost everything is un-backed nowadays. The biggest farce in the world is the stock market - they "sold" their company to investors who are just trading slices of "hype" with each other...stuff like this BiggerPockets survey that says "invest in the stock market" is what actually contributes to the market having any value whatsoever. People want to park their money SOMEWHERE. It's up to an investor to know where SOMEWHERE is, hopefully as people continue to pile in. That's all this is about. Screaming out loud about "imaginary, untangible, un-backed" assets is worthless, because that's all it is now.
    Tim Parker Investor from Bremerton, Washington
    Replied 12 days ago
    You are absolutely 100% correct.
    Kristina Nguyen
    Replied 12 days ago
    What's the percentage of men vs women who answered this survey?
    Jessa Claeys Managing Editor from Denver, CO
    Replied 11 days ago
    Looks like 2,600 women and 2,391 men. If you'd like even more info, the survey is linked in the first sentence of the article! :)
    Douglas Andrew from New York, New York
    Replied 12 days ago
    Most economists believe that we will have asset price inflation vs consumer inflation over the next several years, meaning, the list , particularly the first 3, will perform very well. There are some great articles on this out there if you search.
    Warren Anderson
    Replied 12 days ago
    The majority are usually wrong that is how markets work. Looking at the least favorite is often a good contrary indicator. Of course the majority can be right for a awhile, everyone loved real estate in 2005, it couldn't lose!!!
    Paul Marthaler
    Replied 12 days ago
    The safest investment for 2021 is the one that lets you sleep at night and makes your life easiest. For some, it's RE. For others, it's stocks and for others, it is a CD because want to outlive what you can't afford to lose. I do get concerned about the craziness of the RE valuations which are artificially high due to the ultra low interest rates. Our society has run into problems because we tend to buy payments , not assets... whether it's a car, a house, a boat or a credit card balance. I agree with a previous respondent above... watch out what the Biden admin will do with it's new power having house, senate and WH... I can only hope Sen. Joe Manchin from West Virginia becomes the firewall like he says he will so it doesn't get too crazy. It is worrisome that the left is talking about annual taxing of unrealized capital gains as well as eliminating the step up value of assets at inheritance (not to mention something being floated around that he wants to tax those cap gains at the earned income rate instead over a million dollars. Add to that the thought of eliminating the 1031 exchange laws. Will they do it? Who knows... many of them are in the cross hairs as they too invest in RE. Let the redistribution begin.
    Barry H. Investor from Scottsdale, AZ
    Replied 12 days ago
    Everything goes up when the Fed dictates the markets with endless capital.
    Mike Arman
    Replied 12 days ago
    Since I have zero control over what any government "might do" in the future, my response will have to be to adjust my investments away from ones they "punish" and towards ones they "reward". Simply stated, capital goes where it is welcome and departs where it is not. The states that have no income tax gain people from the states that have punitive income taxes. (Works the same way internationally, too.) The Fed flooding the market with endless capital is the recipe for inflation - too many dollars (or any other currency) chasing too few "things". Accordingly, the price of "things" (or services) goes up to whatever the market will bear. You will notice that the housing crash wasn't caused by any problem with the actual HOUSES, it was caused instead by various financial shenanigans (liar loans, 125% LTV loans, inflated appraisals, CMO's, etc.) resulting in prices so high that nobody could afford to buy them at "bubble" prices. The market eventually corrected, and a lot of people got hurt when it did. Wasn't the first time, won't be the last time. Be careful out there . . .
    Paul Gomez New to Real Estate from Dallas, TX
    Replied 12 days ago
    Please buy $3k worth of Ethereum right now and thank me later.
    Jon Chin
    Replied 12 days ago
    Seriously? This entire article is recommending investments entirely because of a SURVEY? And only a survey of 5,001 people. Public opinion is hardly an argument for making investments. I expected better than that from BiggerPockets.
    Larry Stone Rental Property Investor from Michigan
    Replied 12 days ago
    Investing has a much longer time frame than speculation. My fear is many now are engaged in speculation and think their investing. Bitcoin?? As Joe Biden would say “ come on man” Most people on this site would be wise to read the writings of Warren Buffet. Stop chasing the fades of the day and start INVESTING and looking at things in long time frames of decades. Wealth doesn’t happen overnight and if it does poverty can happen overnight just as quickly.
    Gail W. Rental Property Investor from Running the Earth, watching the sky
    Replied 12 days ago
    Ima trust that gut feeling us gals have. ;)
    Robert Eversman Rental Property Investor from San Luis Obispo, CA
    Replied 11 days ago
    Crypto is Crashing as I type this. And at some near point in the future it will rally again. But your profit potentials are in the gamble TYPE. It's going down? So Shorts make money then. (Or Stocks. Or RE if the applicable market heads south. The Shorts get paid) So really you need to begin by separating the true "investment" play for an assett from the gambles you can make on it. So for each item in the article, let's evaluate the true VALUE in each "investment" (again let's ignore all the ways one can throw side bets on situations). ITEM: VALUE: Real estate Tax Shelter + Legal Shelter + Long Term Inflation Hedge Stocks & bonds None / Very small % of investments actually create NEW Markets that actually expand global / social wealth / GDP. Think Internet. Or perhaps upcoming Space mining ventures. Best Tax Shelter for Pure Specualtion. It's been a long time since the Internet was new, and yet Tech companies STILL dominate the S&P500. Gold & silver Large Corporations and Countrys use these to increase stability of production/manufacturing/defense . Also financial value stability for those who don't natively bank in USD/EURO/CNY. A store of value that is at serious risk of disruption coming over next 10-100 years. Savings account at the bank At current time (pretty much my entire adult life and since the last financial crises - another passed over Millenial priveledge we failed to get that our parents had) None. Interest rates are too low. Uncle Sam is telling you to go spend $ sucker! While both parties continue to print so much $ as to debase our own currency. And the Feds were never wise enough to raise interest rates since 2009, so the stock market and business bubbles inflated to astounding heights due to cheap money. Your gov't doesn't value it's money - so why do you? It's possible this may never be a competitive asset class ever again. Likely Permanently Broken, and to be followed in near future by complete disruption, consider this a Zombie Assett Class like investing in stamps - a relic of past times. Cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin, Ethereum, etc.) This is the new internet. This is an emerging economy that's getting created out of nothing - just like the internet was. A major financial/economic boom being created out of knowhere. There are dozens of valid examples out there right now for uses of Crypto's and Block Chain. (Contactless payment anyone?) Right now it's still pretty cheap to be a BTC 1%er (like only $10-15k @ current huge prices). If I was you (but luckily I'm me) I would hedge my bets now as more money is being printed now than at any time every in history; so that if an alternative currency does come into existence it could take complete control of the GLOBAL financial system. Something silly like half a bitcoin makes you a Bitcoin 1%er assuming BTC gets mass adoption. Seems like a no brainer hedge to me. For comparison I have a zero percent chance to become 1%er in any of the other categories due to how large their market size already is and the HUGE number of pre-existing competitors. This is called an Asymetric investment folks. If you don't know how to recognize them by now then I suggest sanding walls over working major finances. (I can really go off if you like this is but scraping the surface of crypto...) Fixed annuities - To the rich/wealthy insurance is a scam. It's really a scam to all of us, just the rest of us are too poor to roll with the financial punches. A badly broken arm would bankrupt many Americans. Unless you are the company selling the annuities or the house running the casino - then this is a sucker bet. U.S. Treasury-issued securities - Unless you are the country selling the securities or the house running the casino - then this is currently a sucker bet. LOL maybe you should have me on the REI podcast give y'all a new tint on money. Think more like Annie Duke's pod cast. Take care and good luck all.
    Robert Eversman Rental Property Investor from San Luis Obispo, CA
    Replied 11 days ago
    dang now formatting loss makes me look dumb. Oh well... lol *sorry for above.

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