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Earning money while you sleep. That’s the DREAM, right?
Too good to be true? You better believe it. Just ask the people around you who achieved financial freedom through grit and improving their financial IQ. Who are they?
It’s your neighbor who started selling homemade siomai 5 years ago and now have kiosks in Trinoma. It’s your colleague who funded his kid’s insurance by hawking chicharon at work. Your aunt who leases her backyard for parking space. Your lola who bought a piece of land in Mindoro to lease to farmers and fishermen.
These folks have it all figured out.
They are the John and Jane Doe’s of the world who can confidently say they can quit their jobs today and still have income to support their needs and then some.
Forget about counting sheep. This list can earn you money even while you sleep.
What is Passive Income?
Passive income is earnings generated through investments in which the investor is not actively involved – such as income derived from rental property, limited partnership, or other ventures that require minimal supervision and/or effort.
Scratch the technical terms. Here’s our version:
“Earnings derived in which a person is not actively involved.”
There, much better.
Types of Passive Income
In general, Passive income can be categorized into 3 types.
Allocating money or capital into a business or an investment vehicle for the purpose of future potential earnings. A great example of this are dividend-earning stocks. Shareholders get paid from the profits earned by the positive performance of their investment picks.
Earnings or payments obtained from leasing a piece of property. It’s important to identify early the following key metrics in order to gauge if renting out properties will be a profitable venture for you.
- Estimated ROI
- Costs, time, and effort for maintaining property
- Potential financial risks of owning rental properties
Being realistic and clear on your rates and earnings targets are crucial to the success of your rental venture.
With businesses and consumers flocking the internet by the billions everyday, it’s hard to pass up on the earning opportunities available online.
From Affiliate marketing to drop shipping, selling e-books, online courses and others, the internet offers a trove of business opportunities for your taking.
Granted, most are not “as passive” when compared to the first two. Still, the potential is too great to ignore and there’s a high chance of making money from something you are passionate about.
Once running, you can automate some tasks to make it more passive either through using dedicated services or outsourcing.
Check out this guide as well: 20 high paying home-based jobs in the Philippines
12 Passive Income Ideas in the Philippines
Here are 12 of the best sources for passive income in the Philippines:
1. Rental Properties
A Filipino investment vehicle favorite. My grandmother built and leased apartment units as her main source of income. And it worked damn well.
Nowadays, you will see folks buying condominium units and then leasing them for rent income. You’ve probably heard of AirBnB, which is an online service that allows property owners to rent out units for a specified time.
It’s steadily gaining usage locally because it’s relatively cheaper versus staying at a hotel.
Most folks, when the discussion of rental property comes up, dismiss it prematurely. Why? They think that it’s only for individuals who have large pools of capital.
Ever noticed those meat and fish stalls at your local wet market? You can own one and then rent it out to sellers.
WIll you need millions?
How about that extra space within your home’s garage? If you’re living near a high-foot traffic area, you can rent it out to a food cart owner. It’s not always about shelling out tons of money.
Sometimes, it’s about being resourceful and finding solutions to another person’s problems.
Others go the commercial route and rent out to businesses. From your favorite fast food chain to niche stores, renting out commercial space can be a highly lucrative business.
Others cater to a specific market, like freelancers and remote teams. Co-working spaces offer these individuals a place to work with all the amenities of a normal office and even more.
When deciding on a rental venture, several factors should be taken into consideration:
- Available capital
- Time and Effort
- Projected rental earnings
- Estimated total expenses
- Appreciation of rental property
- Your ideal/target tenant
Rent Out Ad Space
Brands and companies never run out of ideas for promoting their businesses. And choosing an avenue to promote it is crucial to the success of their ad campaign.
These can range from the typical billboard ad to lighted sign boards propped on top of taxis. Online, you can post banner ads on your website and put affiliate links for commission.
You can create a YouTube channel and then promote the actual product in your videos or post product page links on the description. And you can also rent out Facebook Fan Pages (for sponsored posts), especially if you own a page that has strong engagement with its audience/community.
If you have a physical or online space that’s feasible for ad placement, contact advertisers or look for takers online. It’s a truly passive way of earning money with minimal investment.
I remember years ago when one of the members of an FB group I joined talked about how he got offered a deal by a popular local car accessories store. In exchange for monthly discounts and freebies, he agreed to placing the store’s name and emblem on his car (via car wrap sticker). So pull out your thinking hats and get creative! Who knows, you might just land a sweet deal.
2. Fixed Income Securities
What is Fixed Income Security?
Put simply, it’s a type of investment that pays the investor a fixed amount of interest at a regular schedule.
Let’s say you are thinking of starting a small business and need the capital to get started. Your friend agrees to lend you the amount as long as you’ll also pay him a certain amount of interest (called coupons) on a quarterly basis (on top of the actual borrowed amount, which is called Face value).
This is essentially how fixed income securities work.
Types of Fixed Income Securities
There are several types of fixed income securities available which mainly vary according to their term length (how long the contract is).
1. Treasury Bills (T-Bills)
Treasury Bills (“T-bills”) are short-term secure investments issued by the Philippine government through the Bureau of Treasury (BTr).
The most common tenors (length of maturity) for T-bills are 91 days, 181 days, and 364 days.
These are sold at a discount from their face value but the investor will get the full amount upon maturity (works like a zero-coupon bond)
2. Treasury Notes (T-Notes)
It comes in maturities of between two and 10 years and pays a fixed interest rate. At the end of the maturity, investors are repaid the principal but also earn semi-annual payments of interest each year they hold the note.
3. Treasury Bonds (T-Bonds)
Bonds that have tenors of more than 1 year. The most common maturity lengths for T-bonds are 2-year, 5-year, 7-year, 10-year, 20-year, and 30-year bonds.
4. Retail Treasury Bond (RTBs)
Retail Treasury Bonds (RTBs) are medium to long-term investments issued by the Philippine government with the goal of making securities available to smaller investors.
5. Corporate Bonds
Bonds issued by public and private companies. They feature potentially higher returns vs gov’t-issued banks and highly liquid though at the cost of being more risky compared to gov’t issued bonds.
6. Dollar Sovereign Bonds
Dollar Sovereign Bonds are medium to long-term investments issued by governments denominated in US Dollars.
7. Dollar Corporate Bonds
Dollar Corporate Bonds are medium to long-term investments issued by corporations denominated in US Dollars.
8. Certificate of Deposit
A certificate of deposit (CD) is a fixed income investment that are offered by financial institutions like banks. These typically have maturities of less than five years.
LTNCD stands for long term negotiable certificate of deposit. The typical minimum investment term is 5 years.
It’s liquid and tradeable in a secondary market prior to maturity. You’ll be paid with a certain interest rate at a schedule in exchange for holding it until it matures.
Pros & Cons of Fixed Income Securities
- Can provide a steady stream of income
- Provides more stability than stocks
- In the event of a bankruptcy, they offer higher claim for assets
- Are mainly backed/guaranteed by the government
- Due to its relatively safer risk value, the returns tend to be lower than other types of investments
- Money is locked in for a certain amount of time
- Can be susceptible to interest rate risk
3. Build or Buy Websites
There are several ways how a website can earn money. Here are the top 3.
- Advertising – Earn money through payments from Google and advertisers by posting their ads on your website (via Google Adsense).
- E-Commerce – Earn money by selling products or services (or through dropshipping – selling products without the need of having inventory).
- Affiliate Marketing – Earn commissions and referral money by putting product links (example, link of a product page on Amazon.com) on your website.
Now that you know how a website generates revenue, it’s time to ask, “Build or Buy?”
Should you wish to build it yourself, I highly recommend checking out this guide for a primer.
But what about those who don’t have the chops or time to start from scratch?
Why do it?
Like buying and selling physical businesses, there are several ways to make profit from applying the same concept for websites.
Let’s start with a simple analogy, a fishball stand. Let’s say the proprietor no longer wants to sell fish balls due to personal reasons. He offers to sell it to you.
You ask him about the details: how much is spent on raw fish balls, where he gets them, how much is the markup for each one sold, how much is the net earnings in a day, what time of the day it sells fastest, and more.
After carefully analyzing all data, you decide it was a feasible venture. You buy the business from him, hire someone to man the stall and voila, you now have cash flow. After a few months, you realize that while the earnings are decent, managing the whole thing takes more time and effort than you’re willing to give. So you decide to sell it.
In the same vein, buying a website either for the purpose of running it or making income then later selling it are both possible online.
Building, buying or selling a website are legit ways to earn money.
No matter which route you take, do your due diligence. Be extra careful when buying websites as there are plenty of scams out there.
Take the time to know more about the whole process. Check out forums, read guides and real-world examples, review rating and feedback, and know how to properly scrutinize a website being sold.
There’s a learning curve to these things and if you put in the time and effort you might just score a nice passive income source.
4. P2P Lending or Microlending
What’s P2P Lending?
Wikipedia offers an excellent explanation:
“Peer to Peer or P2P Lending is the practice of lending money to individuals or businesses through online services that match lenders with borrowers.”
This allows them to offer higher returns to their lenders and lower interest rates for their borrowers. They serve as the middle man for pooling money from different lenders and connects them with borrowers. As an investor, there are several reasons why this looks promising:
- Potential higher ROI on your money versus keeping it in banks
- Simple process
- You can automate it then treat is as passive investment
- You get to help people in need
As with most ideas on our list, there is risk involved.
Mainly, the borrowers not being able to pay the money they borrowed. Make use of the tools and advice that these services offer to develop your strategy through risk assessment.
You can choose to lend all your money to one person or spread it among several borrowers, similar to picking stocks. This provides some flexibility on how your money gets managed.
What is Microlending?
Microlending or Microfinancing was originally designed as a financing system geared towards offering loans to small businesses and financially challenged individuals.
In this set up, loans are usually distributed among borrowers, vouching for each other through a co-signer system which lessens the risk of a default.
Unlike P2P, you won’t be pooling your resources with other investors in Microlending. Also, loans in Microlending in general are taken for kickstarting small businesses versus personal needs.
As the owner of a Microlending business, you’ll assume the full risk versus P2P’s structure where the risk is distributed among the lenders.
Still, it’s a viable passive income option through interest gain if you have enough resources and a strong community or group system supporting your endeavor.
5. Dividend investing: Buy dividend stocks
With this strategy, your goal is to pick and invest in stocks that yield dividends. Dividends are money that shareholders (you) receive from the company for investing in them.
Think of it like a little cash reward.
There are potential gains involved if you choose to reinvest dividends over the years. Compound interest works wonders which can result to you ending up with more shares.
More shares = more money.
Through reinvesting, you’ll have a larger pool of capital in the future which can be a whole lot profitable than to simply cash in the money when dividends are released.
One thing to note though is that you may require a considerable amount (read: a lot) of funds to get worthwhile results from dividend investing.
If a dividend yields only 2-3% then you should not expect it to provide you with meaningful recurring income if your capital is relatively small. Best to look at it as another tool for building up your money for the future.
- The definitive guide to stock trading and investing in the Philippines
- List of dividend stocks in PSE
- Where to buy stocks in the Philippines: COL Financial and FirstMetroSec
6. Crowdfunded Real Estate and REIT
What is Crowdfunded Real Estate?
Similar to P2P’s concept, Crowdfunded Real Estate allows for the pooling of money from different investors and then using that money either to buy or improve real estate properties. Like P2P, your gains will come from the interest on the money that you have lent.
We all know that real estate investing requires a ton of capital. Through Crowdfunded Real Estate, however, you can get good returns on your capital than to simply have it sit at the bank.
Not all investments are guaranteed winners though, so your due diligence is required here before you put in any money.
What is Real Estate Investment Trusts (REIT)?
Real Estate Investment Trusts or REIT, on the other hand, is a company that invests in real estate. They finance and operate real estate properties and even own them.
The idea is to open the gates to real estate investing to common folks by allowing them to invest in its portfolios. It’s similar to how Mutual Funds work. If you’re a REIT shareholder, you can earn the share of the earnings produced of these real estate investments.
This means you get to invest in real estate without the hassles of owning a physical property. Everything will be managed through the REIT.
7. High Yield Savings Accounts
Putting money in the bank is perhaps the easiest way of saving and growing it.
Note though that “grow” might not be the best word to use if we’re discussing actual performance. Let’s face it, banks in general yield less-than-satisfying output for you money.
What to do?
Before putting your hard-earned money in the bank, it’s a good idea to exert effort in finding which one suits you best not only in terms of convenience but also based on interest rates.
Sure, the difference among their interest rates might be small. I would argue though that these “small” differences matter when your money starts to grow. It could mean the difference of netting several thousands of pesos more on your money after one year.
And since we’re talking about banks, this is quite a considerable sum.
Check out their websites, ask for brochures, talk to reps, and compare their packages. It’s an easy way to ensure better returns for your money.
Here’s a great rundown of the best savings account options in the Philippines.
8. Cryptocurrency Mining and Masternodes
We first discussed about Cryptocurrencies in this article and discussed some of our picks for 2018 here. If you’re not familiar with Cryptocurrency, Bitcoins and Altcoins, we suggest reading these articles first to acquaint yourself with the whole thing and how it works.
What is Cryptocurrency Mining?
To earn these cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Altcoins, you lend your computer’s processing power. This process is known as “mining”. You essentially get paid with cryptocurrency for doing this which you then store in a digital wallet for sending and receiving it.
While Bitcoin today is almost impossible to mine using regular computers, you can still mine Altcoins using services such as NiceHash. Then convert (or exchange) them to Bitcoin through popular and highly-secured cryptocurrency exchange platforms (ie: Poloniex and Binance).
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves.
Before anything else, it’s important to set proper expectations regarding what you can get from Cryptomining.
With countries like China operating dedicated centers with ultra-powerful mining computers, a novice miner simply can’t compete using consumer-grade equipment. It’s probably best to look at mining as “trickle income” rather than a steady cash flow stream.
Nowadays, it seems to make more sense to look at it from a hobbyist standpoint versus that of a serious enthusiast. This is because of the significant financial investment required to do some hardcore mining.
Aside from due diligence to researching and deciding which coin to mine, you may need to shell out some cash to buy the gear (rig) to get you started. Here’s what you’ll need.
- Custom Desktop PC (specced for mining)
- Good internet connection
- Mining Software (free or paid)
- Coin Wallet
- Membership in a “Mining pool” (community of miners) and online currency exchange (for exchanging your crytocoins for real cash or vice versa)
Electricity also plays a big role in this as mining consumes a lot of power.
Essentially, the more hashing power you can lend to the network, the more money you can earn. But building a powerful mining rig (or farm) could also be an expensive endeavor (cheapest one can cost around P80,000).
Keys to succeed in this form of investment:
- Invest in cryptocurrencies and technologies you truly believe in (or you would personally use).
- Don’t just believe what we’re saying here. Do your own research!
- You can use mining profitability calculators from CryptoCompare and What to Mine to assess your potential investment’s feasibility – and to also determine the type of rig you’ll need to build to achieve your target profit.
Not keen on mining? No problem, if you’re a Cryptocurrency veteran and owns a significant stash of coins, perhaps Masternodes are more suitable for your taste.
What are Masternodes?
A Masternode is essentially a server within a decentralized network. It can perform more advanced functions compared to regular nodes (Node = a computer connected to a cryptocurrency network).
If you think about it, this concept is similar to a regular network of computers, where the Masternode is the server and the nodes are clients.
Masternodes are needed in order to perform specific tasks that utilize the blockchain process. And since they require more resources to set up, owners are paid for “leasing” their Masternodes.
As we’ve discussed in this article, there are more than a thousand altcoins available. Masternode operators get rewarded depending on how a coin’s network operates. Some get paid once a day while some receive multiple payouts.
Here are the basic steps to become a Masternode operator:
- Lock a significant amount of coins in a crypto wallet. The minimum varies depending on the cryptocurrency.
- Set a storage space to house the blockchain.
- Setup a server and dedicated IP to host the wallet 24/7
By keeping a certain amount (and locking it in within the network), you get rewarded and paid by the network (on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis).
For instance, DASH – one of the most popular cryptocurrencies today, pays their holders $2,340 (or P121,780) every month, for keeping 1,000 DASH in their wallets (that you can withdraw or use any time).
Where to find Masternode Coins:
Note: There are a lot of cheaper masternode coins that you can buy in bulk and earn a ton from every month (ie: Solarium – which is currently priced at $0.3 per coin, and pays out holders – with at least 5,000 SLRC – $7,000/month).
Artwork & Photographs
Got good eye in taking photos? Instead of locking them up in your hard drive, why not earn from it?
Audio & Sound Effects
The same can be done with audio. By licensing your music, you can upload it to online services (like Spotify) and get paid whenever it gets listened to or downloaded.
As for sound effects, you can sell your premium copies to sites like Pond5.
Pond5 also allows video content creators to earn money from their works by making it available to filmmakers, as well as digital & traditional advertising agencies looking for footages they can use.
You can also sign up at Patreon to sell your work to monthly paid subscribers, whether you’re creating music, videos, games, written stories, podcasts, animation, paintings, and even comics.
10. Sell Digital Products
An online product or service that others find valuable can be a source of income for its creator. If you have some background in programming, you can make an app for addressing something that have always bothered you or find inconvenient.
Chances are, you’re not the only one and creating an app that solves this problem can be a great way to earn and help at the same time.
If you want to discuss or share your knowledge about something you are passionate about, why not create an eBook or Audiobook about it? You can sell it on your website (or on Amazon) and earn from each download.
Online courses offered by Udemy is a framework for selling services. You can sign up for sites that serve as a platform for teaching then create video tutorials discussing topics you know a lot about. If you have background in website design, you can create WordPress templates and sell it to newbie site owners.
There’s a lot of options here. The key is to find your niche and create a valuable product or service that people will actually use.
11. Become a Silent Business Partner or Buy an Existing Business
Simply put, you’ll invest money into a business venture but will not be participating in its day-to-day operations. This reduced responsibility provides a passive income avenue since you generally just need to help in funding the business.
This does not mean that you are safe from any financial risks, however. It’s advisable to have an official agreement or contract with your business partner to set clear terms and agreement on the partnership.
Buying an Existing Business
You can also choose the other route wherein you can buy an already established business that has its own process in place and has a proven history of making profits.
Places where you can find businesses for sale:
However, it’s crucial to understand how the business works, because you always have to expect for the worse to happen when you have your own business.
12. Low Maintenance Business Ideas and Outsourcing
OK, this one’s not entirely passive and may require a lot of work at the start. But when set up correctly, it can provide a good source of income with minimal activity on your end.
Vending machines is one example.
Types may range from coffee dispensers to charging stations. Once up and running, you just need to schedule its maintenance and restocking depending on the machine.
If you think about it, you can apply this same low-maintenance framework even to regular business ideas. How?
By hiring contractors to do the bulk of the operations, you free yourself from the time and energy required from running your own business on a daily basis.
Yes, it can still be a hassle hiring and managing contractors. But if you figure this part out and build a solid team, they can run on autopilot and you’ll only need to check the reports and conduct regular meetings to set goals and review performance.
And by “contractors” I do not necessarily mean groups of people to run the business. It can be as simple as hiring a building manager for rent collection and other tasks.
Hiring your neighbor to make sure your three vending machines are working properly and well maintained. These are simple examples but I know you get my point.
Putting your money into an established franchise business could also be a great source of passive income. Seeing that this type of investment offers a built-in process, wherein and they will mostly help you out in getting started and in its inner workings – even in finding a good location for your business. This allows you to have more free time as an owner.
Referral Source or Lead Generation
A lead is information on an individual. How can you earn from it? Through referrals.
Ever recommended someone to your company’s HR for a job position? That’s basically how this works. Most companies give out incentives to the employee who referred someone successfully.
You get to earn just by simply referring someone.
Online, the same core principle applies. Let’s say you have a website about dogs that have a strong local following. As a dog owner yourself, you know of a great pet grooming store and visit their shop regularly.
You can pitch to the owner to exclusively promote their store in your website. Or you can ask your website visitors to sign up to your newsletter (where you can send out recommendations on good pet products or stores) so you can gather their contact info upon signing up.
Using this info, you can generate leads on people who are pet owners that the store you tied up with can use for targeted marketing.
We hope you found this guide useful.
Passive income can be major game changer for everyone. From funding your dream vacation to preparing for your kid’s college, saving for retirement to saving up capital for that business you’ve been planning for years.
As always, do your due diligence before venturing on any business idea.
The key is to be well-informed and minimize risks whenever you can. Goodluck!
Other Useful Resources: