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10 top investment options for young Australians in 2024

Stepping into the world of financial investments can be an exhilarating, yet intimidating, experience for young Australians. Up until now, investing has likely been something you’ve heard about from friends and family, but never considered for yourself. But that doesn’t have to be the case, as the younger you begin investing, the greater your returns may be over your lifetime.

Our top ten picks for investments to consider for young Australians include:

  1. Cryptocurrency
  2. Equities
  3. Managed/index funds
  4. ETFs
  5. Property
  6. P2P lending
  7. Savings accounts
  8. Term deposits
  9. Superannuation
  10. Gold

It may be possible to turn a small sum of spare cash into a sizeable nest egg of wealth, simply by investing your money in a way that suits your financial goals. So, if you’ve got cash to spare, and you’re looking for ways to make it grow, it may be worth considering investing.

1. Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin Investing Mobile

When it comes to investment options for younger Australians, it’s safe to say that most of us have felt more pressure to invest in cryptocurrency than to do drugs.

We’ve all heard the stories of friends of friends that put their money into Bitcoin, and other blockchain-based cryptocurrencies or altcoins, and saw their investments balloon into the six- or seven-figure return range. However, there are also plenty of stories of people eagerly investing in a hot new cryptocurrency, only to see the value stagnate or tank, or for the whole thing to disappear into thin digital air, leaving a lot of angry investors out of pocket.

So, is cryptocurrency an investment worth considering nowadays? The truth is a lot simpler than you’d think – if you are passionate about the technology, or if you do your research and believe there is opportunity for capital gain – it may be worth considering. A golden rule to consider is: only invest in things you understand. So, if it’s not clear how a particular cryptocurrency works, it may be worth avoiding that cryptocurrency as an investment option.

If you’re still not sure, consider looking at what experts are suggesting about the crypto environment at the moment, including longtime investors and naysayers.

As the technology is still relatively new, so are the regulations around it. Unfortunately, scams are a common occurrence, so it may be worth thoroughly vetting the cryptocurrency and the exchange you use to facilitate your investment. Kaspersky recommends the following tips to ensure you’re not being scammed:

  • Avoiding anyone or anything that offers “guaranteed returns” or “free money”
  • Avoiding pump and dump crypto schemes
  • Avoiding crypto with a poor or non-existent whitepaper
  • Avoiding crypto with excessive marketing – typically done to draw in as many customers in a short time frame to raise money quickly.
  • Only download apps from official platforms

To get started with cryptocurrency, you’ll need to find an exchange and create an account, which often involves providing identification. We've come up with three steps to buy cryptocurrency in Australia, but you can always look into the whole crypto-craze yourself.

Minimum investment:

While individual units of cryptocurrency (e.g. one Bitcoin) can have high prices, you don’t need to buy whole units at a time. Instead, it’s possible to invest in fractions of cryptocurrency units, the size and price of which can vary by currency, as well as the trading platform you use. Keep in mind that as well as paying for the cryptocurrency itself, the exchange you use may also charge you fees. 

2. Equities

Time to Invest

Equities (another name for shares, stocks, or securities) is what many people think of when you mention investing. Getting into equities trading can sound intimidating at first, especially if you’re not familiar with share markets. But nobody expects you to become Jordan Belfort overnight. It is okay to start small or stay at whatever investment level you’re comfortable with.

There are many ways to start investing in equities. If you want to choose which shares you buy and sell, an online broking service can facilitate your transactions for relatively low fees per transaction. A full-service stockbroker will likely charge you more, but may be able to provide personalised advice, which could be valuable if you’re not sure where to invest.

Minimum investment:

When buying equities, the “minimum marketable parcel” of shares is typically $500. If you want to buy equities in a company that’s worth $5 a share, you’ll need to buy a minimum of 100 shares.

Even if you don’t have a whole lot of money saved up to invest, one possible option to get started is to consider microinvesting. This involves investing small sums, either frequently or infrequently, towards a portfolio of assets, typically through an app.

3. Managed/index funds

In a managed or index fund, many investors put their money into a shared pool, which is used to invest in a range of assets. The returns you enjoy will be based on the value of these assets, along with how much money you’ve put into the shared pool (your units in the fund).

Some managed funds are active funds, where an investment manager will search for high value stocks and invest the pooled money on the group’s behalf (for example, Microequities Asset Management). You’ll need to put a lot of trust in your fund manager, so you’ll want to be confident in their skills. You may also need to pay fees for their services.

Other managed funds are passive or index funds, which buy into a portfolio of assets. You’ll receive income based on the value of the fund’s investments, though you may not have as much flexibility around how your money is invested as with other investment options.

Minimum investment:

Individual managed/index funds have their own minimum investment requirements, which often range between $1000 and $5000.


ETFs, or Exchange Traded Funds, are almost a hybrid of equities and index funds. Much like a regular index fund, ETFs invest their wealth into a range of assets from a particular class (e.g. shares, currencies etc.). The difference is that rather than buying units in an ETF, like you would with an index or managed fund, you can buy shares in an ETF, just like buying equities on the stock exchange, and these can also be sold or traded if you choose.

Buying shares in an ETF is often quicker, less expensive and more flexible than buying units in a managed fund, and can offer a simpler way to invest in an index’s range of assets. You will need to pay brokerage fees when trading ETF shares through a broker or fund manager (such as BetaShares or Stockspot), just like when buying or selling regular equities.

Minimum investment:

Because ETFs are traded much like shares, they are also bought in minimum parcels of at least $500.

5. Property

For many young Australians, it’s hard to take property seriously as a viable investment opportunity due to the sheer price-point required for entry. So much has already been written about how difficult it can be for younger people to get a foot on the property ladder. Between six-figure deposit minimums, rising interest rates, and battling it out with upgraders and cashed-up boomers at the auction, purchasing property for an investment may not feel possible for you.

However, there are many government schemes available to assist first home buyers specifically in purchasing property with deposits as little as 5%, even 2% for single parents. Plus, you do not have to purchase your dream home as your first property. You don’t even need to buy a property in your own state or territory. In fact, you may not want to, given that property investment in more affordable, up-and-coming areas may be a better strategy for younger Australians anyways.

If you can just get past the first hurdle – perhaps by having your parents sign on a home loan as a guarantor in lieu of saving a huge deposit - there are two ways you can make money from a property investment

  1. Earn income as a landlord by renting the place out
  2. Wait for the property to increase in value, and sell it at a profit

While some investors “flip” properties by buying them, renovating them, then selling them quickly, property is more often treated as a longer-term investment, to earn money in rental yield and/or capital growth over time.

Suncorp Group Limited
Back to Basics Home Loan Special Offer
  • Investor
  • Variable
  • 30% min deposit

Investors with 30% equity can enjoy a lower interest rate, no upfront or ongoing fees, and unlimited extra repayments with free unlimited redraws.

Interest rate p.a.


Comparison rate* p.a.


More detailsclick for more details

It’s important to remember that there are no guarantees in property investment (or in any other type of investment, for that matter). A property located in a growing suburb could significantly increase in value over a relatively short time, though some investors find themselves stuck if they can’t attract tenants and the value of their property falls.

You can compare home loans at RateCity and look for first home buyer loans or investment mortgages that suit your budget, or you can compare the mortgage offers available from specific lenders, such as UBank or Bank Australia.

Minimum investment:

Applying for a home loan requires saving a deposit. While most lenders prefer a deposit of at least 20% of the property’s value, you can still apply for home loans with a deposit as low as 5%. If you do not qualify for government assistance schemes, keep in mind that deposits of less than 20% also require paying for Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI), which can be expensive.

One possible alternative to saving a six-figure deposit is to have a guarantor (usually a parent or other close relative) secure the deposit with equity in their own property. You’ll need to ensure you budget accordingly to meet your repayments so you do not risk the guarantor losing their property, or other security, if you were to default.

Another potential lower-cost option to invest in property is using a service such as BrickX to purchase fractions (or “bricks”) of an investment property, and receive a corresponding fraction of the property’s rental income and/or capital growth if you choose to later sell. You may also be able to consider rent to own options such as OwnHome, though it’s important to check the fine print and get financial and legal advice first.

6. P2P lending

A simplistic way to describe peer to peer (P2P) lending is “like Uber, but for money”. P2P lending essentially involves one person who wants to borrow money being put in touch with someone who wants to lend money.

While an arrangement like this could be theoretically sorted out between mates and mates-of-mates down at the pub, it’s usually facilitated by third party websites instead, such as Plenti, SocietyOne, Harmoney or Now Finance.

If you’re the lender in a P2P arrangement, you can earn interest from the money you lend, almost as if you were a bank. While you can pick and choose the borrowers you lend to personally, there aren’t as many guarantees in place for P2P lending as there are in more traditionally structured investments or lending.

Minimum investment:

The minimum amount you can invest in a P2P loan will depend on the business facilitating the loan. For example, the minimum investment in the Plenti Lending Platform (PLP) is $10.

7. Savings accounts

Man holding cash in hands

The humble savings account. You’ve likely had one since you were a kid, or since your parents made you sign up to one when you got your first job.

As one of the simplest investment options available, a savings account is different from a typical bank account, as it lets you earn interest on the money you deposit. This encourages you to keep making deposits and avoid making withdrawals, as the more money you can put in a savings account, and the longer you can leave it there, the more interest you can earn and the faster you can reach your savings goals.

Let’s be honest, a savings account is not a fast-track to becoming fabulously wealthy. It can take a long time to earn a significant amount of interest, even with interest rates on the rise - but it’s more than you’d earn by leaving your money in your transaction account, or hiding cash under your mattress.

The good news is that the highest savings account interest rates are currently being offered to younger Australians. In fact, the first saver account to climb above 4% since 2015 is available for those aged 14-35, from Bank of Queensland. Even when interest rates were at historic lows, banks were providing competitive interest rates to younger Australians. Westpac’s Life account has been offering rates above 3% to those aged 18-29.

Minimum investment:

Savings accounts don’t typically require a specific minimum balance. Some may require a $1 deposit to activate the account. Some may require you make regular minimum deposits each month to earn a higher interest rate on your savings. Be sure to check the fine print before you sign up.

Bank of Queensland
Future Saver Account (Under 35)
  • Bonus interest with conditions
  • Linked account required

Young adults can enjoy one of the most competitive interest rates on a savings account for their nest eggs.

Maximum rate p.a.


Base rate p.a.


More detailsclick for more details

8. Term deposits

If you have a long-term goal for your money, a term deposit can offer a reliable, low-risk way to make progress towards this goal.

A term deposit is similar to a savings account, in that you deposit your money with a bank and leave it to earn interest over time. Often, the longer the term you agree to deposit your money for, the higher the rate of interest you can earn.

The appeal of a term deposit, like a savings account, is that it is considered one of the lowest risk options to grow your initial deposit into a larger sum. The main difference between a term deposit and a savings account is that there’s no easy way to make withdrawals from a term deposit. Once you’ve locked your money in the account, it will stay in there until the end of the fixed term – or you’ll face a costly penalty.

While this means less flexibility, it also removes the temptation to break from your investment plan and dip into your savings. You also don’t have to worry about meeting conditions to keep enjoying a higher interest rate, such as making regular deposits. Plus, because the details of a term deposit are organised in advance, you can easily calculate how much you can earn in interest ahead of time, and budget accordingly.

Compare options before you sign up to ensure you’re gaining the greatest return on your investment, with minimal fees, through a provider that you’re happy to support with your nest egg.

Minimum investment:

Many providers require a minimum term deposit of $5,000, though there are some that allow deposits as low as $1,000. Often, the more money you deposit, and the longer the term you leave it in the account, the higher the rate of interest you may receive from the bank.

9. Superannuation

What is the accumulation phase in superannuation? | RateCity

If you work for an employer, then a minimum percentage of your pre-tax wage or salary should be automatically paid into your super fund. This amount will continue to rise until it hits 12% in July 2027. Your superannuation contributions don’t just sit in a bank account somewhere until it’s time to retire – it also earns interest, much like money in a savings account or term deposit. Some super funds also invest your money in various assets to further grow your retirement wealth. You may not be aware that you can choose the risk level and type of investments for your superannuation.

If you’ve worked for multiple employers, you may have multiple super accounts under your name. Having multiple super accounts often means being charged multiple account-keeping fees, which can eat up your retirement savings. Consolidating your super into a single fund (for example, one offered by Hostplus) is a fairly simple way to start your retirement planning. With just the one super fund, it’s much more likely that your super contributions and interest earnings should outweigh the cost of its annual fee.

If your goal is to enjoy a comfortable retirement, then paying additional money into your super is one (very) long-term strategy to consider. Regular contribution shouldn’t significantly impact your current lifestyle, but it could potentially make an enormous difference to your post-retirement lifestyle.

To further grow your super, you could consider salary sacrificing. By arranging for your employer to deposit more than the minimum required percentage of your wage into your super fund, not only can you make steady progress toward your retirement nest egg, but you’ll effectively lower your annual taxable income, which can have certain benefits come tax time – talk to the ATO and/or an accountant for more information.

Minimum investment:

If you work for an employer, a percentage of your wage or salary should be automatically deposited into your superannuation. While this may seem sufficient for some people, making additional deposits while you’re still working may make a big difference to the lifestyle you may be able to expect when the time comes to retire.

10. Gold


For a truly old-school investment, you may consider buying up big bricks of the shiny stuff. One of the reasons gold remains a popular investment in the modern age is its long-term stability and consistency. Even if the stock market crashes, the property bubble bursts, or cryptocurrency burns to the ground, gold is expected to remain a valuable commodity in many markets.

Thanks to this stability, investors often use gold to secure their existing wealth, rather than to make money. Some investors use gold as part of a diversification strategy – when splitting wealth between different investments, even if everything else goes belly up, at least the gold will retain, or even increase, its value.

Remember that you may need to consider your gold’s security costs, as well as the costs of guaranteeing the gold’s authenticity whenever you’re buying or selling.

Minimum investment:

Some gold bullion depositories such as ABC Bullion or Perth Mint offer savings plans, where you invest as little as $50 per month into gold and silver, similar to a savings account.

You can also purchase physical gold bars or coins at a price that depends on their weight (anywhere from one gram to one kilogram or more) and the current price of gold. These can either be kept stored at the depository, or you can arrange your own security.