As the cost of living continues to rise, so does the need for making sound investments. Of course, when investing that hard-earned money, you hope to get large returns while enduring the least amount of risk possible.

Does such a scenario exist in the world of investing?

To a point, it does. There are investment opportunities that are less risky than others, but as you’ve probably heard before, “the higher the return, the larger the risk.” However, as you plan for retirement or save for your child’s college education, the last thing you need is to have the bottom fall out of your investment right before you need to use it. So, here are a few low-risk investing options to help you grow your wealth the safe way.

1. Real Estate Investing

This option isn’t for the faint of heart because it requires a large upfront commitment of both time and money. However, a suite of residential investments or a commercial property will start earning you decent returns rather quickly.

It’s important to note here that commercial properties tend to produce higher returns than residential properties and are often much easier to manage since you deal mostly with professional tenants.

2. REITs

If you love the thought of investing in real estate, but the idea of being a landlord or flipping houses has you ready to pass on the notion, you may want to consider a REIT – Real Estate Investment Trust.

REITs allow an investor to buy shares in properties. These can be anything from office buildings to houses, apartments, or even residential estates. Every time the property makes money, so do the shareholders.

3. Money Market Funds

This is a great investment option if you absolutely don’t want to lose any of your principal investment. You will earn a small amount of interest as an incentive for parking your cash in a money market fund.

This option isn’t a huge money-maker, but it is one of the least risky options on this list.

4. Corporate Bonds

When you invest in corporate bonds, you are essentially investing in a corporation with the idea that the company will pay you back (and then some) with future profits. This type of investment puts a lot of faith in the company’s ability to grow and prosper, which can be risky if you don’t choose wisely.

If you like the idea of corporate investment, but don’t like the risk involved, you may want to consider bond funds, which function much like mutual funds to help diversify your investment over several bonds.

5. Municipal Bonds

When the state or local government needs money, they issue a municipal bond, allowing regular people to invest their funds to help the government out. Municipal bonds are less risky than other types of bonds because it’s unlikely that the borrower will default on the loan.

Another advantage of investing in municipal bonds is the fact that they are usually exempt from taxes, unlike most other types of investments.

Life is expensive these days, which is why it’s more important than ever to consider investing as a way to increase your wealth. While it’s true that investing is an inherently risky activity, there are several options that carry less volatility.

Whether you’re nearing retirement, or you need to pay for your child’s college education, take a look at the investment options listed above and see if one or more of them sounds like a risk you’re willing to take to increase your wealth.