Passive income can be broadly defined as income that is earned with little or no effort and, for many, creating a significant amount of it is the holy grail of personal financial planning. While a significant stream of passive income is attractive to nearly everyone, it is particularly so for individuals with little time to devote to financial planning, but the resources needed to produce it. Pharmacists fall into this category.
In this article, we are going to present ten ideas that can potentially earn passive income for those whose full time job is a Pharmacist. For each option, we will describe what it is, how it produces passive income, and the pros and cons of allocating capital to it. By the end, the goal is for readers to find one or two ideas that are a suitable fit for their own investment preferences.
At First National Realty Partners, we are a private equity commercial real estate investment firm that specializes in the acquisition and management of grocery store anchored retail centers. Investing in this type of property can be a great way to earn passive income. If you are an accredited investor and would like to learn more about our current investment opportunities, click here.
First, A Word About Suitability
For many investors, trying to choose where to allocate money can be a real challenge. There are a lot of options and, for many, the primary concern is to find the “best” one. In reality, the “best” option is the one that is most suitable for each investor’s individual preferences. So, to help figure out which of the options below are the most suitable, each investor should consider their own view on the following items:
- Risk and Return: An investment’s return is highly correlated to the level of risk involved in it. High risk investments can deliver very high returns, but they can also be incredibly volatile. For example, Bitcoin has delivered sensational returns over the last decade, but it has seen multiple days of 20%+ price swings up or down. At the other end of the spectrum, something like a bond is very low risk and delivers stable, consistent returns. Investors should consider what sort of returns they want to achieve and then determine what level of risk and volatility they are willing to tolerate to achieve it.
- Time Horizon and Liquidity: Some investors are looking for a short term place to park their capital with the hope of earning some extra money. Other investors may be willing to take a longer term approach and lock up their capital for a multiyear period. As a general rule, those with a shorter term time horizon should steer towards more liquid investments like stocks and bonds. Those with a longer term time horizon can afford to invest in less liquid opportunities like a real estate development project.
- Experience: Pharmacists are experienced healthcare professionals and providers who have gone through years of pharmacy school to gain the skills needed to perform their job. They are truly professionals in their field, but they may not be professional investors. Some investments like a high yield savings account don’t require very much experience or expertise to own while others like commercial real estate or cryptocurrency require a lot. Investors should consider their own experience to help steer themselves towards the most suitable investment opportunities.
- Debt Load and Emergency Fund: As a general best practice, it is a good idea for Pharmacists to use any extra income to pay down debt and build an emergency fund of three to six months worth of living expenses. Once debt is at a manageable level and the emergency fund carries the appropriate balances, then investors can take the steps necessary to generate a passive income stream.
- Investable Capital: Finally, different types of investments require different amounts of capital. At one end of the spectrum, something like stocks and bonds can be purchased for a relatively small amount of money while other options like real estate require much larger investments. Pharmacist investors should consider how much capital they have available to invest to help steer towards the most suitable opportunities.
Again, the point of this section should be clear. Each individual has their own unique financial circumstances and investment objectives. Rather than concentrate on finding the “best” investment, they should take inventory of their own wants and needs and work to find the most suitable options. With this in mind, there are ten ideas for passive income described below.
Idea #1: Private Equity Real Estate
In a typical private equity commercial real estate transaction, an individual investor has an opportunity to partner with a private equity firm to gain fractional ownership of an institutional quality asset. In such a scenario, the investor provides the capital and the private equity firm does the hard work of finding, financing, and managing the property.
Private equity real estate produces passive income from the rents paid by tenants who lease space in the property or from the sales of units in the property.
The major benefit of a private equity real estate investment is that Pharmacist investors get all of the benefits of real estate ownership without the hassle of managing it. In addition they get a chance for price appreciation, some tax benefits, and a steady stream of income that can provide some extra cash to help towards achieving financial goals.
The downside of a private equity real estate investment is that investors don’t have a say in the day to day management of the property, have to pay fees to the private equity firm, require a high minimum investment, and a long time horizon of 5+ years.
Private equity real estate tends to be most suitable for Pharmacists with a long time horizon, significant amounts of investable capital, and a moderate risk tolerance.
Idea #2: Dividend Stocks
Some companies, usually more mature ones, reward their shareholders with periodic dividends. For example, shareholders of Walgreens are rewarded with a $1.91 per share dividend annually.
Of course, these periodic dividends produce a steady stream of additional income for shareholders. For investors with significant holdings, this income stream can be substantial. An individual who owns 1,000 shares of Walgreens alone could expect annual dividends of $1,910.
The benefit of this approach is that it is truly passive – individuals do not have to do anything to get the dividend beyond being a shareholder in the company. In addition, they have a chance for share price appreciation which can boost returns even further.
The downside is that dividends are typically taxed as income, the share price can go down just as easily as it can go up, and an unprofitable company can be forced to cut their dividend to conserve capital, which will almost certainly result in a material drop in the share price.
Dividend stocks tend to be a good fit for investors who prefer some liquidity, have a medium to long term time horizon, and a high risk tolerance.
Idea #3: Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is an online marketing strategy that seeks to drive traffic to certain websites in return for a small commission on every item purchased. For example, one classic way to do this is for a blogger to write a post reviewing some item – like running shoes. For each model reviewed, there is a link to a third party site like Amazon and every time someone buys a pair of running shoes using that link, the blogger gets a small commission for the referral.
Affiliate marketing produces passive income from the commissions paid on purchases.
The benefit of this approach is that it can reach tremendous scale, quickly. In addition the startup cost is next to nothing, and there is potential to produce significant amounts of income.
The downside is that it is a very crowded, competitive space and it is not truly passive. There is a lot of work that goes into producing the content and the links to 3rd party affiliates.
Idea #4: Rental Properties
A rental property is a classic passive income strategy. With it, a Pharmacist investor, individually or with a group of investors, purchases a property with the intent to rent it to a tenant. It could be a long term, single-family rental that is marketed to a family or professional. Or, it could be a short term vacation rental marketed to vacationers on platforms like Airbnb.
This strategy produces passive income from the rents paid to occupy the property.
The benefit of this approach is that real estate is a tangible asset, with tax benefits and a chance for price appreciation.
The downside is that it can take a lot of work to manage a rental property. From changing light bulbs to replacing appliances, it can be a very time consuming endeavor. In addition, property owners are exposed to the market risk of changing rents and lack the opportunity for diversification because much of their capital may be tied up in the property.
Rental properties tend to be a suitable fit for investors with large amounts of investable capital, a long term time horizon, and some experience with real estate investment and management.
Idea #5: Peer to Peer Lending
Peer to peer lending is exactly what it sounds like. It occurs when an individual with available capital lends it to individuals who need it. In the modern economy, it is enabled by technology platforms – like LendingClub- who do all of the hard work of managing the end to end loan origination and collection process.
Peer to peer lending produces passive income from the periodic loan payments, which are processed and distributed by the technology platform.
The upside of a peer to peer loan is that they are easy to find, investors can create a diversified portfolio of dozens or hundreds of loans, and it only takes a small amount of capital to get started. In addition, the interest rates charged on loans can provide a nice annual return.
The downside is that the loans offered on peer to peer lending platforms are usually of the higher risk type and they tend to be unsecured, which means that lenders may not have any recourse to the borrower in the event of default.
Peer to peer lending tends to be a suitable fit for investors with smaller amounts of investable capital, a medium to long term time horizon, and a high risk tolerance.
Idea #6: Writing and Releasing an eBook
An ebook is a book that is published and sold electronically, usually through third-party websites like Amazon, through the writer’s own website or social media channels (like Facebook, Instagram, or their own YouTube Channel). Given a Pharmacist’s expertise in the medical field, they may be well positioned to write one that has the potential to sell.
Ebooks produce passive income from the money paid to purchase them.
The benefit of writing and selling an ebook is that it is very scalable and can be accomplished with little or no upfront investment. As a result, it may be a good place for a beginner to start.
But, it can be very difficult and expensive to market the book, it is a competitive space, and requires a significant upfront time commitment. As a result, it isn’t completely passive.
Ebooks tend to be most suitable for those Pharmacists who are talented writers and the time to create an ebook.
Idea #7: Crowdfunded Real Estate
A crowdfunded real estate deal is similar to a private equity deal, but there is one key difference. In a crowdfunded deal, the investment is typically originated through a web-based technology platform that markets the property and manages the distribution of rental payments.
Crowdfunded real estate investment produces passive income from the rents paid by tenants to occupy the space.
The benefit of a crowdfunded deal is that it can produce income, has the potential for price appreciation, and is truly passive because the sponsor and platform manage all of the logistics of the transaction.
The downside of a crowdfunded real estate deal is that they can be expensive relative to other real estate opportunities and investors have no say in the day- to-day management decisions for the property.
Crowdfunded real estate investments tend to be a suitable fit for Pharmacists who have moderate amounts of investable capital, a long time horizon, and a moderate risk tolerance.
Idea #8: Blogging
A blog is a web-based diary of sorts on a specific topic. For example, a Pharmacist could author a blog on how to reduce your student loans, how to open a community pharmacy, or how to combat burnout in a high pressure profession. Blogs can be started as a side hustle or part time hobby, but successful blogs can quickly become a full time job that can help put Pharmacists on the path towards financial freedom.
Blogs can produce passive income in a number of ways. They include affiliate marketing, selling products like online courses or audiobooks, or from advertising.
The benefit of a blog is that there is next to no startup cost, can achieve significant reach, and can establish a Pharmacist’s credentials which can lead to other opportunities like speaking engagements or higher paying job opportunities.
The downside is that it is incredibly competitive and it isn’t all that passive. Blogs must be constantly updated with new content and work must be done to optimize it for search engine optimization.
Blogs tend to be the most suitable fit for Pharmacists with a small amount of investable capital, a long time horizon, and a low risk tolerance.
Idea #9: Podcast
A podcast is an audio program that is distributed through digital channels. They often focus on a specific topic – like personal finance or how to be the best pharmacy student.
Podcasts produce passive income by selling advertisements against the audio programming. In addition, hosts can sell tickets to live events, or the podcast can be used as a platform for the sale of other things like books or courses.
A podcast has very low startup costs, scales very well, and can achieve significant reach.
The downside of a podcast is that it is far from passive. It can take a lot of work to write, produce, edit, and record a single podcast episode, much less many over time. In addition, it can be very competitive and it is possible that a Pharmacy related podcast will find a limited audience.
A podcast tends to be the most suitable fit for Pharmacists with the time and expertise needed to create a podcast.
Idea #10: YouTube Channel
YouTube is a content creation platform that allows users to create and upload their own videos. Creators can create their own YouTube “Channels” which aggregate videos on a similar topic .
YouTube channels create passive income from advertisements that are sold against the videos. The amount of income is related to the number of views that each video generates. The more views, the more income.
The major benefit of a YouTube Channel is that it can reach a substantial scale. In an extreme example, some of the top earning YouTubers generate tens of millions of dollars annually from their content creation efforts. In addition, it can be a good platform from which to expand into other passive income endeavors like ebooks and in person seminars.
The downside of running a YouTube Channel is that it can be anything but passive. A lot of effort must go into continually creating content and building an audience. In addition, a YouTube channel related to Pharmacology may not find an audience large enough to produce any material amount of cash flow.
YouTube Channels tend to be a suitable option for creative individuals who have the time and expertise needed to undertake this endeavor.
The Benefits of Passive Income for Pharmacists
There are three notable benefits of developing a passive income stream for Pharmacists:
- It can be re-deployed into other, income producing assets that will compound over time.
- It can supplement a Pharmacist salary to help them achieve financial independence
- Most importantly, it does not require much incremental work to achieve, allowing the Pharmacist to focus on what they do best.
For many, the most optimal outcome of developing a stream of passive income is to reach a point where it is enough that an individual can retire.
Interested In Learning More?
First National Realty Partners is one of the country’s leading private equity commercial real estate investment firms. With an intentional focus on finding world-class, multi-tenanted assets well below intrinsic value, we seek to create superior long-term, risk-adjusted returns for our investors while creating strong economic assets for the communities we invest in.
If you are an Accredited Real Estate Investor and would like to learn more about our investment opportunities, contact us at (800) 605-4966 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.