With more time on their hands and less steady income, a lot of people have spent the past year hunting for side hustle ideas. From driving for Uber to selling on Ebay, it seems there are all sorts of ways people are looking to make some extra income.
But the thing I don’t like about the “side hustle” is that it often still is a hustle. Many side hustle ideas take a lot of time and physical energy. That’s why I like side hustle ideas such as putting a bit of money each month into shares that could generate some passive income for me.
Passive income from selling everyday items
Instead of sitting on my floor making candles or homemade food to sell online, I would look at companies who already have experience of doing such activity profitably.
For example, the UK’s biggest supermarket chain Tesco sells everything from craft food brands to scented candles. It usually distributes some of its profits to shareholders as dividends. Right now, the yield is around 4.2%. That means that for every £100 I put into the shares, I would hope to get £4.20 back each year while I held the shares.
I reckon Tesco knows far more than I ever will about selling household goods – whether online or in store. Plus tucking this money away in Tesco shares, I won’t need to do any work. I can just sit at home and wait for my passive income stream of dividends.
However, dividends are never guaranteed. Tesco could decide to spend the money in growing its business instead, for example. A tougher retail environment with growing discount retailers could damage profits, as could a strategic mis-step by management. That’s one reason I would invest in shares of more than one company as my side hustle.
Digital side hustle ideas
A lot of side hustle ideas are aimed at digital nomads, who want to sell their expertise and deliver it online.
That could be anything from tutoring to programming. But I think I can earn passive income from such side hustle ideas without having to do the work myself.
An example is investing in Sage (LSE: SGE). This well-established accountancy software provider has over 12,000 employees. With the company’s brand name, expertise, and financial firepower I think it is better suited than I am to monetise the delivery of expertise online.
Historically, like many software companies, Sage physically installed its software. Now it is increasingly moving to a software-as-a-service model. The Sage Business Cloud model allows the company to earn money by delivering the company’s software expertise remotely.
I like the target market of small and medium enterprises, as their accounting needs should stay fairly consistent. I also like the scaleability of software delivered through the cloud. More customers allow the development costs to be spread wider, which could boost profit margins.
Sage yields 2.9%. The dividend has been raised each year for two decades. However, there are risks – for example, competitors could develop better software. The costs of developing cloud infrastructure could also eat into profits.
Tesco and Sage are side hustle ideas I would consider – without the hustle. I would consider investing in them to try to generate passive income using some of the principles of a side hustle but not the effort.
christopherruane has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has recommended eBay, Sage Group, Tesco, and Uber Technologies. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.