Earning passive income is great but it can be tough in the beginning to see how amazing passive income is. Usually your contributions dwarf your passive income at first. This can make it seem like earning passive income isn’t worth while. But if you stick with it then all of a sudden it starts to snowball. After about 3-5 years your passive income will start to equal 1-2 months of regular contributions. This is where things really start to pick up speed!
While these activities fit the popular definition of passive income, they don’t fit the technical definition as outlined by the IRS’s Passive Activity Losses—Real Estate Tax Tips. Passive income, when used as a technical term, is defined as either “net rental income” or “income from a business in which the taxpayer does not materially participate,” and in some cases can include self-charged interest. It goes on to say that passive income “does not include salaries, portfolio, or investment income.” 

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Andrew Fiebert is a thirty-something soon-to-be father of twins, a self-professed data nerd, and has worked as a Data Engineer for Barclays Capital and iHeartRadio. He's spent the past six years growing LMM into a multi-six-figure business with over 500 hours of free personal finance education that reaches over 1 million people every month. Andrew has a B.S. in Computer Science and has been featured in Quartz, Forbes, Business Insider, and The Telegraph.

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Andrew Fiebert is a thirty-something soon-to-be father of twins, a self-professed data nerd, and has worked as a Data Engineer for Barclays Capital and iHeartRadio. He's spent the past six years growing LMM into a multi-six-figure business with over 500 hours of free personal finance education that reaches over 1 million people every month. Andrew has a B.S. in Computer Science and has been featured in Quartz, Forbes, Business Insider, and The Telegraph.
Participate in royalty-based venture financing. In traditional venture financing, an investor buys a stake in a company to provide growth capital to its founders. This investor is then entitled to a percentage of the gains experienced when a company is bought or has an initial public offering. However, there is another kind of venture financing where an investor can invest start-up capital in exchange for regular royalty payments that are based on the company's revenue. This doesn't give the investor any ownership in the company, but does guarantee regular payouts (assuming the company survives).

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I have only dabbled in drop-shipping before when I had an eCommerce platform 6 years ago or so. I think it is something that you could do on the side, but you would want to do in depth research on the industry you want to get into before setting up shop. It may be a little less passive up front, but over time you could take your hands off the wheel.

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When money is loaned to a partnership or an S-corporation acting as a pass-through entity (essentially, a business that is designed to reduce the effects of double taxation) by that entity’s owner, the interest income on that loan to the portfolio income can qualify as passive income. According to the IRS, “Certain self-charged interest income or deductions may be treated as passive activity gross income or passive activity deductions if the loan proceeds are used in a passive activity.”

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Choose stocks with high dividends. Typically, the companies that pay the highest dividends are older, more established companies. These companies no longer need to reinvest their income into growing the company, so they are free to allocate the money to investors in the form of dividends. Telecommunication companies, Real Estate Investments Trusts (REITs), and utility companies, in particular, are known for having high dividend payouts.[3]

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I have only dabbled in drop-shipping before when I had an eCommerce platform 6 years ago or so. I think it is something that you could do on the side, but you would want to do in depth research on the industry you want to get into before setting up shop. It may be a little less passive up front, but over time you could take your hands off the wheel.

Decide to invest in dividend stocks. Dividend stocks pay out a portion of the company's profits to shareholders. These dividends are paid at regular intervals, so they produce a regular income stream. Investors who hold a large amount of this type of stock are known as "income investors" because they prioritize regular dividends over stock value growth.[1]

How do I generate passive income?

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