Rental properties are defined as passive income with a couple of exceptions. If you’re a real estate professional, any rental income you’re making counts as active income. If you’re “self-renting,” meaning that you own a space and are renting it out to a corporation or partnership where you conduct business, that does not constitute passive income unless that lease had been signed before 1988, in which case you’ve been grandfathered into having that income being defined as passive. According to the IRS’s Passive Activity and At-Risk Rules, “It doesn’t matter whether or not the use is under a lease, a service contract, or some other arrangement.”

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Understand what a silent partner does. In short, the silent partner is an investor in a business partnership who does nothing except provide their capital. This type of investor, also known as a "limited partner," has no hand in the daily operations of the business. They are limited in liability to the amount of their investment, meaning that they could lose their investment, but not more. This type of investment provides passive income with the potential to be quite large if the company grows. However, there is no guarantee that the other partners will follow through on the promised growth.[14]

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There are dozens of ways to generate passive income. However, the option you select has to do with two metrics: time and money. Either you have a lot of time or a lot of money. Most people usually don't have both. But, if you have a lot of money, generating passive income almost instantly is easy. You can buy up some real estate and begin enjoying rental income. Or, you can invest in a dividend fund or some other investment vehicle that will begin generating a steady income for you.

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I will share what we did, because it’s an incredible success story. We used an existing tax loophole where if you sell your primary residence (after having lived there at least two years) you get to keep your profit tax-free. So, we stair-stepped. We bought house after house, at least two years apart, used the profit money to pay down on the next house (so on and so forth, yadda yadda) building up equity as we went along… and now, we own a $600,000 house debt-free. And now we are using our paid-off home as leverage to borrow money to buy commercial buildings to rent out. I like commercial because it’s a BUSINESS transaction… kids, pets, other wear and tear that you see with residential rentals is nonexistent. People take care of their business space much better than residential. You have to be in a good area for renting out commercial – a thriving business community – to make this work. But that’s how we “made it”, and though it took 15 years, we will have residual income to take care of us when we’re old enough to retire. People made fun of us for moving so much, but who’s laughing now? 😉 Oh, and our child only had to change schools once (and we wanted to anyway) because we stayed in the same general area as we moved around. We were careful not to disrupt his life too much.

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Understand what a silent partner does. In short, the silent partner is an investor in a business partnership who does nothing except provide their capital. This type of investor, also known as a "limited partner," has no hand in the daily operations of the business. They are limited in liability to the amount of their investment, meaning that they could lose their investment, but not more. This type of investment provides passive income with the potential to be quite large if the company grows. However, there is no guarantee that the other partners will follow through on the promised growth.[14]
2. You clearly have plenty of money already. Just more padding in your already cushy nest. This is not the story for a lot of people. Your title should be “How to become richer than you already are without working.” But, actually the investment one is the only one that would make money without actual WORK. Running rental properties is a lot of work, and so is running a business, or even a blog. Sooooo…..while there might be some truth to this, I think it’s mostly grass that looks greener because it’s on the other side of the fence.
2. This article isn’t intended to be about making $50k per year from $0 to start with. This is intended to show different ways that it’s possible to generate $50k in passive income. As for your rental property comment, check out RealtyShares or other similar companies. You can be a rental property owner without having to run the business. You can be a limited partner and just invest in real estate, and leave the actual work to the general partner. Basically, there are options to make $50k without working, but like the first paragraph says – front load your life! 

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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.”


Wow! What an awesome list! My favorite is the stock photography because I love photography. I have had some success there, particularly with one photo I make some decent income from. I think the key with stock photography is finding a shot that is high demand. Then, find a new unique way to frame that shot. This is the reason my St. Louis Arch photo is a top 10 on both ShutterStock and iStockPhoto. Thanks for the awesome ideas above!

I actually went back to the post and looked closer. Out of the first 13 ways listed, only one requires that you have house. None of the rest require you to have a house or a car. Of course, there are 11 more ideas in addition to those first 13 and some of those do require you to start with an investment. However, there’s nearly always a way to create passive income if you are willing to put in the time and work involved. If you do not find something that works for you in this post, check out our other posts. If you’re constantly on the lookout for ways to create passive income I’m betting you will find a way that works for you. Be diligent and I bet you can do it, even in South Africa. Good luck! 

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Understand what a silent partner does. In short, the silent partner is an investor in a business partnership who does nothing except provide their capital. This type of investor, also known as a "limited partner," has no hand in the daily operations of the business. They are limited in liability to the amount of their investment, meaning that they could lose their investment, but not more. This type of investment provides passive income with the potential to be quite large if the company grows. However, there is no guarantee that the other partners will follow through on the promised growth.[14]

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However, when you lack the money, you need time. You'll need to invest the upfront time now in order to reap the benefits of automatic income later. It just doesn't happen overnight. So don't expect it to. However, you can do this without quitting your day job. All it takes is some sincere effort over a consistent period, and voila! But, to get there, you'll need to consistently burn the midnight oil or get up at the crack of dawn. Your choice.

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Holly Johnson, a professional freelance writer who earns over $200,000 per year creating online content, is another successful entrepreneur who is doing well with course sales. Johnson launched her Earn More Writing freelance writing course in 2017 and has sold over 700 courses for $199 each since then. In January of 2019, she also launched a “Pro” version of her course that retails for $349. She sold 40 on the first day.

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The United States Internal Revenue Service categorizes income as active income, passive income, or portfolio income.[1] It defines passive income as only coming from two sources, or "passive activities": rental activity or "trade or business activities in which you do not materially participate."[2][3] Other financial and government institutions also recognize it as an income obtained as a result of capital growth or in relation to negative gearing. Passive income is usually taxable.

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Rental properties are defined as passive income with a couple of exceptions. If you’re a real estate professional, any rental income you’re making counts as active income. If you’re “self-renting,” meaning that you own a space and are renting it out to a corporation or partnership where you conduct business, that does not constitute passive income unless that lease had been signed before 1988, in which case you’ve been grandfathered into having that income being defined as passive. According to the IRS’s Passive Activity and At-Risk Rules, “It doesn’t matter whether or not the use is under a lease, a service contract, or some other arrangement.”

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