To save time and effort, you can group two or more passive activities into one larger activity, provided you form an “appropriate economic unit,” according to the Passive Activity and At-Risk Rules. When you do this, instead of having to provide material participation in multiple activities, you only have to provide it for the activity as a whole. In addition, if you include multiple activities into one group and have to dispose of one of those activities, you’ve only done away with part of a larger activity as opposed to all of a smaller one.
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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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).
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.