There is no way you can add value to a stock or bond
You can add value to real estate. Sometimes it’s easy, but generally it takes a lot of time, effort, and money.
Buying foreclosures can be a real moneymaker, in some areas. But in other areas there are too many crazy people overpaying, or too many large investors buying in bulk from banks.
It’s very easy to lose your ass doing renovations. You really need to know what you are doing, or keep it very minimal.
In some markets you can flip houses quickly with modest work at a good profit. In other markets you can get stuck with a house for a long time.
Land is a long term speculative investment.
Oceanfront or lakefront has the best returns, if you have secure rights to build.
Single family houses almost always lose money as rentals. 2-4 unit buildings can be moneymakers. Large buildings with many apartments have a different type of tenant and require professional managers who visit the building constantly.
Air BnB can be a good money maker if you can manage it and get the day to day work done.
Buy in the early stages of an improving market. Sell when the market has been unrealistically hot for awhile.
You make money on real estate when you buy it. Buy it cheap or don’t buy it at all.
REITS and similar investment can be a good real estate hedge, but there is no way for you to buy them below market value, or to add value.