Invest in the Midwest: Your Guide to Making Money in the Heartland

While the coastal United States tends to get the most attention in terms of investment, there’s plenty of potential in the Midwest, too. The states of Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Michigan are all well-performing economies with far more to offer than just corn and soybeans, particularly in terms of real estate.

You can secure your family’s future by choosing prudent investments, and this includes taking a look at places outside of the larger areas of Florida, Texas, California, and New York. Here, we’ll take a look at the best investments for this region across a variety of industries.


There is no denying that the Midwest is the nation’s breadbasket; corn, soybeans, pumpkins, wheat, and livestock are all grown here, feeding millions across the country. Domestic imports across the region bring billions of dollars to the diverse economies of the Midwest, including in more specialized fields such as the wineries of Ohio and Indiana.

It’s not just the farms, either: food processing plants and refineries are abundant, turning the raw materials from the fields into consumer goods such as cakes, beverages, packaged meat, and even dog food. Major corporations such as Purdue, Purina, Nestle, and General Mills based here all have an international reach – and they certainly aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.


While a rather pedestrian investment, it is nevertheless a very significant one for a self-evident reason: the Great Lakes has one of the largest stocks of freshwater in the world. Investing in water is big business here and will soon become even more critical. Due to climate change, the Great Lakes will see their water level rise, while Western states have dwindling water stocks as overutilized resources like the Colorado River begin to dry up. While there are no concrete plans to begin selling water to other states, many communities elsewhere already enjoy Great Lakes water from Nestle’s Michigan bottling plant.

At the same time, this essential product is at risk due to pollution and aging water infrastructure; this means that through your investments, you can make a profit and a meaningful impact on the lives of Midwesterners.


Illinois recently legalized marijuana for those above the age of 21, meaning you can access a rapidly growing and popular industry should you choose to invest in dispensaries. These well-regulated and carefully controlled businesses bring in $1.5 billion in sales while adhering to strict quality and safety standards, making it both a legitimate and well-respected financial prospect. The industry is expected to have even higher business prospects within the next few years as cultural attitudes toward cannabis consumption shift.

Minnesota and Michigan have also legalized cannabis, and it’s expected that their fellow Midwestern states will soon join in this trend; the issue is on the ballot in Wisconsin and Ohio, so you may be able to expand your investment soon.

Vacation Rentals

If you want a more involved investment than just buying stocks, you may consider purchasing a little home to make into an AirBnB. This both provides rental income and the opportunity to build home equity, which you can later leverage should you choose to divest and need some quick cash.

While many love to head off to sunny Florida or take in the big-city sights of New York, there is a lot of tourism happening in the Midwest, too. Chicago is a major draw for both national and international tourists – it experienced a huge boost in tourism after the pandemic, with over 48.9 million visitors – but all of the Midwestern states have their charms and hidden vacation spots well worth a look.

For example, Michigan is a beloved tourism spot for Midwesterners, particularly around the cozy college town of Kalamazoo. By using a DSCR loan, Michigan investors can get a piece of a $25.7 billion-dollar industry through short-term vacation rentals in dreamy spots like Traverse City, Grand Rapids, and Holland. Wisconsin is famously known as the place where Chicagoans go to relax in sumptuous places like the Wisconsin Dells, where water parks and quiet vacation rentals take advantage of the natural beauty.

These aren’t the only places where tourism has begun to heat up, either. Large-scale investments in tourist infrastructure are taking place across the Midwest, hoping to draw visitors in for a more low-cost and low-key vacation than what might be available in more high-profile locations on the coasts.

Investors looking for more affordable opportunities than might be found in the larger US marketplaces can find plenty of choices here, ranging from agriculture in Iowa to motels in Michigan. The agriculture, water, dispensary, and hospitality industries are all incredibly strong and show exceptional promise, which means that anyone can get involved and gain passive income from success in the Midwest.

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Libby Austin

Libby Austin, the creative force behind, is a dynamic and versatile writer known for her engaging and informative articles across various genres. With a flair for captivating storytelling, Libby's work resonates with a diverse audience, blending expertise with a relatable voice.
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