A growing avenue for investing is via the "angel investors" network. As with anything involving finance there are some that appear to be scammers. They are the ones charging fees to both investors and businesses desperate for finance with little regard for results after fees have been paid. On the other hand there are some groups that are backed by finance that genuinely want to help. Help though is associated with return based on risk. The lender has the opportunity to investigate the business that they invest in and decide the potential and the risk.
I see it as an alternative to the ASX investing where directors treat their shareholders as cash cows and feather their own nest first, sometimes on the back of huge losses. Worth a look. Just google "angel investing".
The disadvantage is liquidity. The advantage is you can often be actively involved with the business. Remember "he who pays the piper calls the tune"