Investing in NRE FD is no longer profitable, it was a good source couple of years ago. Assuming that someone investing in NRE FD would still be working, living in US 5 years down the line, it would be almost loss making proposition. Rupee has fallen against the Dollar and is falling steadily from last few years. Any repatriation of $ from 6% interest earned via this route is quickly undone by 6% fall in Rupee vs Dollar. Not to mention the increased tax burden when declaring this interest income to the IRS and penalties associated with FBAR and FATCA laws in case of audits. Lots of headaches and hassles for a pittance.
Would recommend maxing out 401k if employer matches atleast 3% of base salary. Would also recommend opening Vanguard or Fidelity brokerage accounts and invest in their in house total market index funds to avoid unnecessary exposure to any single stock or market segment. Keep investing $500-$1000 every month if possible in chunks divided every week whenever market falls. Follow this consistently and over 5-10 years, you should be getting atleast 6% annual $ gains. Don’t sell unless required for emergencies or else have to pay 18% capital gains tax on profits for shares held less than an year and 6 % of held for more than an year.
Lastly, avoid investing in individual shares and options trading. Not worth the risk and also don’t time the market. Always remember, a gambler loses in the long run and house always wins.
Good advice @RationalThinker86