When you think of investing, you might think of wealthy finance types or people straight out of The Wolf of Wall Street.
But, in reality, everyone can invest for the future, and you don’t have to have a ton of money to do so. We’ve scoured the web for some great resources and found these 10 best ways to invest small amounts of money. Read on to learn more.
1. Invest with a robo-advisor: $10
If you’re not sure how to start investing, try a robo-advisor. A robo-advisor is an online investing platform that can help manage your money.
For example, you can try investing with Betterment, one of the bigger robo-advisors out there. There is a minimum deposit of $10 and the annual fee is 0.25 percent. Other fees are based on your account balance.
When you get started, Betterment will ask you what you’re investing for — such as retirement or a down payment on a house. After that, based on your goals and risk tolerance, Betterment will create a custom portfolio for you. You can get started at Betterment.com.
2. Invest your spare change: $0.01+
When you make a purchase, it can feel like your spare change isn’t that important. But we know that small amounts of money can add up fast. That’s why Chime offers a round up savings program.
Applying this same philosophy to investing, you can invest your spare change with Acorns, a micro-investing platform that takes your change and builds a portfolio for you. And, investing your spare change with Acorns will only cost you one dollar per month.
Through Acorns, you invest with exchange-traded funds and the company will build a portfolio based on your financial goals.
3. Invest in certificate of deposits (CDs): $0-1,000
One way to invest small amounts of money with not-so-much risk is through certificates of deposit (CDs). According to Investor.gov, “A certificate of deposit (CD) is a savings account that holds a fixed amount of money for a fixed period of time, such as six months, one year, or five years, and in exchange, the issuing bank pays interest. When you cash in or redeem your CD, you receive the money you originally invested plus any interest. Certificates of deposit are considered to be one of the safest savings options.”
You can typically get certificates of deposit from a bank or financial institution. The minimum investment may vary but could be between $0-$1,000. Though CDs are considered safer and less risky, it also means they don’t have as high returns as other investment vehicles.
4. Invest with Prosper: $25+
Online loan marketplaces bring borrowers and lenders together. One such marketplace is Prosper. Through Prosper, you can invest $25 as a minimum per loan. These personal loans are offered to creditworthy borrowers and you can earn around 5.4 percent, according to the historical average. The best part is that you can get your earnings deposited into your account each month. While this comes with a moderate level of risk, it may not be as volatile as the stock market. Get started on Prosper.com.
5. Invest in social good: $50
What if you could invest money to support causes you care about? Well, you can do this through impact investing. Impact investing, aka socially responsible investing, allows investors to support causes like green energy, clean water, gender equality and more.
Using Swell Investing, you can begin growing your money and supporting causes you love with an initial deposit of $50. There’s a 0.75 percent annual fee and there are no trading fees or expense ratios. While there is risk with any type of investing, at least this way you know your money is supporting something you care about.
6. Invest based on themes: $250
Investing can be confusing, but it becomes simpler when you focus on a specific theme that you care about. Motif Investing offers you a way to invest in specific thematic portfolios such as technology or sports. You do need a bit more money than some of the other options here, with an initial investment of $250.
7. Invest in fractional shares: $5
Investing doesn’t have to cost a lot of money! That’s certainly true with Stockpile, where you can start investing with just five dollars. You can buy fractional shares of stocks and exchange-traded funds. There are no fees or minimums and it’s 99 cents per trade. There are also mini-lessons, so you can learn as you go instead of waiting to invest when you have everything figured out. Get started at Stockpile.com.
8. Invest in low-cost index funds: no minimum
Low-cost index funds are Warren Buffett’s secret weapon. Index funds track different securities on an index, like the S&P 500.
Index funds can have lower costs and can offer more diversification. While investing in the stock market can be risky, diversification of index funds can help manage risk. Fidelity, for example, offers the ability to invest in index funds with no minimums and no account fees.
9. Invest in your retirement with a IRA: no minimum
You may or may not have a 401(k) with your employer. But anyone can invest for their retirement with a Traditional IRA or Roth IRA (Individual Retirement Account).
Using a brokerage firm, you can set up a retirement account and begin investing in your retirement immediately.
As of 2019, the contribution limit for IRAs is $6,000 per year. While the main tax difference is paying taxes now (Roth) or paying later (Traditional), there are income limits with a Roth IRA. To invest the full amount in a Roth IRA, your income must be less than $122,000 for single filers.
10. Invest in a 529 College Savings Plan: $25
If you have children, you can invest in a 529 College Savings Plan to help save for their education. Using an app like U-Nest, you can open an account with just $25. U-Nest costs three dollars a month and takes five minutes to set up on your phone. You can get started at U-nest.com.
Additional resources: How to invest small amounts of money
Using these 10 ways to invest small amounts of money, you can start growing your money today. Here are some additional resources you may want to check out:
- Introduction to Investing: Investor.gov provides useful information on the basics of investing.
- How to Start Investing in Stocks: A Beginner’s Guide: This article provides more context around investing, how to get started and what to consider.
- Fidelity: Fidelity is a brokerage offering various investment products and education resources.
- Vanguard: Vanguard is another brokerage offering varying products and education material.