I'm Donny. I'm a world traveler, investor, entrepreneur, and online marketing aficionado who has a big appetite to compete and disrupt big markets. I thrive on being able to create things that impact change, difficult challenges, and being able to add value in negative situations.
When investments come to mind, we immediately think of Wall Street investors with millions of dollars at their disposal and rich moguls with real estate empires.
This is a major misconception that has caused many to think that they need lots of money to start investing, but this couldn’t be farther from the truth. Now, people like you and me can start investing even with little money.
Here’s how you can start investing with little money:
- Decide how much you should invest based on your goals.
- Use the cookie jar approach to manage your finances.
- Open a savings account.
- Get the right retirement plan.
- Put your money in mutual funds.
- Use micro-investing apps.
- Try real estate crowdfunding.
- Play it safe with US Treasury securities.
By reading this article, you’ll learn some wonderful tips about investing with little money, growing your wealth, and gaining more financial stability later in life.
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1. Decide How Much You Should Invest Based on Your Goals
To start, you need to determine how much money you should set aside for investing by setting an investment goal.
Personal investment goals differ by individuals.
However, one of the most common investment goals is retirement. According to Fidelity, by the time you reach 67, you need to have 10 times your yearly income to retire comfortably.
That might sound unrealistic now, but the good news is the earlier you start investing, the easier it’ll be to save enough for retirement. You can get an estimate on how much investment fund you should set aside each month or year by using an investment calculator.
However, if you don’t have a set goal yet, don’t worry. As a rule of thumb, you should try to invest around 10% to 15% of your yearly income.
2. Use the Cookie Jar Approach To Manage Your Finances
Deciding how much you should invest is only the first part of the battle. Accumulating investment funds may seem easy in theory, but if you’re not careful, you might accidentally blow all your money on frivolous purchases.
Unless you can manage your finances responsibly, you won’t be able to gather your investment funds, let alone start investing properly.
The cookie jar approach is one of the easiest ways to manage your finances.
How can you do it? Every time you receive your paycheck, divide your money into separate buckets labeled for different purposes. You can use envelopes, jars, or even financial management apps to help you with this approach.
The rule is that you can only spend the amount you’ve allocated for a specific purpose.
For example, you can’t just take money from your “Investment” stash in the middle of the month because you want to buy a new pair of shoes. That would be cheating.
Of course, mental accounting methods such as this one still require you to hold yourself accountable. So, practice self-control and refrain from cheating.
Start with small amounts of money, and you’ll eventually get used to putting away larger amounts. Then, when your stash is large enough, you can put it into some good investment vehicles.
3. Open a Savings Account
A penny saved is a penny earned. As mentioned previously, saving and investing are closely connected, as you can’t do one without another.
Sure, savings accounts aren’t the most exciting form of investment.
However, it’s stable and, essentially, has zero risks. And since it’s not linked with your checking account, you won’t be tempted to spend money on frivolous purchases.
A savings account is great because it can help kickstart your investment plan. Save your money, earn a little bit of interest, and when you’ve accumulated enough, you can invest the capital into higher risk/higher reward investment vehicles later on.
Here are some fantastic online savings accounts you can choose from:
With an APY of 0.50% and no minimum deposit, Chime’s savings account is an excellent place to start your investment journey. Chime can automate your savings by automatically saving a portion of your paycheck and also your spare change by rounding up transactions to the nearest dollar.
With an APY of 0.61%, Axos has one of the most competitive interest rates on the market. Unlike the other two options, Axos requires a $250 initial deposit but no minimum balance requirement. It’s also free of sneaky monthly maintenance fees.
CIT Bank online savings account is also a wonderful option to grow your capital. With a strong 1.85% APY, you’ll be able to gather a considerable amount of money in no time. Better yet, CIT Bank requires $100 initial minimum deposit and no minimum balance. It also has no sneaky monthly maintenance fees that can eat up your savings.
4. Get the Right Retirement Plan
Many people may not realize it, but a 401(k) and other retirement plans are also considered investments. In fact, retirement plans are an excellent way to start investing if you have little to no money for other types of investment.
The beauty of most retirement plans is that your company may match a percentage of your contributions, so you know you’re getting a guaranteed return on your investment.
Additionally, there’s typically no minimum investment amount. That way, you can adjust your investment according to your financial conditions. However, it’s always a good idea to contribute at least as much as the employer matches to maximize your returns.
Best of all, investing in a retirement plan gives you fantastic tax benefits. Your contributions are considered tax-deductible, so you owe less tax for each year you invest in it.
If retirement isn’t your only investment goal, you might need to invest somewhere else as well. After all, there are strict guidelines on when you can withdraw your money. If you put all your money into your retirement plan, you won’t be able to fulfill your other goals.
5. Put Your Money in Mutual Funds
Mutual funds are also a fantastic way to start investing with little money and they’re perfect for beginners who aren’t sure which stocks or bonds to invest in.
A mutual fund is a collection of various stocks, bonds, money market instruments, and other types of instruments packaged together. The capital for a mutual fund is pooled by many investors, usually managed by a professional money manager.
They are inherently diversified, making them less risky than investing in individual stocks. And since they’re professionally managed, the process of investing in mutual funds is generally easier as well.
Moreover, some mutual funds allow investors to become shareholders with no minimum required.
This means you can start investing with as little as $10.
6. Use Micro-Investing Apps
Don’t hesitate to use technology to aid your investment journey. Oftentimes, people get intimidated by how confusing investing and buying stocks can be.
That’s where micro-investing apps come in.
A micro-investing app can help streamline and simplify your investing experience, usually for a small fee. These apps also allow you to purchase various instruments, help you diversify your portfolio, and have automated saving and investing systems.
Of course, the perks vary from app to app. Some are more focused on the investing side, while others offer a one-stop finance management experience.
There’s no easy way to determine what kind of micro-investing app is best for you. To do that, you’ll need to choose one that suits your investment goals, risk preferences, and investing style.
That said, here are some excellent micro-investing app recommendations for beginners:
$1 to $5 per month, depending on your account type
$0 to open an account
$0 to open an account
Acorns is a combination of an online savings account and a micro-investing app aimed at beginners and young adults. For just a few dollars each month, Acorns can help grow your wealth.
They help you save spare change by rounding up your purchases to the nearest dollar.
The money is automatically invested in creating a diverse ETF portfolio. Moreover, the app also offers several account types, and you can adjust your investment according to your goals and risk tolerances.
Robinhood is one of the most popular investing apps on the market. It offers more investment options than the previous apps, including:
- Penny stocks
- Fractional shares
- Index funds
- Cryptocurrency trading
There are no commission or maintenance fees to start trading, though you can subscribe to Robinhood Gold to support your investment journey for $5 per month.
Public is a micro-investing app aimed at the younger generations and attuned to current trends on social media. There are no fees or minimum investment amounts, making it ideal to start if you have limited funds or are still unfamiliar with investing.
Aside from ETFs, Public allows you to invest in fractional shares of stocks. That means you can invest in large companies, even if you can’t purchase the entire share of the stock yet.
Better yet, Public also has a rich community full of like-minded investors, the perfect place for you to enhance your knowledge about investing.
7. Try Real Estate Crowdfunding
How does it work?
As the name suggests, you team up with other investors, raise capital together, and buy some real estate. That way, you become a partial owner of said property. So, you’ll receive any profit made from renting or selling the real estate.
The upside of this investment type is that you own a physical asset that can better withstand the market’s volatility.
Here are some great real estate crowdfunding platforms you can try:
Average Annual Returns
$500 to $100,000
7.42% to 12.42%
5% to 19%
1% to 1.5%, depending on the property
Fundrise is one of the top real estate crowdfunding platforms for beginners. It offers five account levels with varying minimum investment amounts, potential returns, and investment strategies. It offers relatively stable and reliable annual returns as well.
Plus, its fee is also relatively small compared to other real estate crowdfunding platforms on the market.
Known for its due diligence when choosing properties, RealtyMogul is one of the safest and most trustworthy real estate crowdfunding platforms on the market. And it only requires a $5,000 minimum initial investment, relatively small for the real estate market.
8. Play It Safe with US Treasury Securities
You may not be able to become rich with US Treasury securities, as you’ll get very little yield.
However, they’re an extremely safe and stable option. Your principal is protected against market volatility with these securities, and there’s no risk of losing it.
US Treasury securities are debt obligations issued by the Treasury Department. Essentially, you’re lending money to the government to fund the national debt.
They have maturities ranging anywhere from 30 days to 30 years.
You can buy these securities starting from $100 through Treasury Direct. You can also use the website to sell your securities early with no withdrawal penalties.
Additionally, you can also purchase Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS), meaning you won’t just receive interest but also periodic principal adjustments to protect your investment against inflation.
You don’t need a lot of money to start investing. If you play your cards right, you can grow your wealth and gain financial stability even if you start with a small amount of capital.
Here are tips to help you on your investment journey:
- Practice accountability when it comes to managing your finances.
- Start with retirement plans and savings accounts.
- Diversify your portfolio.
- Use technology to help you invest.
It’s always best to start early, but it’s never too late to start investing. Everyone has got to start somewhere. So, start laying out your plan, and good luck!
Invest your spare change, switch to the auto-investing checking account and save for retirement.