With so many positive things going on in the stock market, I know you want to invest in it as soon as possible.
You have an eye on these sets of stocks, but then reality hits, you can’t invest because you can’t meet the minimum amount you need to invest per share. Ouch!
Does that scenario sound familiar? I bet it is. If you’ve experienced this, you are not alone. I have experienced that, and so did a lot of people.
Let’s take Google or even Apple. Each share hovers above $100. Some popular ones also cost over $1,000 per share. How in the world can you afford that?
Good thing, the past is in the past. Gone are the days when you needed to buy a whole share to get a piece of that company. Now, you can get a piece of that company without buying a full stock.
That opportunity is called fractional investing.
Fractional investing is simply giving you the opportunity to buy a portion of a share. For example, if a stock’s share’s price is $50 and you only have $10 and invest that money, then, you would own 0.20 share.
Ain’t that cool, right? It is.
Even when it’s just a fraction of a share, it is an excellent way to invest. As you continuously invest, you’ll find that fraction will become a share, two shares, or even more.
The great question now is how do you start investing when you don’t have a lot, to begin with?
Borderline Genius Ways To Start Investing Without Much Money
There are different investment vehicles (e.g., stocks, bonds, ETFs, and mutual funds) and platforms you can use to invest $0.01, $1, $10, or some other amount.
But before you do that, you should be aware of what’s in each vehicle and platform so you can best decide if they will help you attain your goal or not.
Here is a quick checklist of some of the things you need to look for in investment platforms and vehicles:
- Fees. No two stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs, etc. and investment brokerages are alike. The same idea goes with fees. Some investments and brokerages charge nothing while some charge as high as 5%. Choose the ones that are performing well, but charge little to nothing.
- Brokerages. Investment brokerages are your gateway to buying a portion of a share. You don’t need to go to an investment banking firm and deal with mountains of paperwork to purchase a portion of a share. Most of these brokerages have an online presence so you can buy the share(s) you want in just a matter of minutes.
Those are just the basic, foundational things you need to look out for when starting out in the investing world. Now, let’s go to the meat of this post on how to start investing without a lot of money.
1. Start from the basic.
The key to starting investing in the right foot is to save money first. If you aren’t much of a saver, then, investing will be much harder for you to be good at.
Start by saving $5 or $10 or something you are comfortable with without putting too much stress on your other financial obligations.
Keep the money in an envelope, jar, piggy bank, or something else. Get into the habit of saving as it is going to help you a lot with investing.
If you want a more structured way of saving, you can use an online savings account. This way, you are saving and letting your money make money for you, too.
An outstanding online savings account is CIT Bank, which pays 1.55% on a savings account and 1.85% on money market accounts.
This is ideal for bulking up your savings account. When your stash of savings is large enough, you can take it out and invest it in your desired investment vehicles.
Click here to start saving and making money with CIT Bank. You can start investing without a lot of money with the money you saved in your CIT Bank.
2. Enroll in your employer’s retirement plan.
If you are tight on budget and/or are just starting out with investing, a small step of enrolling in your employer’s 401(k) plan is the way to go.
This is one of those ways to start investing without a lot of money that many people don’t pay attention to.
Most of the time, your employer will match your contribution dollar per dollar up to a certain threshold.
Take advantage of those and continue contributing more when you get a pay raise. A small percentage increase in your contribution will mean big bucks later on.
If you time your contribution with your salary increase, you will notice the increased contribution even less. This is the trick that I used when I was starting out, and it made a big difference.
Did I say many of the 401(k) plans are tax-deferred, which means you won’t pay taxes on those contributions until you take them out when you retire?
This means, fewer taxes are taken out from your paycheck. Yehey!
3. Open your first brokerage account.
This has got to be one of the scariest but the most awesome experience to go through.
By opening an account, you are moving towards your goal of saving money, making money, or whatever it is that you wish to do with your money.
An option to save money on trading fees is to choose a low-cost online broker. Many of today’s brokers now offer as many benefits as the larger brokers do, but at a lower cost.
One of my ultimate favorites is Ally Invest. It is a full-service online broker that features low-cost trades, which only cost $4.95/online trade, and $100 in free trade commissions when you open an account. That sounds like 20 FREE commission trades.
For someone who’s just starting, this is all the more important thing to do.
4. Let an advisor do the investing for you with you in control.
I get it. Sometimes, even with all of the preparations and test trials you’ve done with investing, you may still feel uncomfortable with investing.
I completely understand that. It’s a feeling normal for new or even experienced investors.
You’re basically handing over your money to the stock market. It’s clearly ok what you are feeling.
A robo-advisor can help you with your needs and take the pain and the struggles of investing from you.
Betterment is an automated investment firm that’s super friendly and cheap. Fees are dirt cheap (i.e., 0.25% on all accounts).
Betterment figures out how to invest your money for you based on your answer to a short questionnaire. You won’t need to do the heavy lifting as it will do the everything for you.
It is the perfect investing platform for new investors who don’t have a lot to invest. Not only will Betterment handle the investing, but it doesn’t require a minimum deposit amount to open an account.
Actually, you can contribute as little as $10 at any given time.
Click here to start investing using Betterment. With Betterment, you can still start investing without a lot of money, but with a platform that’s 100% behind you and your future success.
Investing without a lot of money is certainly doable. You don’t have to wait to save thousands of dollars to start investing. There are so many ways you can do it, which are discussed above.
The best thing you need to do is to start even when you don’t have a lot. The more experience you have with investing, the better you will make great investing decisions later on.
Are you ready to start investing without a lot of money? Do you think you make the step to invest now that you know of the easy ways to invest without shelling out too much money?
Allan Liwanag is a personal finance blogger who paid off at least $40K debt in 3 years by adopting simple and extreme saving techniques while ensuring his family’s needs were taken care of. An analyst by day and dedicated blogger by night, he loves to share his thoughts – based on his research, personal knowledge, and experience – on topics related to family, life, and money. Allan lives with his family in Maryland, USA.