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You can do a lot with a little, and when it comes to investing, that couldn’t be truer. If you have $1,000, $100, or even just $25, you can start investing today — right now.
You’re never going to get rich if you don’t invest in some form. Technically, even lottery winners invest their money before becoming millionaires (not at all suggesting you play the lottery).
If you don’t have much money to invest, you can let compounding interest do the work for you. The sooner you invest, the more interest can accrue, and the more money you can make in the long-run.
The sooner you start, the less weight will be on your shoulders later on.
Now, moving on to specific ways to answer the question, “how to start investing with little money”.
12 Ways to Invest with Little Money
Here are 12 simple ways to invest small amounts of money:
- Invest Spare Change with Acorns
- Certificates of Deposit
- High Yield Savings Accounts
- Mutual Funds with Low Initial Investment
- Peer to Peer Lending
- Real Estate Crowdfunding
- U.S. Treasury Securities
- Employer-Sponsored Retirement Plan
- Gold & Other Precious Metals
- Stock Options
1. Invest Your Spare Change with Acorns
Acorns is an investing platform that allows you to invest your spare change by rounding up your purchases to the nearest dollar.
Simply link your credit or debit card and once your balance has reached $5, you can start investing with Acorns algorithm which invests your money in Exchange-Traded Funds or ETFs.
You can choose to invest your money conservatively or aggressively and even round up to the nearest $10 to increase your investment funds more rapidly.
2. Certificates Of Deposit (CDs)
This is one of the oldest and most proven ways to invest your money. Certificates Of Deposit (CDs) are very safe and it’s clear what type of money you’ll end up with.
You can buy a CD at a fixed rate which allows you to see exactly how much money you will have made when the CD matures. The bank then takes your money and lends it out.
The downside is that CDs offer much lower returns than other types of investments, but the risk is much lower.
Check today’s best cd rates.
3. High Yield Savings Accounts
Saving and investing are like siblings. You can’t really do one without the other. And using a cookie jar to save coins and cash can be a great way to start saving and, in turn, investing.
You can start slow — just save any loose change left over from the coffee you buy or the cost of parking. If you can put in, say, $5 a week, that can turn into $260 a year.
If you’re new to saving or investing, this can be something that helps you practice. It helps you develop the habit of not overspending but reinvesting in your future. And it doesn’t have to be a literal cookie jar — you could use a simple savings account (and even label it “cookie jar”).
Today’s best online high yield savings accounts earn over 2.00% interest which is unheard of. If you do nothing else on this list, open up a high yield savings account today.
4. Invest In Mutual Funds With A Low Initial-Investment Amount
A mutual fund is a type of investment account that spreads your money across stocks and bonds.
The biggest downside of mutual funds is that most of the time, they require a large amount of money to be invested initially. We’re talking between $500 and $5,000. And as a first-time investor, those numbers probably don’t work for you.
Not with Wealthsimple. They offer plans with $0 barriers to entry. Learn more in my Wealthsimple review.
5. Peer to Peer Lending
If you have $1,000, you can lend that out to others as a type of investment. It is risky because you don’t know if the individuals you lend to will honor their end of the bargain. What you can do to counteract this risk is by lending lots of smaller amounts, like $25-50 a piece.
And rather than lending money to friends and family and risking tension in your relationships, you can do this online. Through companies like Prosper and Lending Club, you can get started with just a little bit of money.
You may want to try just a few smaller loans to see what the experience is like, then increase the amounts if you feel it’s worth it.
If you’d rather not hire a human investment manager or advisor because of the cost, you can hire a robo-advisor to do that.
You can use a service like Betterment to automatically spread your investments among different stocks and bonds. Computer software does the whole thing.
You can start with investments as small as $100, so it’s a great option if you want to avoid large fees and easier access to your money.
7. Real Estate Crowdfunding
This one might surprise you, but you can invest in real estate with not much money. With crowdfunded real estate, you can put down as little as a $500 investment.
The way it works is that you team up with other real estate investors, pool your money, and buy some real estate. You become a partial owner of the property and any profit made from selling the real estate would come back to you.
Fundrise Minimum: $500 Real Estate Investing Made Simple. You can invest your money, according to your goals, in a portfolio filled with dozens of real estate projects — each one carefully handpicked and proactively developed with the goal of growing your net worth.
8. U.S. Treasury Securities
Although a Treasury security (aka a savings bond) isn’t a huge money-making investment option, it can be a nice place to put your money and earn some interest.
You can buy these through the U.S. Treasury’s online savings bond portal called Treasury Direct. You can buy fixed-rate bonds that have maturity periods from 30 days to 30 years. And the great news is that bonds can cost as little as $100.
These, too, can pull money right from your payroll if you’d like.
9. Employer-Sponsored Retirement Plan
Even if money is tight, you can look into contributing to the 401(k) your employer offers. You can choose the amount, so if you can only do $5 per paycheck, that’s at least a start.
Plus, many employers have a matching program where they’ll deposit a certain percentage into your 401(k) based on what percentage you choose to deposit.
And then each year as your annual pay raise comes around, you can up the percentage you’re putting into the account. And because of the increase in pay, you may not even be impacted by the increased contributions.
10. Gold And Other Precious Metals
Investing in precious metals like gold or other metals can actually have a good payoff. There are doubters and critics, but the idea is that metals hold their value because they’re physical, tangible products.
The downside is that you won’t see dividends — it’s literally a piece of metal or rock that you’d lock away and hope to someday sell it for more than you bought it. However, the price of gold has gone up by over 300% in the bast three decades.
It’s a risk, and you’re basically hoping that the demand for gold and other precious metals will skyrocket and people will be desperate for it.
But if you think it’s a viable investment, you can buy gold or precious metals through your brokerage or from the U.S. Mint.
11. Stock Options
Stock options are not to be confused with stocks. They are contracts that give you the ability to buy and sell a stock.
You can buy “calls” or “puts.” Calls are options that are projected to go up in price. Puts are projected to fall.
Dealing with stock options can get very complicated and they’re also pretty risky. The benefit is that you can start with very little money and get big rewards. It just comes down to the risk-reward ratio and what you’re willing to put on the line.
Commodities can be things like oil, natural gas, renewable energy, and agricultural products (crops or livestock).
By investing in these types of commodities, you’re basically relying on the supply and demand of the said commodity. The way it works is that you buy a future contract, and if the market price for that product is higher than your future contract, your investment is paying off and you’re making money.
So what are you waiting for? The sooner you start investing, the more you’ll make over time.
You Can Start Investing, Even with Small Amounts of Money
As you can see, there are several ways to start investing, even if you don’t have a ton of money in the bank.
Investing can be risky. People are scared of that risk, but isn’t it a risk to not invest?
What happens if an emergency hits? What if you’re never financially free?
With these simple investment strategies, there is no excuse to wait until you have saved thousands. You can start today!