Sometimes the idea of building wealth through investing seems impossible for those with little savings and little extra income to invest. The truth is that if you start investing with only $100, your investments still have the potential to grow to seven figures.
I remember reading a story one time in a personal finance book about a couple in their sixties who were millionaires. When asked about how they got to millionaire status, they stated “We started by saving only ten dollars a week. We never dreamed our savings would grow to this magnitude.”
No matter how much money you have to start with, you can build an investment nest egg that’s big enough to fund your dreams by following these three investing rules.
You Have to Start Somewhere
Check out this chart. Most people think that investing is useless when you’re starting with a smaller amount, but compound interest is a powerful tool when investing with any amount of cash.
If you started an investment account with just $100, adding $25 per month and gaining a ten percent rate of return, in fifty years you would have nearly $400,000!
You see, the awesome thing about investing is no matter how small of an investment you start with, compound interest will grow your money like crazy. So the key is simply to start, no matter how small your initial contribution or monthly contributions may be. The truth is that it all adds up over time.
Decide Which Types of Investing are Best for You
Before you start investing, you need to know what you’re getting into before you put your money down on the table. Check out different types of investments and figure out which types of investments are most suited to your risk tolerance. You also have to know how long you want to invest the cash before you want to use it to live on.
Investing in the Stock Market
It’s smart to check out the fine print when investing in the stock market with small dollar amounts. Brokers who charge high fees can eat up the profits of beginner investors real fast. However, when done right, beginner investors who start investing with smaller dollar amounts can grow some serious wealth through the stock market by purchasing stock funds, index funds, etc.
Education is key before you start socking money into the market, and the Internet is filled with great articles explaining the ins and outs of stock market investing. Beware of get rich quick schemes and other promoted methods that promise big profits overnight. Smart stock market investing involves a “slow and steady wins the race” mentality. It also involves sticking with it through the ups and downs of the market. And beginner investors – especially those starting with smaller amounts of cash – will want to choose a brokerage account that they can manage themselves online and one that charges little or no fees so that they can be sure that as much of their money as possible is used for growing wealth. Here are some options for investment accounts for beginner investors.
One of my favorite investment companies is TradeKing because they allow people to begin investing with no account minimum and stock and EFT trades are just $4.95 each. Click here to learn more about TradeKing.
Betterment is another company that offers investing accounts that charge zero for transaction fees and trade fees. They are a little different than TradeKing in that they will actually give you investment advice based on your risk tolerance and how long you have to invest. They do charge a super affordable annual fee (0.35% on accounts with balances below $10,000) provided that you make a recurring account deposit each month of at least $100. Click here to get up to 6 months free with Betterment.
Motif can also be a great option for beginner investors. There is no account minimum at Motif for investing in individual stocks or EFTs, but in order to start investing in a motif (a basket of up to thirty stocks or EFTs) you’ll need a minimum balance of just $300. Unlike traditional investment accounts where you have to pay a fee per stock that you purchase, Motif allows you to create a fund with up to 30 stocks for just $9.95. That is almost a $300 savings if you are planning on buying individual stocks. Get up to $150 for signing up for Motif through this link.
All of these companies offer affordable fees and commissions for those just getting started in investing.
Online savings accounts are an option to make money if you are nervous about investing in the stock market. Most banks pay next to nothing, however, Discover Bank pays close to 1% which is much higher than you’ll find at any local bank. You won’t get rich by investing only in high-yield savings accounts, but you will get paid much more than you would at most traditional banks. Check out what BBVA is paying in interest rates as of today.
Investing in Peer-to-Peer Lending
Another less traditional investing option is peer-to-peer lending. Peer-to-peer lending organizations such as Lending Club and others like it work like this: investors choose to lend money to those seeking personal loans for a variety of different purposes. When investors open a Lending Club account, money is withdrawn for loans as the investor chooses, and repayment is made back into the investor account along with profits. You can lose your cash if a customer you choose to loan money to decides to stop making payments, but many people choose to invest in peer-to-peer lending and are happy with the results. Proceed with caution if you choose this route.
No matter which investing route you choose, you can start earning money on your cash if you’re willing to take the plunge and open an account, even if it’s only got $100 in it.
The Importance of Contributing Regularly
Contributing regularly to your investments – no matter how small the contribution – is the key. The more money you put into your investment accounts each month, the more compound interest can work to grow your wealth on a greater scale.
Are you investing on a regular basis? What types of investments do you prefer?