If you're new to investing, or just thinking about getting started, you may think you need a substantial chunk of money ready to begin. Nope. The truth is, you can get started investing with just $100—and easily turn that into $1,000 in seemingly no time at all. The best thing you can do in terms of investing? It's not "start big"—it's "start now."
Investing is all about learning how to make your money work for you. And whether you're getting into stocks and bonds, real estate investments, or cryptocurrency, your goal in investing is building wealth through passive income. Investing is a crucial step in working towards a comfortable retirement, too.
So instead of waiting until you have $1000 to invest, invest $100 to make $1000. Here are 10 easy ways to get started.
Open an IRA
An IRA is an Individual Retirement Account that allows you to save money for retirement and has various tax advantages. Whether you are enrolled in an employer-sponsored retirement plan or not, an IRA is a great way to bulk up your retirement savings—something that is crucial for all of us, especially given that 50 percent of Americans have less than $100,000 in their retirement savings right now. So, opening an IRA is an essential part of breaking that cycle.
The two common types of IRAs are a Traditional IRA and a Roth IRA. A Traditional IRA has tax-deferred benefits. This means the money you contribute is pre-taxed; you will not be taxed on this money until you withdraw it in the future. In a Roth IRA, you pay taxes on the contributed amount, but you will not be taxed on withdrawals when you retire.
The annual contribution limit for 2021 is $6,000, unless you are over 50; then you can contribute up to $7,000. No matter which you choose, an IRA is an excellent way to start investing with $100.
Buy savings bonds
Savings bonds can be a safe investment for those who are risk-averse. You can purchase a savings bond at face value and earn interest when it matures. Bonds can be cashed in at any time, but the longer you wait, the more valuable a bond gets. Some bonds may double in value by their maturity date.
The two types of savings bonds are I Savings Bonds and EE Savings Bonds. Each has advantages and disadvantages. For example, I Savings Bonds earn money during high inflation, but you aren't guaranteed to double your investment like with EE Savings Bonds.
You can buy bonds for as low as $50 apiece, making them one of the best ways to start investing with just $100.
Use a robo-advisor
Robo-Advisors prove you don't need a ton of money to get started investing. In fact, you can start with as little as $100.
A Robo-Advisor is an automated portfolio manager for your investments. You complete the set-up with your information, and this handy robot will invest your money based on your financial goals and resources. Get started with Acorns, an investing platform that allows you to invest your spare change.
Buy fractional shares
Some stock shares are too expensive for beginner investors to take part in. However, you can buy fractional shares at a specified dollar amount rather than the full share cost. This enables you to diversify your investment portfolio with less money.
For instance, you can purchase a fractional share for $100 or even invest in several companies at $25 a piece. This is the perfect way for a beginner to start investing.
Start a side hustle
One of the best ways to invest $100 is to start a side hustle. There are many side hustles you can put your $100 into for much greater returns; you can be a pet-sitter, a tutor, or even purchase items and flip them on Facebook Marketplace or eBay to make a profit.
Depending on your side hustle, you can earn hundreds to thousands of dollars per month. This is one investment with serious potential to increase your income streams, no matter what the stock market is up to.
Try peer-to-peer lending
Did you know you can lend out money and make interest on it? That's what peer-to-peer lending is. These loans are funded by people directly, which cuts out financial institutions. People that borrow on peer-to-peer lending sites are searching for personal loans for things such as debt consolidation.
The higher the loan risk, the higher the interest you will earn. So, your earnings depend on what types of loans you participate in. Also, you want to research the percentage of defaults before choosing a company. There are many peer-to-peer lenders, but some require higher amounts to invest. However, Prosper lets you start investing with just $25.
Start an emergency fund
One of the most important things you can invest in is an emergency fund. This savings account is dedicated strictly to emergencies and unexpected events, such as a job loss, medical bills, or vehicle repairs. A high-yield savings account will let you earn interest over time while you save.
The recommended amount for an emergency fund is three to six months of basic living expenses. Get started saving by investing that $100 into a high-interest account to help it grow.
Open a CD
No, not a compact disc. Credit unions and banks offer a CD or Certificate of Deposit account, which means they pay you interest for leaving your money deposited into the CD for a certain amount of time. For example, you could invest $100 in a CD for one year and be paid interest on that amount when it matures.
You won't get rich off the interest on this particular investment, but it's an excellent way to get started—and socking your money away in a CD is a great way to keep from spending it, too!
Open a Christmas Club account
Saving money is great, but it can be way too easy to withdraw that money when tempted; that's why a Christmas Club account can be a great place to put your $100 investment. You get paid a small amount of interest, but you have to pay a penalty if you withdraw your money before November 1 (hence the festive name).
Sure, you can use this money to save for the holidays, which would keep you from charging a bunch of gifts to your credit card at once. Or you can simply use it to bulk up your bank account.
The main thing to remember: Even though you may be starting with just $100, investing is the not-so-secret secret to growing your money. Getting in the habit of investing small amounts as soon as possible—not waiting until you have thousands ready to put into stocks—will help you become a better investor. And once you get going, you can turn these small investments into bigger ones—faster than you may have imagined.