You don’t have to have a hefty bank account with cash to spare to start investing. Your path up the income ladder can begin with small investments, and it’s never been easier to get started.
Today it’s possible to begin investing without a huge amount of cash. Here is how to get started investing as a beginner on a low budget:
- Invest through a direct purchase plan, which allows you to buy stock directly
from a company, skipping many commissions.
- Get involved with tax lien certificate investing through a tax lien course.
- Invest in ETFs, which spread risk over multiple securities.
- Look for no-load funds with low investment minimums.
You don’t have to be an experienced investor or invest six-figures to begin developing a portfolio. Learn more about how you can get started with these potentially lucrative low-cost investments.
Direct Stock-Purchase Plans (DSPs)
With DSPs, you purchase stocks directly from the company, bypassing the need for a brokerage account and middleman. However, not every company offers DSPs, so your options may be limited.
One of the biggest drawbacks of DSPs is that companies often don’t promote them, so investors need to find them. This can require research, such as visiting a company’s website to determine if they offer a DSP.
The main benefit of DSPs is that they eliminate the need to pay high brokerage commissions.
In addition, if a company trades at $100 per share and you only have $50 to invest, you can usually buy half of a share through a DSP. This way, you can invest small amounts to purchase more shares over time.
Investing in ETFs
ETFs, or exchange-traded funds, are one of the most popular ways to start investing with a small amount of money. ETFs, unlike mutual funds, trade like stocks and don’t require a high initial deposit. They have a specific share price and are available through brokerages. You can buy just a few shares with an ETF, providing instant diversification.
However, ETFs also have some drawbacks. One is that you often must purchase whole shares, not fractions. Purchasing ETFs less frequently and with slightly larger amounts of money can minimize transaction costs. This will help you keep your trading costs down.
No-Load Fund Companies
One of the biggest and best-known no-load fund companies is Vanguard. Most of their funds require a minimum investment of $3,000, which can be difficult for first-time investors to dish out.
There are great low-cost funds that make it easy for new investors to get started with even a small amount of money. They allow you to start investing with minimal upfront money and gradually build your portfolio over time.
Invest in Real Estate
For those who desire to participate in the real estate market without managing the property, REITs (real estate investment trusts) are a possibility. This type of investment is comparable to mutual funds, and it can pay high dividends.
Additionally, investors who don’t need or want regular income can reinvest those dividends to grow their investments further. However, REITs can be complex, and the type of REIT you choose can significantly impact your risk level.
A newer option for real estate investing is crowdfunding. A professional developer typically manages the project, and you can see returns through rental income or appreciation in the property’s value. This option can be lower risk than buying a rental property outright, but many crowdfunding opportunities are in higher-risk markets.
Tax lien certificates are an off-the-beaten-path investment opportunity, where investors purchase certificates that pay delinquent property taxes, and in exchange for a higher yield. Tax lien certificates offer investors an alternative to traditional investment vehicles like stocks. Tax lien investing courses provide valuable insights into the process, investing, and potential risks.
7 Tips to Consider When You Start Investing On a Low Budget
Investing and developing a portfolio can be a fantastic strategy to gradually increase your wealth. Still, it can be overwhelming for beginners, especially those on a low budget. However, with the right knowledge and strategies, anyone can start investing and building a solid portfolio, even with limited funds.
Here are some tips for how to start investing and developing a portfolio as a beginner on a low budget:
- Start by setting financial goals: Before you start investing, it’s important to know what purpose your money serve. Are you putting money aside for retirement, a child’s education, or a down payment on a home? Knowing your goals will help determine which investments align with your timeline and risk tolerance.
- Educate yourself: Investing can be a complex topic, and you must have a solid understanding of the different types of investments available and how they work. Many free resources are available online to help you learn about investing, including books, articles, online courses and workshops, and educational websites.
- Take advantage of low-cost investment options: Many low-cost options can help you get started without breaking the bank. For example, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and index funds are a great way to gain exposure to a broad range of stocks or bonds at a low cost. Additionally, Direct Stock-Purchase Plans allow you to buy company shares directly from the company rather than through a broker, saving you money on commissions.
- Consider real estate: Real estate can be a great way to invest on a low budget. Think about options such as buying a rental property, becoming a landlord, investing in tax lien certificates, or investing in a real estate investment trust (REIT). However, it’s important to remember that investing in real estate carries risks and requires a significant time and money commitment.
- Diversify your portfolio: The key to minimizing risk and boosting rewards is diversification. Investing in various assets, such as stocks, bonds, real estate, and cash, can spread out your risk and increase your chances of earning a return.
- Start small: As a beginner, making quick gains is very appealing, but it’s important to remember that investing is a long-term game. Start small and gradually increase your investment as you become more comfortable and confident.
- Be patient: Investing in the long term requires patience and discipline. It’s important to remember that the stock market can be volatile, and short-term fluctuations should not be considered a sign of long-term failure. Stick to your investment plan, and remember that your portfolio will grow over time.
In conclusion, investing and developing a portfolio as a beginner on a low budget can seem daunting, but it is possible. Real estate, ETFs, and Direct Stock-Purchase Plans are all great options for those with limited funds.
Researching and consulting a financial advisor is important to determine which investments align with your goals and risk tolerance. By setting financial goals, educating yourself, taking advantage of low-cost investment options, considering real estate, diversifying your portfolio, starting small, and being patient, you can build a solid portfolio that will help you achieve your financial goals over time.