11 Best Ways to Invest $100 or Less
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Investing is an important part of improving your financial health. Unfortunately, many people don’t invest because they think investing requires a lot of money. The reality is that you can start investing with $100 or less.
When you learn that it’s possible to invest with little money, you’ll see how simple it is to begin growing wealth. There are several ways you can invest $100 and improve your finances.
Ways to Invest 100 Dollars
Too many people hold themselves back from improving their finances because they believe investing takes a lot of money. However, you shouldn’t underestimate the benefits of pursuing small investment ideas.
Investing $100 may not sound like something that will make a lasting impact, but it’s a terrific place to start. Over time, minimal investments can increase significantly.
Small investments come in the form of traditional options, like the stock market, and not so traditional investments, like starting a business.
If you want to make money, here are 11 ways you can invest 100 dollars or less today.
1. Invest Your Spare Change
What if you have less than $100 to invest? Micro-investing apps make it possible for you to invest your spare change.
While an investing app won’t make you wealthy overnight, small investments will add up over time.
Here is how micro-investing services, like Acorns, work. Say, for example, you spend $34.25 to fill your car with gas. The app will round up your purchase to $35, taking the remaining $0.75 from your checking account to invest.
Each time you make a purchase, Acorns pulls the spare change over to your investing account. Once your account reaches $5, the app invests in one of the five low-cost investment portfolios selected by you.
Acorns repeats this process every time you reach $5 in your account. You also receive a $5 reward when you open an account.
Acorns manages your investments for you by reinvesting dividends you receive and rebalancing your portfolio to ensure it’s on target with your goals. There is no minimum balance requirement.
The app costs $1 per month and 0.25 percent per year after that for account balances under $5,000. College students under 24 can use Acorns for free.
Like other investing apps for beginners, Acorns is a great way to start investing if you have no money. If you already have $100 to invest, you can use it on another option from this list and create multiple passive income streams.
|Acorns - Invest Your Spare Change|
Get a $5 Bonus
Acorns rounds up your purchases and invests your spare change!
2. Have Someone Manage Your Investments
If you’re new to investing, you might think you can’t get help or advice on how to build a portfolio. Fortunately, investment advice is no longer just for people with loads of money. Thanks to robo-advisors, you can receive similar advice at a significantly reduced cost.
Robo-advisors automate selecting a portfolio for you and manage it for next to nothing. Many robo-advisors also have a low minimum balance requirement.
One of the most established robo-advisors is Betterment. The advisor creates a personalized portfolio for you, rebalances it, and requires no minimum balance. Betterment charges just 0.25 percent of your account balance each year, which is less than most advisors.
|Betterment - No Minimum Balance Requirement|
Cost: 0.25 percent of account balance, annually
From beginners to pros, Betterment offers lots of helpful tools and a powerful investing platform.
If you want to reduce fees even further, SoFi Automated Investing is a perfect solution. SoFi has a similar philosophy to Betterment and is free to use. You only need $1 to start investing with SoFi.
If you’re new to the stock market, a robo-advisor is a good choice to help you invest with only $100.
3. Grow Your Emergency Fund
This may not be the most exciting or traditional way to invest $100. However, if you don’t have an emergency fund or need to give your fund a boost, saving your extra money is an excellent option.
Investing is necessary, but you need savings before you start because having minimal savings puts you at risk of accruing debt. This can negatively impact your net worth.
Savings rates are horrible, so it’s important to look for online high-yield savings accounts to find the best rates.
A money market at CIT Bank is one possible solution. Money market accounts have the same FDIC protection as savings accounts of $250,000 per depositor, making this option the safest way to invest money.
The CIT Bank money market currently pays 0.50 percent. This is nine times the national average.
Similar to a savings account, a money market account is liquid so you can access cash whenever you need it.
4. Buy Partial Shares of Stocks
When it comes to stocks, many people like to buy shares of companies they know and use. This is a legitimate way to invest, but it will cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars if you want to invest in companies like Amazon or Alphabet.
If you can only invest $100 but want to invest in more expensive stocks, Robinhood is a suitable option.
This investing app requires no minimum balance and makes it possible for you to buy partial shares of stocks. Robinhood charges no transaction fees and is free to use unless you sign up for a more feature-rich account.
Right now, the service is giving a free share of stock to those opening a new account.
5. Pay off Debt
Paying off debt seems like an odd way to invest your money, but wealth creation comes in two forms. The first is investing your money to earn dividends and interest. The second is eliminating the interest you’re paying due to debt.
Both choices let you increase your net worth, which is the ultimate goal when looking for ways to invest $100.
If you have high-interest credit card debt, paying it off is particularly important because it will hold you back from reaching other goals.
One reliable way to eliminate debt is to take an unsecured loan to pay off your credit cards. This lets you slash rates and pay the debt off quicker.
SoFi is an excellent option that lets you secure a low rate on loans. It charges zero fees so you can focus on killing debt.
Paying off debt is one of the best low-risk investments that will help you in the long run.
|Sofi - Fixed Personal Loans with Autopay|
Cost: 5.99% to 18.83% APR
Zero fees. Secure a low rate on loans and kill debt.
6. Start A Blog
If you’re looking for good investment ideas, look no further than a side hustle. A side gig lets you create another stream of income and aids in wealth creation.
I’m partial to blogging as a side job because blogging changed my life. Starting a blog has allowed me to help millions of people and while making terrific money. In less than two years, my blog replaced and exceeded the income from my former day job.
Even if you don’t blog full-time, you can earn a good income. Read our guide on how to start a blog that makes money.
You don’t need a lot of technical skills to start a website. You can spend less than $100 and launch a site in under an hour.
If you have minimal technical skills, Bluehost is a perfect solution for beginners. They help launch your site with a few clicks, provide 24/7 support, and give you a free domain for a year. This typically costs $7.99 per month, but it’s just $2.95 per month for Frugal Rules readers.
|Bluehost - Free Domain for a Year|
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7. Invest in Yourself
You may not think of investing in yourself as a good investment. In reality, it’s one of the best ways to invest with little money since you are your biggest resource to grow wealth.
There are countless ways you can invest in yourself with $100 or less. For example, you can learn a new skill to grow in your job or side hustle. Consider signing up for a course to learn something new.
Sites like Udemy provide access to thousands of courses you can take at your own pace and often cost as little as $10.
If there’s something you’ve always wanted to learn, an online course is a great place to start. You never know what opportunities will be available to you once you learn a new skill.
8. Invest Through Your 401(k)
An excellent way to start investing with little money while saving for retirement is through your 401(k). In most cases, you don’t need anything to use your employer-sponsored 401(k).
After you’re able to open a 401(k) through your employer, they take pre-tax withdrawals from your paycheck and put it into your account. This is one of the best investment options available.
Better yet, your employer may match part of your contributions which means you get free money. For example, if you are paid bi-weekly on a $40,000 annual salary and have a six percent withdrawal with a 50 percent employer match:
- $92 comes out of your paycheck
- Your employer gives you an additional $46
The combined $138 goes into your 401(k) to invest. The investments sit there and grow over time.
If you’re already investing in your 401(k) but think you can be doing better, check out Blooom. Blooom analyzes your plan for free to help you find lower cost investments. It also aligns your investments with your goals.
9. Buy A Good Book
Another way to invest $100 is buying a good book. Here are a few niches to consider:
- Personal finance
- Information technology
When you buy a book that lets you grow in a certain field, you can use that to your advantage. For example, reading a book that teaches you how to invest can help you improve your financial health.
You can even get a book and read it for pleasure. Self-care is always a great investment.
To get started, just go to Amazon, find a book you like, and start reading. You can also check out a book from your local library to save some money.
10. Lend $100 to Someone Else
If you have $100, a legitimate alternative investment option is Peer-to-Peer lending (P2P). With P2P, you help people seeking personal loans. These can be for anything from loan consolidation to remodeling a kitchen.
Borrowers can request up to $40,000. The interest rates depend on their creditworthiness.
LendingClub is a leader in the P2P space. The online lending platform has no minimum balance requirement in non-retirement accounts. If you start with $100, you can separate the money into four loan notes of $25 per piece.
Similar to investing in stocks, diversifying your notes can protect you from loss. LendingClub advertises returns between four and seven percent, so this may be worth considering if you want to invest $100.
11. Start A New Business
Are you an entrepreneur at heart? If so, starting a new business is a fun way to invest $100. It may seem impossible to start a business with little money, but it is doable.
Here are a few business ideas that you can start with $100:
- Buy a leaf blower and rake so you can offer yard work services in your neighborhood
- Buy an item to flip, then reinvest the income to scale it
- Purchase painting supplies and offer interior painting services
- Offer simple graphic design services on Fiverr
Entrepreneurs will see the potential of what they can earn by starting a side business. You can easily start a business with as little as $100. If you reinvest the profits, you can scale your income.
Many people believe you need thousands of dollars to start investing and create wealth. That is simply not the case. There are numerous ways you can invest with $100 or less and build wealth.
Some options are more traditional, like investing in stocks, while others are less traditional, like starting a new business. These may not classify as risk-free investments, but all are legitimate possibilities to pursue.
Regardless, you can pursue any of these options today. While you won’t see growth overnight, you can grow minimal investments into six figures with time and focus.
What are some other options to invest $100? What was your first investment? Which one of these small investment ideas would you try?
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John is the founder of Frugal Rules, a dad, husband and veteran of the financial services industry whose writing has been featured in Forbes, CNBC, Yahoo Finance and more.
Passionate about helping people learn from his mistakes, John shares financial tools and tips to help you enjoy the freedom that comes from living frugally. One of his favorite tools is Personal Capital , which he used to plan for retirement and keep track of his finances in less than 15 minutes each month.
Another one of John's passions is helping people save $80 per month by axing their expensive cable subscriptions and replacing them with more affordable ones, like Hulu with Live TV.
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