Investing with limited money can pose financial and emotional challenges. A small budget may limit investment choices, which can frustrate eager investors hearing of high returns by hedge funds or trading strategies geared to high net worth clients.
Those without a company 401k may feel particularly short of choices.
Thankfully, small investors have an array of options across various asset classes. These include traditional and non-traditional options that may be suitable to an investor’s unique situation.
Low minimum investments for small budgets include:
Exchange Traded Mutual Funds (ETFs)
ETFs are mutual funds that trade on stock exchanges. This means a set amount of shares is available to the general public, unlike open ended mutual funds that continually issue new shares.
An ETF typically has lower expenses than an open ended fund, which allows investors to keep more of their returns.
Share prices of ETFs will vary throughout each trading day and are determined by investor demand. ETF investment strategies include diversified and focused portfolios in domestic or foreign securities.
Small investors can buy shares of an ETF through a discount broker. While this entails paying a commission, it is a time and cost efficient means to purchase a professionally managed portfolio with a small budget.
Direct Purchase Plans (DPP)
A direct purchase plan allows investors to buy individual shares directly from companies without broker commissions or account minimums.
This low cost process allows small investors to create a diversified portfolio of stocks.
DPPs are typically offered by brand name companies with strong market positions. Many of these companies undergo stock splits to make shares more affordable to more investors.
Regulations prevent companies from advertising direct purchase plans, so investors will need to research available choices.
Venture capitalists such as Elliott Broidy have brought attention to the investment potential of non-bank financing. Micro lending, also known as peer to peer lending, offers venture capital opportunities to small investors.
This concept was popularized by the success of small loans to villagers in developing countries. Micro loans have been credited with reducing poverty in many of these nations by enabling locals to start businesses.
Various crowd funding websites now also feature individuals or businesses seeking financing in the United States. The goals range from starting a business to social causes. A screening process by the sites should determine the legitimacy of micro loan applicants.
Investments are pooled and returns are determined through specified terms offered by the applicant.
Peer lending is very speculative and should be evaluated carefully.
The Importance of Getting Started
What defines investment success can vary based on individual goals. While budgets, risk tolerance and time horizons are unique; a common denominator is the importance of beginning to invest.
The power of compounding rewards smaller investors who begin investing on a limited budget rather than waiting.
Investors with high ambition but small budgets can now select from multiple choices to build their financial future.
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