Your money can work for you.
One of the common misconceptions surrounding investing is that you need to have a lot of money or open a brokerage account to get started. Thanks to the democratization of the industry and the rise of fintech, though, there are plenty of places to get started with investing — even if you think you’re broke. Before you give up on the idea of being an investor, here are several places where you can get started investing with $500 or less, including affordable exchange-traded funds. This is a great way to put some of your money to work — for you.
One of the first robo advisors, Betterment offers you the chance to become an investor with a $0 minimum. Answer a few questions about your investing goals and your current situation, and Betterment will construct a stock market portfolio you can invest in regularly. Many investors can start seeing success with as little as $100 per month, and pay a low annual fee of 0.25 percent.
Looking to learn about trading? Robinhood allows you to trade stocks, options, ETFs, and even some cryptocurrencies without paying a commission. As long as you aren’t trading on margin, there is a $0 minimum investment. It’s important to be careful, though. Stock picking and frequent trading aren’t always for the faint of heart, and some experts warn that Robinhood makes it too easy to trade — and potentially lose money.
Use your pocket change to invest in a portfolio designed for you by Acorns. Connect bank accounts and Acorns will round up your transactions and put the difference into a portfolio. You can start with $0, and you can supercharge your roundups by multiplying them. While it comes with a $1 per month fee, Acorns can still be worth it if you’re just starting out, have a little money and aren’t sure how much you can afford to invest.
Stockpile uses the principle of fractional investing to allow you to buy shares of individual stocks and ETFs. You can open an account with a $0 minimum, and transfer money in as you have it, or set up a recurring investment. Trades are $0.99 apiece, making them very inexpensive. If you want to learn about value investing in the stock market and you aren’t interested in frequent trading, Stockpile can be a reasonable choice.
Without charging advisory or management fees, and requiring no minimum investment, Wisebanyan aims to change the way ordinary people invest. Using questions to determine your risk tolerance and needs, Wisebanyan creates and manages your portfolio. Make regular automatic investments each month, setting it and forgetting it. You’ll have to pay expense ratios on ETFs, but Wisebanyan prides itself on using low-cost investments.
Access a “basic” plan with as little as $0 when you sign up for Wealthsimple. Pay one management fee (0.50 percent annually) with investing, and get access to a high-yield savings product as well. Wealthsimple will build and diversify a portfolio for you and automatically rebalance it, as well as reinvest your dividends. Make regular investments to grow your wealth over time.
Stash is another app that allows you to invest using fractional shares. Open an account with no minimum balance, and invest with as little as $5 at a time. When you have less than $5,000 in your account, you’ll pay $1 per month. Once you reach $5,000 the fee switches to 0.25 percent annually. This can make maintaining small-dollar accounts expensive if you don’t build it quickly, much like Acorns.
Begin investing with as little as $10. The monthly fee starts at $3, so it’s rather expensive for small-dollar accounts. However, Qapital does use roundups to help you save without thinking, and you can set a goal and a timeline, and Qapital will help you plan it out while investing in a diverse portfolio on your behalf.
There is a $500 minimum to start investing with Wealthfront, another automated investment advisor. However, there are a few more options with Wealthfront, including a college savings option. So, if you’re looking for a little more flexibility in your account, Wealthfront can be one way to get there. Wealthfront also allows you to link all your accounts to get an overall picture of your finances, as well as help you invest.
9 places to invest $500 or less.
Here is a list of nine places you can invest $500 or less:
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