Investing is something everyone should be doing. With interest rates so low, there’s really no way to earn substantial returns on any money you have set aside without investing. Unfortunately, all-too-often people feel like they don’t have enough money to invest. They might have a little set-aside, but they feel like most investment opportunities are out of their reach.
That’s not the case, however. There are smart ways to invest on a small budget, some of which are highlighted below.
Real Estate Investing
You may be thinking it’s crazy to include real estate investing on this list, but it’s not as expensive or complex as some people might think. Investing in real estate is one of the best ways to make strong returns, if you’re strategic and plan well.
If you have a small down payment, you can use it as leverage to get the benefits of an entire property, which is something unique to real estate investing. It also gives you control over your investment.
If you feel like your budget is definitely too small for traditional real estate investing, there are also REITs which are Real Estate Investment Trusts. These are securities that you can buy and sell like any other stock, but the funds invest in real estate, and they must pay out dividends.
Find a Partner
If you do want to dive into something that traditionally requires more up-front capital, like real estate investing, you can find someone to partner with. If you can find a partner, there’s the added benefit of not just being able to access additional capital, but also learning from that person and their experience.
Direct Purchase Plans
If you’re willing to invest in individual companies, there’s something called Direct Purchase Plans or DPPs. These offer the opportunity to buy stocks straight from the company, and this saves you money on fees you would pay a brokerage.
Your options tend to be more limited when you invest this way because it’s not something every company offers, but the savings might be worth it to you. If you have a small budget, fees can quickly eat up your returns.
One of the big trends in the investment world right now is called robo-investing. Essentially there are platforms that allow you to invest very small amounts and it’s automatically allocated to different funds or stocks.
You usually don’t need a minimum investment amount to do this, and these platforms automatically keep fees low and try to maximize tax efficiency.
Finally, there’s also the option of using something called myRA. myRA is a program from the U.S. Department of the Treasury which is intended to be a beginning retirement savings account. It doesn’t cost anything to open one of these accounts, and there are no fees. You can earn interest and earnings tax-free, and you don’t have the risk of losing money.
It’s billed as a safe and affordable way to start planning for retirement, and it’s ideal for people who don’t have access to retirement savings plans through their work.