Most people think the stock market is only for the wealthy. In fact, I felt the same way until recently. I thought I needed thousands of dollars to start investing. That’s what the movies tell us, right? Only people who have thousands of dollars lying around can reap the benefits of investing in stock.
This myth holds many people back from making a responsible (and sometimes fun) financial decision. It’s understandable – why would you throw money into a black hole without knowing what will come out? Here’s the thing about that: You can make tiny, tiny investments if you want. Some stocks trade at just $5 a share. You won’t become a millionaire overnight with a small portfolio like that, but it’s a great way to start learning more about investing. Maybe, eventually, you’ll make larger investments, and then we can talk about becoming a millionaire.
So, how do you invest in the stock market with limited discretionary funds? Here are a few tips.
Work with What You Have
The stock market will require you to save some money. Not necessarily thousands of dollars, but some. You don’t want to dip into emergency savings or cut your food budget in order to make a small investment. Keep your change for a few months and add it up. Cut a few subscription services out of your budget and see how much it comes to. You can invest on your own, with an app like Robinhood, with no minimum, but you’ll need to start somewhere.
Ask Your Employer
You know that 401(k) plan your employer helped set up? That’s the easiest way you can get into the stock market. It’s typically handled through the employer, and you can put investing on autopilot, but it’s a start. This is a great way to start investing with no money, and you can set up automatic payment transfers to ensure you’re contributing every month.
Invest with an App
Financial tech is making it easier to invest in the stock market without the help of a professional. These apps, known as micro investing apps, can help individuals invest small amounts of money in small stocks and index funds, growing wealth as passively or actively as you want. I’ve already mentioned Robinhood, but Stash Invest and Stockpile are similarly popular options.
Don’t Give in to Excuses!
Figuring out the stock market can be difficult, especially if you’re new to financial literacy. That said, this stuff is pretty easy once you get the hang of it. Start small and use it as a learning tool. Then, when you’re ready, make larger investments and see what happens!