Investing has become extraordinarily accessible to those just starting out. In past years, investing really wasn’t possible unless you had, at least, a few thousand dollars to your name — and even then, it wasn’t likely. Most investors had to save up the cost of a home down payment just to get started on the market. But today there are low-cost investments that you can dive right into, often just for the contents of your wallet.
- Exchange Traded Funds. Online platforms let you invest money directly into exchange-traded funds — even if you only have a few dollars to spare. ETFs are a good way for a beginning investor to get started, and many platforms develop a portfolio for an investor so that they have something with an appropriate risk-reward ratio. Online platforms are an excellent method of investing today, as they generally have far less overhead (and consequently far fewer fees) than brick-and-mortar investment firms.
- Micro Loans. Lending clubs make it possible for investors to loan small amounts of money — often as little as $20 — to others who are seeking low-cost loans. The investor then gets paid interest for their loan, and that interest is balanced depending on how much of a risk the borrower is. Lending notes can be diversified just like stocks. Some of these microloans are given to third world countries and other developing nations, serving a dual purpose: not only does the lender get money, but they also get to help other people.
- Individual Stocks. Investing a large amount of money in individual stocks can be dangerous for a beginner, but individuals today can invest in very small amounts of stock for virtually no fees at all through online stock trading platforms. Individual stocks can be valuable as long as an investor takes the time to research their portfolio properly and develop their diversification over time.