We are providing this resource on the best small investment ideas as part of our series on how to make money.
Disclaimer: In no way should this be construed as investment advice specific to you. The info provided is general in nature. Do your own research and consult a professional.
We at TermLIfe2G are not financial experts nor do we claim to be. In fact, all we are is a bunch of life insurance agents who have a ton of experience helping folks qualify for life insurance.
That being said however…
Our experiences have lead us to have thousands of conversations with folks about their finances and insurance needs. This is why we like to share some of the things that we’ve learned in speaking with our clients that may help you:
- Earn a little extra money on the side,
- Save a little money here and there, and
- Potentially explore some “low risk” or perhaps “lower risk” investment ideas.
With the full understanding that we’re not financial experts, we would encourage you to keep reading and hopefully, we might be able to provide you with some great ideas you can present to your financial advisor for consideration!
Small Investments – How to Turn Money Into More Money
When it comes to being smart with our money, we are always being told to invest in order to secure a brighter future. However, how are we all supposed to know where to start or where to even look in this regard? Furthermore, there has been a long-held belief that investing is only for the rich. Today, we are going to turn these perceptions around and we are going to show you where to start.
First Things First – Before we head any further, you can invest any amount of money to get started. In the past, people have started with $100 before increasing this amount over time. Despite what others may tell you, there are no limits when it comes to investing at the top nor at the bottom so this is your year to get involved. If you have a small amount to invest, we will hopefully provide you with some of the best small investment ideas out there.
The key though with small investments is just to start somewhere. Once you develop the habit of investing your money, your money will begin to work for you. Once you start seeing the affects of money working for you, instead of always working for money, you will become more and more motivated to invest for the future and the here and now.
Top Small Investment Ideas
The following small investment ideas list is comprised of what we have found to be the best options currently available. Our goal is to keep this list updated as new opportunities present themselves so please be sure to stop by occasionally for updates.
To start investing, you might have thought we would launch into one of the fancy schemes or the best ways to earn interest but why start there when you can do something simple? As soon as you get into the right mindset, saving your money can be just as efficient as investing it. Using this trick, you might just increase your budget when it comes to the more impressive techniques a little later. As the name suggests, our first tip is to throw all of your coins into a cookie jar or whatever you have available.
At first, you can start with the change in your pocket at the end of the day. Over time, you might get hooked and contribute an extra $10 a week into an envelope or a small safe. If you want to be a bit more technical, you can utilize an online savings account with good interest rates. However, there is nothing wrong with the classic cookie jar!
More than anything else, this will get you into the right mindset and you start to learn the value of even the smallest coins. Once you save up hundreds of dollars in just a few months, you see how easy the whole process of saving and investing money is. With this in mind, let’s take a look at some of the more exceptional small investment opportunities.
Although there is risk in this option (perhaps more than others we will have), it can be a great way to turn a small amount of money into a large amount. Over the years, even the words ‘stock market’ has brought images of men and women in luxury suits dealing with the shares of large companies. However, the market is now more accessible than ever before.
To start, we recommend finding a good practice account, such as with Wall Street Survivor. Once you become acquainted with the ins and outs of the stock market you can then place some small trades with real money on the line. However, start small because the dynamics of buying stocks changes dramatically once you have some skin in the game.
Pay Off Debt
Once again, this is a trick that not many people know and doesn’t require you to do anything fancy. Instead, we advise you to use any potential investment money on reducing or even removing your debt. Why? Ultimately, there are two reasons.
- First, it just makes sense to remove debt before you start investing, right? With unsecured debts, your credit rating will be impacted each year and you aren’t in a financially sound position to start investing.
- Second, just think about the interest you will be saving by removing any debt you may have. With some credit cards, they charge interest in the double digits; try finding that kind of a return in the market. It is not easy. Therefore, reduce the amount you are paying out per month by removing your debts.
When you manage to do this, you will have extra money each and every month for the rest of your life. The average household pays somewhere around 35% of their income into interest each month. When we have significant amounts of debt, we actually spend most of the time paying interest while just skimming the top of the amount we owe. Therefore, even just reducing the amount you owe in the short-term will put you in a better position.
Additionally, you should look for credit cards with no interest because this allows you to tackle the problem head-on, perhaps even transferring your existing balance into a 0% credit card.
An additional step to consider would be to start an infinite banking policy and use your cash value to recapture your debt. That way, instead of banks and other financial institutions capturing all your interest, you are now on the receiving end and re-capturing your interest.
Online Robo Advisor Portfolio
Once you enter your personalized settings including your tolerance to take risks, your chosen platform will look after your money and invest it as per your instructions. Of course, you will earn more money when you choose to take more risks or the lower risk option will yield more reliable returns in the long run.
With this option, you don’t need to take a course in investing, you simply hand over the money to the experts and they will invest in exchange traded funds (ETF). Since this guide is aimed at small investments, we should point out that most sites don’t have a minimum amount to get started. For some, they like to contribute $100 of their money per month. If you don’t push above $10,000, these sites will charge a small fee for account management but this is a great option if you want minimum involvement in the process.
Grow Your Own Vegetables
As you may have noticed, ‘investment’ doesn’t have to mean complex trading accounts. Often, a small investment in yourself or factors in your life can be just as effective and this side of things continues with growing your own vegetable garden. Since vegetables can be expensive in the stores, growing your own will save money and it can also be rewarding.
According to the National Gardening Association, it costs just $70 a year to maintain a vegetable garden yet it grows $600 worth of healthy fruits and vegetables. For something that costs so little, you could save thousands. Where else are you going to find an investment technique that makes you huge amounts of money from just $70? If you find it, let us know!
Following on from the previous tip, you could also make a decision to invest in yourself. Although it will be tough to get the desired motivation at the very beginning, getting into the habit of working out will be a great step forwards. Even if you just buy a couple of pieces of equipment from a sports store and then do some home workouts, you will reduce the chances of seeing a chronic illness and therefore your medical bills will also fall. Thanks to a variety of different sources, we can predict that staying healthy can save an average of hundreds of dollars per year. In a different study, those who workout three times a week earn more money than those who don’t (thought to be 10% more!).
Employee Retirement Plan
With your job, you should have opportunities to invest in a simple 401(k) retirement plan. At first, this suggestion seems a little way away if you don’t currently have much disposable income but some employers will contribute to your plan meaning that you won’t even notice the money taken from your salary each month. With many people, they spend 1% of their salary towards the 401(k) and this gets boosted by employer contributions too.
When first choosing this technique, 1% is a comfortable start and you don’t necessarily have to do anything more than this. If you notice that you have more money to offer, you might want to increase this to 2% or 3%. Furthermore, you could even increase the contribution in line with your pay changes. If you were to receive a 3% pay increase, this could be split between your earnings and your retirement account. Although you won’t see the benefits anytime soon, it will lead to a more comfortable retirement for you.
From the very top, we should note that US Treasury securities will never make you rich but this isn’t what they are about. Instead, it is a location to place some money and watch as the interest raises it over time. If you are currently waiting to enter a higher risk investment and want to make a small return while you do so, US Treasury securities can be useful.
Also known as ‘savings bonds’, Treasury securities can actually be purchased through Treasury Direct which is their online portal. Once on the site, you can choose from fixed income securities and set a time limit from one month to thirty years. Additionally, you only need $100 to get started and you can keep investing each month. Before we move on, we should also note that Treasury Inflation Protected Securities can also be bought from the same location and these adjust for inflation as well as interest.
Drop the Car
When people first read this, they tend to laugh and shake their head while scrolling down to the next tip. However, did you know that nearly three in ten car journeys in the US are less than one mile long? Considering the average American spends $2,000 on gas alone each year, you can save huge amounts of money by losing the car and investing in a bicycle. In addition to saving you money, you can contribute to the ‘healthier lifestyle’ tip we discussed earlier.
If everything you need is within a couple of miles, this isn’t beyond cycling distance and you will burn calories in the process. We understand that you may need your vehicle if your job is far away, if you take regular business trips out-of-town, if you have children, if the local town is many miles away, etc. In these scenarios though, you could still reduce the amount you use the car and start introducing some positive habits. If you have two cars for your household, you could even look into losing one to save some money. Again, this isn’t a direct investment but it will give you additional income to spend elsewhere, invest, or save.
If you haven’t heard of peer-to-peer lending, you could be missing out because it is the platform many people have been waiting for for many years. Essentially, sites like Lending Club are a meeting place for people who need to borrow money and people who want to lend money. Therefore, you can invest whatever amount you desire and it will go to someone who has requested money. Over time, the amount will accrue interest until it has been repaid.
Currently, the minimum investment amount is $25 which means that just $500 could see you have 20 ‘notes’ in your portfolio. This being said, there is one major drawback to Lending Club in that you need to have a net worth over a certain amount to be considered. Although the minimum lending amount is tiny, you need to prove your assets to lend money to others before starting.
Low Investment Mutual Fund
For new investors, mutual funds are a great idea because they include numerous different stocks and bonds in one package. With your money split between different items, you aren’t relying on just one stock to do well as the mutual fund will fluctuate over time. For most mutual fund companies, they have a minimum investment of $500. If you don’t have this money right now, some will agree to a monthly arrangement if you can promise investments of $50 or $100 each month. Just as we saw with the retirement plans, you can have money leave your pay packet and enter the mutual fund directly so you won’t notice the small amount leaving.
Take a Vacation
Of all of the solutions we have provided here today, this will certainly raise the most eyebrows by the title alone. How can taking a vacation be one of the best small investments? Well, one accounting firm recently did the math and evaluated the performance of their team. According to the results, an extra 8% of performance was seen for each 10 hours of vacation. According to Project Time Off, more than half of American workers (55%) left vacation time unused in 2015, equaling 658 million unused vacation days. If you use all your holiday, you will see the return in increased performance and well being.
With the current investment climate, you will not make millions by investment in banks but you do have the added bonus of low investments and a wide selection of choices. With most banks, you can choose on a scale depending on how much risk you want on your investment. In addition to earning interest on your money, you also limit the risk of loss to near enough zero. As before, you could use this strategy while deciding on a larger plan or while you save. If you don’t like to take risks, you will earn a small amount over a period of years.
Much like Lending Club, Prosper is a peer-to-peer lending site with many of the same benefits. According to the recent reports from Prosper, we can see that the average return on notes last year was 16% which is much better than you will find in a bank and many other locations.
With all peer-to-peer lending sites, you do have to consider the risk of loss because, after all, the loans you provide may default and you could lose the chance of ever recuperating your money. With no FDIC insurance to protect your investment as you would see with banks, people do experience losses on both sites so bear this in mind when deciding.
Get a Qualification
As another ‘self-investment’ tip, we recommend getting a qualification or taking a course that would allow you to start in your desired career. If you have some money saved, there is no better time to do this than right now. Even if it is in the industry you work right now, qualifications lead to improved skills which increase your stock to potential employers which increase your opportunity to earn a higher salary and so on. For something that might only cost a couple of hundred dollars, you could enter a new, higher-paying industry or receive a promotion in your current job!
On the same theme, you could start your own business. Although there are more people doing this right now than ever before, it isn’t impossible to find a thriving niche in something you enjoy. When investing in this, you remove your boss (or any boss) from the equation, set your own hours, and have no ceiling when it comes to earnings. As long as you have the self-motivation, there is no reason why you can’t succeed if you choose a desired niche.
Online Brokerage Companies
Many people avoid this option because they think you need to have a significant amount of money to start but this simply isn’t true. Instead, most companies offer options at $1,000 or even less. If you promise to pay monthly, you can even pay less than this to get the account up and running so this is definitely something to consider!
Small Investments Conclusion
With these small investment options, you now have some idea of where to get started with your investment. While some focus on yourself and boosting your prospect as an employee, some follow the more traditional route of investing and it is up to you to decide what option suits your needs. Ultimately, this will come down to how much risk you want to take and whether you are looking for short- or long-term rewards. Once you make this decision, you can get started today!