Easy Ways to Start Investing Now

By now you know that investing is the best way to build long-term wealth. Because your money has the ability to make money on top of earnings already made, investing should be on everyone’s to-do list. But, how do you start investing when your knowledge is limited? More importantly, what if your cash is limited? Don’t fear! There are plenty of easy ways to start investing now, where significant knowledge or funds are not required.

From this point forward, I don’t want to hear the “I don’t know how” or the “I don’t have money” excuse when it comes to investing. There are plenty of ways you can get started, and I’m sharing a few of them below.

#1 Contribute to a Retirement Fund

One of the easiest ways to start investing, and probably a way you are already investing, is by contributing to a 401k plan or IRA. If your employer offers 401k plans, start there. Most times, employers offer some form of match to whatever you’re contributing. This will allow you to invest more, for free! Every retirement plan comes with the ability to choose your investments. This may not be visible when you first sign up, which means it will need some assessing. Check out How I Picked My 401k Selections.

Saving for retirement, through investing, is one of the most popular ways people build wealth throughout their lives. If you start early enough, you can become a millionaire by retirement, with minimal investments each month. There is strategy behind contributing to a retirement plan, so don’t skimp yourself.

#2 Invest Spare Change with Acorns

Featured in the article 3 Apps to Help You Save More, Acorns is a “keep-the-change” type of savings that takes spare change from each purchase you make and invests it. Acorns links to your debit or credit card, then rounds up each purchase to the nearest dollar and invests that change in low-cost ETFs. This is the perfect app if you want to invest, but don’t want to have a set amount delegated to those investments. Just like Stash, Acorns charges $1 a month for accounts under $5000 and .25% a year for accounts over $5000.

#3 Set up Auto-Deposits with Betterment

Want to invest more than just your spare change? Go with Betterment. I can honestly say that it’s one of the easiest ways I’ve ever invested money. For as little as $100 a month, you can set up automatic deposits into your Betterment account and have it invested on your behalf.

When you first create your Betterment account, the website will ask a series of questions to gauge your goals. It will pick the best investments for you, based on the information you provide. You have the option of changing those investments. For example: your goal may be to save an extra $2500 in 5 years. Betterment may recommend you invest in 60% stocks and 40% bonds. You can change that to invest in 90% stocks and 10% bonds, which may yield a higher return.

You don’t need any knowledge of specific types of investments, you just need to understand how risky you want to be with your investments. If you have a while to ride the waves of the market, you should go with a riskier approach. If you will absolutely need your money back (and some) by a relatively close day in the future, stick with a less risky investment portfolio.

#4 Play around with an Online Brokerage Account
I love this suggestion from My Finance. I can also say that I’ve done this myself! “If you want a more hands-on approach, you’ll need an online brokerage account to start making trades. Simply put, a brokerage account is an account that allows you to purchase stocks. One of the best learning experiences you can get is buying a stock, following its trends, and finally selling it. You can experiment, without the risk of getting in over your head.”

There are plenty of options when choosing an online brokerage account. I personally have Charles Schwab and Scottrade accounts, but there are other great alternatives out there. Do your research. I suggest you read Shopping for a Brokerage Account before opening anything.

#5 Get Started with Mutual Funds

Mutual funds are investment securities that allow you to invest in a diversified portfolio of stocks and bonds with a single transaction. This allows you to cover your bases, and is perfect for those new to investing. The only issue, similar to online brokerage accounts, is that mutual fund companies may required a large balance to open the account. If you don’t have a lot of money to put towards your new investment account, this may not be the best route (initially).

Some mutual fund companies may waive the account opening requirements if you agree to automatic deposits of between $50 and $100 a month. Once again, you will need to do your research to see which company will best serve your needs. Bonds and treasury securities can also be a safe approach, as far as investing goes.

Related: The Beginner’s Guide to Investing with Little Cash

 

Moral of the story? Investing doesn’t have to be overcomplicated. You can start investing with little money and little knowledge of how the market works. You just need to make the decision to get started, and stay consistent with your efforts. The best investments are the ones that aren’t touched and have the ability to grow over time.

Have you started investing? What ways are you currently investing to build wealth? Share your fears and experiences with investing with me and other CGS readers! Post a comment in the section below for all of us to read!

-Raya
The CGS Team

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6 thoughts on “Easy Ways to Start Investing Now”

  1. Good Morning Ladies! @erica-mccarthy @kordemann @tgiancaterino @ginalorusso @cgonsewski @emdav333 @lillycools @beccal Look for easy ways to start investing? Check out this great new article!

  2. I’ve heard great things about Acorns, but I haven’t tried it personally. I’m too hooked on Betterment! I currently have 2 different investment accounts with them, for different goals I have. I really couldn’t be happier with them. I also have a brokerage account with Charles Schwab. I have dabbled in single stocks, but need more time to research future investments. You also can’t go wrong with a 401k plan!

  3. Hi Raya,

    How are you?

    In response to “Easy ways to Start Investing” the information you provided was informative. I shared your information to a couple of my women friends. To answer your question, yes! I have been investing; 401K with complete match from my current employer; I also participate in the company Stock option plan with the maximum of 10%, Last year, February 2017, I started to invest with Acorns and I can tell you that it is great to watch pennies( spare change) grow, I am now at $856.27. Apart from these investments, I also have my emergency funds on par plus other savings. I am now looking into investing in Betterment which you mention in your daily emails.

    I have been researching information about how I can assist my friends who consistently and constantly complain about money. I am a strong believer that no one should be living from pay check to paycheck. I have made mistakes in the past and I will not go back to doing all the shopping sprees that I used to back then. I am quite eager to learn more about investing. I am so glad that I saw your page on Instagram and the like about women empowerment and how women should stay focus and how they need to keep a budget together.
    Vera – @stluciabeautiful on Instagram.

    PS: perhaps I can work with you someday soon.

  4. Hello Rays
    This article is so informative. Thank you for sharing. My schedule is so jam packed and apps like Acorn are perfect for me. I just set up my account and I’m ready to start investing. The setup was quick and easy and I’m looking forward to seeing the results.

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