By Robert Stitt
For the average person it is hard enough to save, let alone invest. We read financial articles and listen to investment advertisements, but when it comes to putting money away for the long-term it just doesn’t seem feasible. Investing, it seems, is really just for the rich.
The problem with this mindset is that it takes away the single greatest factor that makes the rich wealthy: letting your money make more money. The wealthy invest so they can take a little money and make more of it. Then, they take that money and make more still. When people are stuck in a poverty mindset, they don’t do this.
Just how little money can you invest to make a difference? According to Black Enterprise, it is as little as $100. That’s right, only three digits. What’s more, the investment advice comes not just from Black Enterprise, but from three big names in the financial and investment field: Ash Cash, Rick Kahler, and Jacquette Timmons.
Ash Cash is the author of “Mind Right, Money Right: 10 Laws of Financial Freedom.” With $100, he started by opening an account with Scottrade (since their $7 trades are the most economical). Other discount brokers like E*trade, TD Ameritrade, and Fidelity are also good options, but they are not as inexpensive. After opening his account he purchased “three shares of PowerShares Build America Bond ETF, symbol: BAB.”
Cash invested his time reading a book titled “The Wall Street Journal Guide to Understanding Money and Investing.” A financial author himself, Cash says that this book is the easiest to understand, and you have to understand money to make money. In his mind, the best investment you can make is not an investment in the market, but an investment in your financial education. Cash says it’s like an old saying, “If we knew better, we would do better,” stating “That’s why financial education is vital, especially in low-wealth communities.”
The president of Kahler Financial Group, Rick Kahler, wrote a book called “Conscious Finance: Uncover Your Hidden Money Beliefs and Transform the Role of Money in Your Life.” As a financial author, Kahler agrees with Cash on the importance of choosing a discount broker and investing in your own financial education, but he prefers TD Ameritrade over Scottrade and suggested “The Investment Answer” as a great read for startup investment information. He notes that a used copy of the book by Daniel C. Goldie and Gordon S. Murray can be purchased for less than $3. Kahler would reward himself for saving money buying a used book by purchasing a Starbucks card so he could drink good coffee while reading the book in a comfortable place away from distractions. Kahler used his Ameritrade account to purchase one share of Vanguard Total World Stock Index, stock symbol: VT, for about $57 and put the remaining money into a money market fund with Ameritrade. He then let his dividends from VT collect in the money market account until he accumulated enough to purchase a second share.
Financial behavior expert and CEO of Sterling Investment Management Inc., Jacquette Timmons recommended placing the entire $100 into the investing app Acorns, and setting the Acorn option to “recurring” to invest spare change. Acorns has a $1 per month fee if your balance is less than $5000.
Whatever you choose to do, it is important to know that small investing is still investing, and every dollar you invest can bring you one step closer to financial freedom.