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Where to Invest $500 Right Now

By Rick Munarriz – Sep 28, 2021 at 10:05AM

Key Points

  • Here are two stocks and one exchange-traded fund that I think would be a great place for even the smallest of investments.
  • Ford and Crocs are staging a turnaround that's coming along better than you probably think.
  • The ETF is a crafty investment that sells covered calls on 100 iconic Nasdaq-listed securities.

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You don't need a lot of money to make a difference with the right stock and ETF investments.

A little bit of money can go a long way these days. Between the growing number of brokerage platforms offering zero-commission trading and the ability to buy fractional shares -- where you can purchase less than a whole share of a high-priced stock -- everything is on the menu even if you have just $500 to invest in the market.

What should you do with that money? Three investments I like here are Ford Motor Company (F -1.02%), Crocs (CROX 2.26%), and Global X Nasdaq 100 Covered Call ETF (QYLD -0.20%). The first two are stocks you know with one-syllable names. The third is an exchange-traded fund with an interesting approach. Let's take a closer look at all three investments that could make sense for the $500 you want to put to work in the market. 

A person stands with arms outstretched as cash flies around them.

Image source: Getty Images.

1. Ford Motor Company

Ford is flashing its high beams so it can pass the competition this year. The pioneer automaker has been unveiling some pretty impressive electric vehicle spins for its iconic models. On Monday it announced that it would be building a pair of huge campuses in Tennessee and Kentucky to assemble its next-gen vehicles as well as the batteries that will fuel them. 

Despite the pandemic, Ford has managed to turn a profit in four of the past five quarters. Sales naturally slowed last year with folks spending more time at home, and this year's turnaround has hit a few speed bumps in recent months with industrywide supply issues. You still have to like Ford here. The return of its dividend seems inevitable at this point unless the money it's making is better suited to be reinvested in the company. 

2. Crocs

Crocs is one of this year's more surprising winners. The company behind the rubbery resin shoes is trading 145% higher in 2021, and rifling through its last few quarters will show you why Crocs rocks this year.

After back-to-back years of growing its top line by 13%, things have gone to a much higher level in 2021. Crocs was originally expecting to grow its sales by 20% to 25% this year, but two "beat-and-raise" reports later it sees 60% to 65% in top-line gains for all of 2021. 

Crocs is perhaps even more impressive on the bottom line. It has trounced Wall Street profit targets with ease over the past year, checking in with double-digit percentage beats every single time over the past four quarters. With so many Crocs celebrity sightings and product placement in films and TV the good times should continue through at least the near future. 

3. Global X Nasdaq 100 Covered Call ETF

The easiest way to achieve instant diversification with a $500 investment is an ETF or mutual fund, and there are plenty of high-quality, low-cost options. I was considering some interesting index funds, but I settled on one with a neat twist. 

Global X Nasdaq 100 Covered Call ETF is a mouthful, but it's worth the lengthy annunciation. The fund buys the components in the Nasdaq-100 index that covers tech-heavy blue chips. It then sells covered calls on its holdings. 

Options trading is often seen as risky, but this ETF does the opposite. Selling a covered call provides premium income for the seller in exchange for sacrificing the upside in the stock if it keeps moving higher. Global X Nasdaq 100 Covered Call ETF has paid out 11.4% in distributions over the past 12 months. The ETF scores well on Morningstar where it's credited with an above-average historic return and a below-average historic risk profile. If you're fine sacrificing some upside for healthy covered call income that will help offset downticks, this is a smart play with monthly payouts.   

Rick Munarriz owns shares of Ford. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Stocks Mentioned

Recon Capital NASDAQ-100 Covered Call ETF Stock Quote
Recon Capital NASDAQ-100 Covered Call ETF
QYLD
$16.32 (-0.20%) $0.03
Ford Motor Stock Quote
Ford Motor
F
$13.14 (-1.02%) $0.14
Crocs Stock Quote
Crocs
CROX
$96.56 (2.26%) $2.13

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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