Of all the interesting email I received in response to my gentle words about Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) yesterday, the most touching note came from a big Mac fan in California -- let's call him CaliMac -- who took the time to ponder Apple, the universe, and everything. In general, I agreed with what he had to say, but he did pen one line that demands a response.

"I'm too poor for stocks..."


You're never too poor for stocks.

It was particularly sad to see that he feels this way since CaliMac -- in stark contrast to many others who wrote -- is obviously in possession of exactly the mentality that would make him a successful individual investor.

Exhibit A: He separated his love for Apple products from his assessment of Apple stock.

Exhibit B: He wasn't afraid to consider the validity of an opinion contrary to his.

In short, this man sounds like a complete Fool. He's not likely to make like a lemming and jump into the next Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), Sirius Satellite Radio (NASDAQ:SIRI), or, for that matter, XM Satellite Radio (NASDAQ:XMSR) without at least asking himself whether there's something there besides big hopes. In short, he's already way ahead of the pack.

He may, like some Fools, decide the risks in growers such as Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) are worth the potential rewards, or he may play the value game instead. He may invest only in solid brand names such as Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX). But before he can do any of this, he needs to get rid of the silly idea that stocks are for the rich. If that were the case, there'd be nothing in my portfolio.

If you can scrape two nickels together, you can become a stock investor. All it takes is a little information, willingness to live below your means, and the self-discipline to save. Low- and no-cost brokers (that's right, there are some who charge zilch) make it cost-effective to dollar-cost average even a tiny fraction of your monthly paycheck. Some will even let you buy partial shares.

Want to start slowly? Grab an index fund or an ETF. Feel like diving right into individual stocks? Great. Learn how to find 10-baggers. Or behold the joys of dividend stocks, which give you opportunities for capital appreciation while at the same time putting bank account interest rates to shame.

Just remember this, CaliMac. Time and discipline are your best friends, especially when you invest in stocks. A measly 100 clams a month returning 11% will turn into $280,000 in 30 years.

Too poor for stocks? Don't you believe it. You'll be much poorer if you do.

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Seth Jayson knows a bit of brain and a dose of discipline can help anyone achieve financial independence. It's worked for him. At time of publication, he had no position in companies mentioned. View his stock holdings and Fool profile here.