by Lyle Daly | Aug. 19, 2019
You don’t need a huge amount saved to get started with investing.
When I first wanted to get started with investing, I remember that what frustrated me the most was thinking that I didn’t have enough money for it. Every advice article I read mentioned some minimum amount that you supposedly should have if you’re going to invest. And sadly, this minimum was always out of my price range.
Because of this advice on how many thousands you need before investing, I waited much longer than I would have liked for my first investment, and I’m sure this waiting cost me money.
The truth is that although it can be harder to invest with limited funds, it’s by no means impossible. To illustrate that, I’m going to explain how you could get started with just $30 in only 30 minutes.
You’re going to need a broker to handle your investments for you. Fortunately, there are plenty of online discount brokers to choose from.
Find the best stock broker for you among these top picks. Whether you're looking for a special sign-up offer, outstanding customer support, $0 commissions, intuitive mobile apps, or more, you'll find a stock broker to fit your trading needs.
There are two things you’ll need from a broker:
Since you’re not investing much to start, you have to find a broker that doesn’t have an account minimum.
An ETF is a great investment option when you have limited funds because each one has a collection of different securities. These securities can be stocks, bonds, or other types of investments. If you buy an ETF, you’ll have a much more diverse portfolio than if you bought stock in a single company.
Most brokers also let you buy their ETFs commission-free. When you’re only investing $30 or less, the last thing you want is to pay $4.95 or more in trade fees, because you’ll already be losing over 15% of your money to fees.
There are quite a few brokers with $0 account minimums and a wide variety of commission-free ETFs. Some of our favorites are:
Now that you’ve found your broker, it’s time to create an account.
To start, look for an "Open Account" option. Every broker’s site is different, so the wording could vary. When you’re prompted to select an account type, pick an individual brokerage account.
Once you’ve chosen one of our top-rated brokers, you need to make sure you’re buying the right stocks. We think there’s no better place to start than with Stock Advisor, the flagship stock-picking service of our company, The Motley Fool. You’ll get two new stock picks every month from legendary investors and Motley Fool co-founders Tom and David Gardner, plus 10 starter stocks and best buys now. Over the past 17 years, Stock Advisor’s average stock pick has seen a 569% return — more than 4.5x that of the S&P 500! (as of 1/15/2021). Learn more and get started today with a special new member discount.
During the application process, you’ll need to enter the following:
After this, you’ll have your brokerage account opened, and you just need to fund it. To do so, you must connect a bank account using the account number and the bank’s routing number. Then you can choose how much money you want to transfer from your bank account to your brokerage account.
The final step is where you’ll invest your money. All you need to do is pick one of your broker’s commission-free ETFs.
Your broker should have a page listing all the commission-free ETFs it offers, so you can look over your options there. The things to look for in this ETF are:
Once you’ve found an ETF that fits the bill, you can go ahead and buy it.
It doesn’t take an expert to realize that one $30 investment isn’t a ticket to being wealthy. But it does get the ball rolling, and if you continue to invest, you’ll give your money the opportunity to grow through compound interest.
The key is to make investing a habit. Figure out an amount that you can spare, and then invest that much every week or month. You can stick with your original ETF, or you can branch out into other investments.
With smart and consistent investments, you’ll steadily accumulate more and more wealth.
Over the long term, there's been no better way to grow your wealth than investing in the stock market. But using the wrong broker could make a big dent in your investing returns. Our experts have ranked and reviewed the top online stock brokers - simply click here to see the results and learn how to take advantage of the free trades and cash bonuses that our top-rated brokers are offering.
We’re firm believers in the Golden Rule, which is why editorial opinions are ours alone and have not been previously reviewed, approved, or endorsed by included advertisers. The Ascent does not cover all offers on the market. Editorial content from The Ascent is separate from The Motley Fool editorial content and is created by a different analyst team.
The Ascent is a Motley Fool service that rates and reviews essential products for your everyday money matters.
Copyright © 2018 - 2021 The Ascent. All rights reserved.