12 Ways to Invest $100

Very happy woman throwing money in the air who just made money investing 100 dollars

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Do you have $100 in your pocket and wondering where you can invest it? There are many options for investing $100 available. It will all depend on your preference and risk tolerance. The issue with many people wanting to invest is believing that they need a lot of money to get into it.

But, this isn’t true. Even with just $100, you can begin an investment journey that sets you up for long-term financial success.

As long as you remain diligent, you can turn that $100 into so much more. Here are some of the options for you to consider:

1. Start an Emergency Fund

Having funds that you can access when you need it can be a lifesaver. The emergency fund acts as a cushion in case of an unexpected event that occurs. You can use that $100 and start building up your fund using a high-yield online bank account at CIT Bank, where you’ll earn a competitive interest rate and have easy access to your money. 

Many experts recommend having enough money to live comfortably for six months. That way, even if you lose your job, you’ll worry less about money as you search for other opportunities.

It’s tempting to use money in a checking account, so because of that, it’s recommended to store your emergency fund in a separate savings account and potentially even a separate bank. This will add steps to prevent you from pulling the money out day-to-day. 

You can even set up your bank to auto-transfer the money at regular intervals. That way, you won’t have to think about the money unless you need it. Here’s an article on how to automate your savings.

Here's how you can save $1,000 for an emergency fund.

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2. Invest with a Robo-advisor

Having a financial advisor can help set you up for success. They can set a strategy based on your preferences. This strategy accounts for your risk tolerance, current market conditions, and the flow of your money. However, getting an advisor might not make sense for you, depending on your current net worth, income, expenses, and goals.

Enter Robo-advisors. These AI programs cost less than traditional advisors yet can offer the same or even better performance. They will do everything on your behalf, and you won’t have to worry about what investments to choose. 

The account minimum will depend on the brokerage company, but many have $0 minimums or ones at or under $100 that you could try.

Interested in using a Robo-advisor to invest your money for you? Check out M1 Finance to get started.

3. Invest in an Index Fund

An index fund is a collection of stocks. They allow you to invest in the best-performing assets and spread out your risk evenly among them. They are some of the most reliable options available because they grow their value over time. Index funds like the Dow Jones or S&P 500 have proven to provide consistent returns year after year – an average of 8% to 10% annually over the long term.

Index funds are low-maintenance products. You don’t have to keep buying and selling assets to maintain them. They can also cover a wide variety of industries from technology to manufacturing and more.

Another upside of indexes is that it’s easy to invest in them. You can place $100 in one ETF and instantly have a diverse portfolio. From there, you’ll add more money or watch it grow.

Get started with investing in index funds using Charles Schwab Bank.

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4. Put Your Money in Your 401(k)

A 401(k) is the traditional retirement account typically offered at workplaces. You’ll contribute money from your paycheck each pay period and invest it for retirement. This money becomes available to you when you’re of age 59 1/2 or older.

Additionally, many employers match 401(k) contributions up until a certain percentage of your base pay. This is free extra money that goes towards your retirement, so if you invest $100 towards your 401(k) each pay period and your company matches dollar for dollar, you’ll get an additional $100 added to your account as well.

5. Open a Roth IRA

An alternative to the 401(k) is a Roth IRA, another popular option if you don’t want to deal with taxes at retirement. When you put money into a Roth IRA, the money is taxed before it’s invested. That means you don’t have to worry about paying taxes when you withdraw money in retirement. 

People increase their tax bracket over the years as they get higher pay. It is why paying taxes now might be the best option, and a Roth IRA allows you to do that.

There are limits to contributing to a Roth IRA, so be aware of that. 

In 2021, you can contribute a maximum of $6,000 to a Roth IRA if you’re age 49 and younger, and $7,000 if you’re age 50 and older.

Head over to Charles Schwab Bank to open a Roth IRA and start investing for your retirement.

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6. Round-Up Your Spending

Round-up apps are becoming a popular option for investing with minimal effort. These apps round up the money you spend on regular purchases and invest it into an account automatically. You have control by choosing a portfolio that best fits your preferences.

You’ll generally pay between $3 and $5 per month to use an app like this, so contributing $100 or more per month to the app on top of your round-ups will increase your earnings while also covering the monthly fees. 

Check out the app Acorns to round up your spending so that you can invest automatically. You’ll also get additional investment money added by using Acorns to shop at your favorite locations.

7. Buy Fractional Shares

Another thing that derails people is the cost of a share. Many stocks out there are too expensive if you just have $100, but there is one way to get around this — fractional shares. Fractional shares allow you to get into the action by gaining part ownership of a share alongside a pool of investors.

If you invested the $100 in a $1000 stock, you’d own 0.1 shares and still have the ability to earn money based on how much the stock gains value. If it grows by 10%, you will earn $10 on your $100 investment. Fractional investments began with stocks, but it is no longer limited to them. You can buy shares of real estate for as low as $10 using the platform Fundrise.

Even newer emerging markets like cryptocurrency use fractional shares to provide entry to those who don’t have a lot of money to invest.

This gives typical Americans more avenues to invest if they don’t have a lot of extra money each month.

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8. Get Started with Fundrise for Real Estate

Fundrise made real estate accessible by using crowdfunding. Instead of waiting until you can buy a property, you could use your $100 to invest in real estate with partial ownership. It applies the same concept as fractional shares, where you gain profit as the value of the asset grows.

Almost anyone can get into it and the company manages everything for you for a nominal fee. 

Do note that real estate investing through Fundrise will tie up your money for five years as real estate is illiquid. That said, you can still get paid quarterly dividends when investing and your account can appreciate in the meantime before the money is available to you again.

Fundrise really is an amazing way to build wealth and you can get your first 90 days of fees waived by signing up with our link.

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9. Add to a Peer-to-Peer Lending Account

Another way to start earning money is by joining a peer-to-peer lending platform. As the name implies, you’ll lend your money to another party and get gains based on interest payments. You can do this through numerous online websites, such as Prosper

There is always a risk of default so it makes sense to diversify your money across multiple loans. Prosper allows you to invest as little as $25 per loan. Then you can use the money you earn to reinvest and grow your account while also deciding if you want to invest more each month.

Check out this article to see if peer-to-peer lending is right for you.

10. Start a Side Hustle

Some side hustles act similar to an investment. You may need some startup money, so here are some side hustles you can start with $100 or less.

  • Affiliate marketing: This involves selling someone else’s products and earning a commission. You can do this for free through social media channels, or you can advertise your affiliate links through promotional posts on your blog or website, and ads. Here’s our guide on affiliate marketing for beginners.
  • Print on demand: Print on demand services are becoming increasingly popular side hustles. While it is somewhat of a saturated market, if you can break into a niche and create products that people enjoy, then you have a greater likelihood of success. It also has very low startup costs. Some platforms are free and allow you to earn a commission on each product you sell, while others will bill you when people buy your products. Check out our print-on-demand business guide here.
  • Blogging: Blogging can become very lucrative if you set up multiple revenue channels. You can put ads on your blog, create sponsored posts, add relevant affiliate links, and more. Along with that, the startup costs are very low. Get started making money as a blogger by reading this article.
  • Become an influencer: The great thing about becoming a social media influencer is that it’s completely free to start. That leaves you with $100 to spend on buying relevant items for your influencer niche, such as outfits for a fashion influencer. You might even be able to get away with buying some equipment on a budget, such as lights.
  • Photography: If you love taking photos and think you’re pretty good at it, there are plenty of stock photo sites that will pay to use your photos.

With just $100, you can buy some basic equipment to get started and use your phone to take pictures. As you earn money, you can buy more expensive equipment and scale.

11. Open a Certificate of Deposit

A certificate of deposit or CD is an alternate option to stocks. Instead of buying shares of a company, you are lending money to a bank. The bank will then pay you interest at regular intervals. A CD can last anywhere from three months to 10 years.

It’s a good option for those who are risk-averse. CDs generally have around the same yield or slightly higher than a high-yield online savings account, but you’ll have to commit your money long term to gain the benefit. Withdrawing money before the maturity date of a CD may cause you to incur a penalty, so be sure you understand this or simply only invest money you don’t need until the CD matures.

12. Invest in Your Education with an Online Course

The best investment you can have at a low cost is to improve your education. Today, many affordable courses don’t cost a lot of money. Through these courses, you can learn essential skills that employers value.

One recommendation is to find something you’re interested in that also has a high demand. For example, the technology sector typically has open positions for computer programmers, cybersecurity experts, and more.

The returns you get are potentially enough skills to land a job with a higher paycheck. It also allows you to scale up if you desire to climb the corporate ladder.

Skillshare and Udemy are two excellent places to take courses to improve your value to companies. Skillshare is a subscription-based course site that gives you access to thousands of courses for a monthly fee. With Udemy, you’ll pay by the course.

Wrapping It Up

Gone are the days where investment was an activity only for the rich. You can enter into any of these investments and experience lasting returns over long periods, which will help you build wealth. 

Always do research before investing any amount of money and place your $100, or any other amount, where you feel comfortable doing so.

With that said, $100 is a good amount to start testing the waters. You’re not committing thousands into an investment without knowing its possible outcome. You can test one or multiple channels, find what works for you, earn funds, and do it all over again.

Starting with just $100 is one way to grow your wealth when you don't have much.