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If there's one thing that tends to keep people from financially bettering themselves, it's the myth that you need to be a millionaire in order to start investing in the stock market. Though this might have been true in the past, it's no longer true in the least bit.
Being rich can and will open up new investment opportunities, sure, but there's no reason why the less wealthy can't get in on investing fun. Even if you only have $100 to your name, there are plenty of great things you can do to better your future using that cash.
Experts have suggested some pretty interesting ways to invest $100 painlessly. Speaking as someone who's followed a lot of advice from the pros, these are the best ways to invest your cash (when you don't have much to invest).
Use an app like Qapital to invest $100 towards an emergency fund.
If you're looking up ways to invest $100, you might want to ask yourself if you've invested in a savings account. Studies have shown that most Americans do not have $1,000 saved up for emergency funds. That's really bad.
Experts agree you should have six to eight months' of salary saved up in the event of a layoff or a recession. If you don't have that kind of money saved up, savings are the best investment you can make.
Qapital is one of the best apps to help you manage your money with automated savings. Just set a savings goal of $1,000, add the $100 to start, and then add rules that allow you to save at your own pace.
Plunk that $100 into your 401(k).
If you have an employer-matched 401(k), then one of the smartest ways to invest $100 would be to contribute it into your 401(k) account. Doing that with an employer-matched account means that you will enjoy an immediate 100 percent return on investment since your employer will add another $100 towards your retirement.
Even if you don't have employer matching, that money will grow faster than it would in a bank account and keep you comfortable in your old age. That's a great way to make sure you're well off.
You can also invest $100 in an automated app like Acorns for easy returns, too.
If you're really new to investing and aren't fully confident in your ability to make good decisions, why not let an automated "spare change" app like Acorns do the work for you? Acorns is one of the best apps for beginner investors, simply because they do all the deciding for you.
This is one of the best ways to invest $100, if you just want a quick "set it and forget it" route.
If you have a side hustle or want to start a business, use that $100 to get equipment.
Believe it or not, you don't have to have much money in order to start a business. Many easy business ideas can be started for under $100—and you can use the profits of the first couple of clients to invest even more in your company.
It is possible to shoestring a business, so don't be afraid of giving yourself a shot.
Investing in ETFs is a great way to reduce risk and maximize rewards.
Exchange Trade Funds are the best way to reduce the risk of losing everything in the stock market, while getting a decent return year after year. Stash is an app that allows you to invest in a wide variety of dividend-rich ETFs.
To get a Stash account, all you need is $100. After that initial deposit, you can invest as little as $5 at a time in any of the stocks or ETFs they offer. Needless to say, it's one of the best ways to invest $100 for those who are risk-averse.
You also could pull a David Ramsay and invest in index funds.
Index funds are really popular among financial bloggers like David Ramsay—and for good reason. These investments have very good, reliable returns and are managed by expert bankers. Depending on which index fund you choose, you might be able to get returns as high as 12 percent per year.
Personally, I think that investing in one of the best S&P 500 index funds might be one of the smartest ways to invest $100. The issue is, of course, finding a broker that will allow a simple $100 investment as an opener if you don't have a broker already.
Invest in your community (and tax deductions) by donating it.
Did you know that donating to a 501(c)3 charity is tax deductible? It's true, and if you want to avoid having to pay bigger taxes by April 15th, you might as well invest in your community.
Donating to charity just got easier with the advent of the net. Apps like ItsDeductible allow you to track your generous donations and offer tons of cool ways to invest $100 in charities that resonate with your personal goals.
Invest in yourself.
An easy way to make sure that you have a better life is to take the time to invest in yourself—and trust me, there are many ways to invest $100 into making a better, healthier, and wealthier you.
Whether you choose to do this by eating better food, going for a checkup at a clinic, or even something like buying one of the best self-help books on store shelves, it doesn't matter. What matters is that you're worth it.
Pay off your debt.
Did you know that debt is actually one of the worst stumbling blocks to wealth? One of the biggest sources of debt in America is credit card debt. Most credit cards charge 20 percent interest or more—and that means that your balance will continue to grow unless you get aggressive and pay down debt fast.
Tally is an app that allows you to figure out how to pay down your credit card debt and urges you to keep that balance low as can be. Sometimes, the best ways to invest $100 is to pay down debt you already have.
Place it into a money market account.
If you're looking for a low-to-no risk investment option that will allow you to easily move money in and out of accounts, look no further than a money market account. These things allow limited check writing, offer higher than average interest rates, and can be opened with $100.
Money market accounts might not be as glamorous as they used to be, but they are some seriously smart ways to invest $100, $1000, or more.