If you only have $100 to invest, and can afford to invest only $50 to $100 a month after that, is it still worth it? Acumen’s Financial Adviser Lisa Dudson says yes, go for it.
“Just make sure you’ve paid off all your consumer debt first,” she says. “You’re better off getting rid of debt such as credit cards, hire purchases or car payments.
“All those things, for the most part, have a higher interest rate than what you’ll get on your investment,” she says.
Investing at that level is actually pretty straightforward, she says. But there are some barriers that can stop people.
“There’s a mental block on ‘I don’t have enough money’. And the second part is, ‘I don’t know anything so I won’t do anything – it’s all too hard’.
“But if you get past those things – every bit counts. It all adds up.
“It’s like anything in life, if you don’t know, just learn.”
Dudson’s best advice is just to start, using whatever money you have got, and let compound interest do the rest. Compound interest is interest calculated on both the money you invest and also on the interest you’ve already earned.
“One of the most powerful things in investing is time.”
What’s the first step?
Work out what your reason for the investment is, in other words, saving for a home deposit or retirement. This will give you an idea of your time frame, which is important in determining your risk profile. Then think about how much you can contribute, and how often.
Stash, Sharesies, Smartshares, and Acorn are just some options that don't require large amounts of cash to start with.
The next step is to build up your knowledge.
Do your own research, Dudson says. Get online and use Google. Do some reading and find out some information about your ‘risk profile’, based on time frames and your age to work out what level of risk you’re happy with.
Read books, and do online searches.
Sign up for a community education course on the stock market, or maybe an online course. Find out, based on your initial and regular contributions, what you could invest in, and what appeals to you.
See an investment adviser. Some might not take you on because your investment is too small, but Dudson says there are some out there that will. Or, you can pay for a one-hour consultation to get some guidance.
Risk profile: A risk profile assesses and evaluates a person’s willingness to take risks. It considers your investment time frames, as well as the range of risks you’re exposed to.
By Claire Connell
First Published 14 March 2018
JUNO does not contain financial advice as defined by the Financial Advisers Act 2008. Consult a suitably qualified financial adviser before making investment decisions. This story reflects the views of the contributor only. Content comes from sources that JUNO considers accurate, but we do not guarantee that the content is accurate. Charts are visually indicative only.