You would be surprised how far it can go if you are new to investing. As you gain more knowledge and experience, start small and increase your investments. Use long-term strategies to build wealth and grow your net worth even with small investments.
Taking the first step is worth it for the experience of managing an investment portfolio. I will show you how to invest $500 and gain exposure to different types of investments, such as stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. By investing $500, you can start to build a diversified portfolio that can help you reach your financial goals.
11 Smart Ways to Invest $500
Here are my recommended investment strategies you can start today, even with a minimum investment of $500:
- Pay Down Your Debt
- Invest with a Robo-Advisor
- Open a High-Yield Savings Account
- Invest in ETFs, Mutual Funds, or Index Funds
- Buy Fractional Shares of Stock
- Buy CDs
- Start a 529 Savings Account
- Invest in Real Estate and REITs
- Fund an IRA
- Look into Alternative Investments
- Start a Side Hustle
1. Pay Down Debt
You may be wondering how paying off your debt is related to investing. Having debt is expensive if you consider the interest rate you are paying. Understand the cost of your debt so you can make informed decisions about how to manage it. Paying off debts is a good way to get your finances in order before you start investing. Creating a budget and sticking to it can help you manage your money more effectively.
The average credit card interest rate is 16.27% by the end of 2022, according to the Federal Reserve. The rate is expected to stay stable. It’s not uncommon to have anAPR of 25% or 30%. It is important to remember that even a relatively high APR can be manageable if you are careful about budgeting and paying off the balance. If the interest rate on your debt is higher than the potential return on investment, you should pay off your debt.
Paying off credit card debt now will free up more money to invest later. It will relieve the stress of debt and improve your credit score. You can save money in the long run if you make regular payments on your debt.
2. Invest with a Robo-Advisor
If you want someone else to efficiently manage your investment portfolio for you, a brokerage account with a robo-advisor may be the way to go, especially if you are a new investor.
A digital platform that builds your portfolio based on your financial goals, time horizon, and risk tolerance is called a robo-advisor. As a cost-effective and efficient way for investors to build their portfolios, robo-advisors are becoming increasingly popular. Managing your finances, offering financial advice, auto-balancing your portfolio, and assisting with goal setting are some of the tasks that a financial advisor would otherwise handle. As people look for ways to save money on financial advice, robo-advisors are becoming increasingly popular.
Ideally, you should choose a full-service robo-advisor with zero or low fees, like M1 Finance or Acorns. If you are looking for a low-risk and high-reward investment, a robo-advisor account is worth considering.
Price: $3 per month
It’s easy to save and invest in the background of life. With a few clicks, you can start building a secure financial future that will last through life’s many stages. Invest your spare change, save for retirement, spend smarter, earn more, and grow your knowledge.
3. Open a High-Yield Savings Account
Another way to invest your $500 is with a high-yield savings account, or an account that pays a higher interest rate (annual percentage yield or APY), than a traditional savings account. According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the national average APY for a traditional savings account is.24%, whereas with a high-yield savings account you could see an APY of 3.00% or higher. It is important to compare the rates of different savings accounts before committing to one, as the differences in rates can make a big impact on your long-term savings goals.
If your bank or credit union goes under, your money is insured up to $250,000 per depositor, making savings accounts one of the safest investments. Saving accounts are easy to open and maintain.
Typically, high-yield savings accounts are offered through online banks, making it convenient for users to manage their account through a mobile app. High-yield savings accounts have few or no fees associated with them, making them an attractive choice for those looking to maximize their earning potential. Automatic transfers can be set up from your checking account, so you can keep saving after your initial $500 deposit.
UFB Preferred Savings
Current Rate: 4.55% APY
UFB Direct is a division of the bank. UFB Direct offers a wide range of banking services, from checking and savings accounts to mortgages and investments. With no balance requirements or monthly fee, they are committed to offering an ultra-competitive APY for your entire savings account balance. You can always get help when you need it.
4. Invest $500 in ETFs, Mutual Funds, or Index Funds
Diversification means investing in different types of assets rather than putting all your money in one place. If you want to maximize your chances of success, you need to research each investment thoroughly and make adjustments if necessary. One way to do this is by investing in an exchange-traded fund (ETF), mutual fund, or index fund. Instead of utilizing one particular type of investment, your risk is spread out over multiple assets.
Like individual stocks, the basket of securities in the ETFs are traded on the stock market. An easy way for investors to gain exposure to a variety of assets is through the use of an exchange traded fund. They can be purchased throughout the day. Low expense ratios and fewer broker commissions are some of the benefits of using an exchange traded fund. It’s helpful for people who want to spread their risk so they don’t have to worry about it all the time.
A good return on investment can be found in mutual funds or index funds, which are both managed by professional brokers. Mutual funds invest in a constantly changing list of stocks, chosen by an investment manager, and aim to beat a specific stock market index. The risk associated with mutual fund investments is usually lower than investing in individual stocks, making them an attractive option for many investors.
A collection of stocks, bonds, or other assets can be invested in by an index fund. With index funds, investors can invest in a variety of assets without having to manage their own portfolios. The most common, the S&P 500 Index, contains 500 stocks from the largest companies in America with an average annual return of 10.31%. The goal of an index fund is to match the performance of a market index. The popularity of index funds as a low-cost, passive investment option has increased in recent years.
For conservative risk-takers, mutual funds, and index funds are good options. Since they offer low-cost, diversified portfolios with minimal effort, it may be the best option for investors who want to take less risk.
Your assets will likely be minimal if you invest $500 in individual stocks. It is important to remember that investing in individual stocks involves a level of risk, so do your research before making any decisions. You can only purchase 4-5 shares of stock for $500 with large companies like Apple and Amazon. You may be able to purchase more shares with lower cost stocks. There is an option to invest in fractional shares or partial shares of a company’s stock. This allows people with limited capital to invest in companies that they may not be able to afford.
Many brokerage firms, like Robinhood and Charles Schwab, offer the ability to buy fractional shares through their own platforms or partnerships with other companies. You can invest in the companies you feel most aligned with with fractional shares. Fractional shares allow investors to take advantage of fractional trading.
You would receive a payment based on the amount of shares you own if you buy fractional shares of a dividend stock. Most online brokers will allow you to buy fractional shares of a dividend stock. It is possible that fractional shares are not available for all stocks. It’s important to research your options before using a broker that doesn’t offer fractional share investing. Before making any moves, be sure to thoroughly research the brokerages and stocks you are interested in. It’s important to understand the risks associated with investing in stocks and have a plan for handling potential losses.
6. Buy Certificates of Deposit (CDs)
A certificate of deposit is a type of savings account that requires you to deposit money. When the term is over, you can withdraw your money or roll the deposit over. During this time, your money is earning interest, but you can’t withdraw it until the CD matures. You will have access to the full amount of your original deposit at maturity.
CDs are considered safe investments because they offer a guaranteed return on your investment, and are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) or the National Credit Union Administration up to $250,000 per depositor. CDs have a fixed rate of interest that is more attractive than other investments.
Keep in mind that interest rates on CDs are usually a bit higher than on savings accounts, but there are other investments that may offer higher return rates. CDs are an option if you don’t mind having your money tied up for a fixed period of time. If you don’t need immediate access to your funds and are comfortable with the associated risk, CDs may be a good option.
Ultra-competitive rates are offered by Quontic Bank on their CDs. A With high earnings, Quontic Bank CD is a great place to store cash. Customers can access their money through the flexible terms of the Quontic Bank CD.
7. Start a 529 College Savings Plan
If you’re a parent looking to prepare your child for college costs, a 529 college savings plan might be a good place to start. A college savings plan allows parents to save for their children’s higher education expenses, such as tuition, fees, and room and board.
Most accredited colleges and universities in the United States can use funds from a 529 account, and in some cases can also be used to fund study abroad programs with some restrictions. Parents who want to prepare their children for college can use a 529 plan.
If your money is used for qualified education expenses, it will grow tax-free. It’s a great way to save for future education expenses without having to worry about taxes or other restrictions. You don’t have to pay taxes on capital gains or dividends earned through the plan. Check to see if your state offers tax benefits or credits for contributions to a 529 plan.
8. Invest $500 in Real Estate and REITs
Investing in real estate investment trusts (REITs) is a great way to diversify your portfolio, even with just a small amount of money to invest.
REITs own or finance income-generating real estate properties and are designed to provide investors with a portfolio of real estate assets, such as commercial properties, residential properties, medical buildings, and retail locations. Real estate investment trusts are a great way for investors to access real estate returns without owning physical property. Money invested is used to purchase properties that generate income. To maximize their return on investment, savvy investors should always research the market and consult with experienced professionals when making real estate investments. By law, REITs are required to pay most of their profits to investors as dividends.
In real estate crowdfunding, your funds are pooled together with others to help real estate investors purchase or develop a property. Real estate can be an attractive option for investors who are looking for a way to increase their income without taking on too much risk. Through this process, investors can invest in real estate. This method of investing in real estate is attractive to investors.
We recommend investing with Fundrise, as there is a $10 minimum “Starter” investment option and a low 1% annual account management fee.
9. Fund an IRA
It is a good time to start contributing to a retirement account if you are not currently doing so. Don’t let past decisions stop you from planning for your future, it’s never too late to start saving for retirement. It is free money from your job and a tax-free contribution from you if you have a 401(k) plan through your employer. Contributions to a 401(k) are a great way to save for retirement, but it is also a smart way to reduce your current income.
An individual retirement account is a good alternative if you don’t have a 401(k) plan. If you don’t have access to a 401(k) plan, an IRA is a great way to build up your retirement funds. There are two types of IRA investments—a traditional IRA and a Roth IRA.
You can make pre-tax contributions and get a tax break with a traditional IRA. Your IRA can grow tax-deferred until you start taking withdrawals. There is a 10% penalty on early withdrawals, with some exceptions. You will have to pay income taxes when you withdraw funds from your account. The amount of taxes you will have to pay on your withdrawals should be determined by a financial advisor.
Alternatively, Roth IRAs allow you to contribute money after taxes, which allows you to withdraw your earnings tax-free during retirement.
If you have an investment account, you can either manage the investments yourself or seek the help of a financial advisor to assist with investment decisions. It is important to consider the costs and fees associated with each investment account. Retirement accounts can include investments in peer-to-peer lending platforms.
10. Look into Alternative Investments
Alternative investment strategies are gaining in popularity. Diversification to a traditional portfolio and potential returns that are uncorrelated with the stock market can be offered by these strategies. These asset classes can not be easily converted into cash. They are not suitable for everyone’s investment portfolio. A few of the most common types of alternative investments include:
- Real Estate
- Fine Art
- Cryptocurrencies (or crypto)
- Precious Metals
- Hedge Funds
Diversification of your portfolio is helped by including these types of investments. Diversifying your portfolio can help protect you from losses in any one area. If you have assets unaffected by the movement of the stock market, you reduce the risk of volatile stocks affecting your portfolio.
Always choose an investment that makes sense to you in terms of the product or service offered and the potential risk involved, if you are considering one of these alternative assets. If you feel that you don’t have the experience or knowledge to make an informed decision, seek professional advice.
11. Start a Side Hustle
Wouldn’t it be great to turn your passion project into a business? If you take the initiative to turn your passion project into a business, you could make a lot of money. Using $500 to start a side hustle is a great way to dip your toes into entrepreneurship while investing in yourself. If you test out your business idea without taking on too much debt, you can discover if you can build a sustainable business that eventually pays for itself. Before making any significant financial investments, you should first test out your idea on a small scale.
Taking on a side hustle is beneficial. Skills that could be used in a full-time job can be developed. Gaining resources that can be used to support your future business ventures will allow you to network and build connections in your field. The knowledge of experienced professionals will help you gain insight into your industry.
A failing business and losing your investment are some of the risks of starting a sidehustle. Ensure that you have the knowledge and resources necessary for success by doing your research and starting small. It has the potential to bring in additional income and even turn into a full-time business. Before taking the plunge into entrepreneurship, it is important to research the marketplace and understand the competition.
Should You Invest $500?
$500 may seem like a small amount of money, but it can add up over time. Taking the first step is the most important part of getting started, even though it can be intimidating. The rest of the journey can be rewarding if you take the first step. If you are good at investing, you can add funds to your investments and watch your capital gains grow. Diversification and spreading the risk of investing is important as you grow your investment portfolio.
It is important for you to consider your risk tolerance level, investment timeline, and financial goals. Your financial situation is unique to you and you should choose what works for you. It is up to you to make the final decisions about your money.
Pros and Cons
It is important to consider the pros and cons of investing $500, which depends on your investment goals, risk tolerance, and current financial situation. Here are a few things to keep in mind before taking the plunge:
- It is best to start learning about it with a small amount of money. The stock market can be unpredictable and volatile, so it’s important to practice caution when investing.
- Even a small amount of money can grow in value over time if you have a long-term investment plan. It is wise to research investments and discuss them with a financial professional before committing any money because investing always involves some degree of risk.
- You have less to lose if you start small. It makes sense that you increase your risk taking capacity over time.
- You could lose as much as $500 more quickly if you invest. It’s important to remember that taking calculated risks can result in a greater reward than if you didn’t invest at all.
- Your potential gains will be smaller if you start small. The risk is smaller so you can still achieve success.
- It is unlikely that you will get a quick return on your investment. If you want to see sustainable growth and success, you should always invest in the long-term.
Frequently Asked Questions
What should I do before I start investing?
You should create an emergency fund with three to six months of living expenses and pay down your high-interest debt before you make your first investment.
You should determine your risk tolerance. It’s important to understand the risks associated with investing before you start; make sure you do your research and speak to a financial advisor if needed. Are you an aggressive, moderate, or conservative investor? Are you willing to take on more risk for the potential of higher returns? Determine your short- and long-term financial goals, which will guide you in your investments. Track your progress and create a financial plan in order to reach your goals.
Is it better to invest or build an emergency fund?
An emergency fund is money set aside to cover unforeseen expenses. In case of an emergency, it’s important that your emergency fund is easy to access. Financial advisors recommend that you have three to six months of living expenses in your emergency fund. It is important to replenish your emergency fund after you have used it.
You will be covered if you face unexpected circumstances, like job loss or a medical emergency. An emergency fund can be the difference between being able to cope with an unforeseen event and being forced into financial hardship. If you decide to build up your emergency fund before investing, keep it somewhere safe, like a money market or savings account.
Is it better to invest or save money?
Depending on your goals and risk tolerance, you will have to make a decision on whether to save or invest. Do you prefer to hold cash or make money from it?
Investing has the potential to produce higher returns than a savings account. Investing can help you reach your financial goals faster. If you are saving for a short-term goal, you should leave the money in a savings account. Short-term goals may require quick access to your funds, so a savings account is the most practical choice.
Is It Really Worth It to Invest $500?
You could set it aside to invest in your future self instead of spending money on coffee or magazine. It is possible to reap the benefits of researching and planning for your future financial security by investing in yourself. Saving for short-term and long-term goals will allow you to achieve financial freedom quicker than you think. Setting realistic goals and establishing a budget can help you reach them faster.
The stock market, real estate, retirement accounts, savings accounts, and more have the potential to grow over time with an initial investment of $500. Investing comes with a degree of risk, but once your money starts to grow, you can invest in a variety of different assets to spread out the risk and increase your chances of success. It is important to have a plan before investing.