Found yourself holding a nice crispy Benjamin? Want to invest in your future, but not sure where to start?
I’m going to walk you through the 9 best ways to invest $100. While $100 doesn’t seem like a lot of money to start investing, it’s a great place to start. Every journey begins with one small step or something like that.
The list of investments below not only includes ways to invest in the stock market but also includes non-traditional ways to invest like peer-to-peer lending and investing in yourself through education. Depending on your situation, you may get a bigger return on your one-hundred dollar bill by spending it on yourself!
Here are some good ideas of how you can invest $100 to gain an immediate return.
1. Further your education with an online course
Furthering your education is one of the best investments you can make. Lifelong-learners have a tendency to make a higher income than those who don’t further their skills once in the work-force. Technology is moving at such a fast pace that many skills are becoming obsolete overnight. It’s important to acquire new knowledge to remain competitive and demand a higher wage.
One of the best ways to increase your knowledge is through online courses. Sites like Lynda and Udemy host thousands of different online courses on a variety of subjects.
Are you a web developer? Learn a new programming language!
Want to start a photography side hustle? Learn the basics of photography before you start.
2. Buy individual stocks with no fees
Starting to invest with $100 can be frustrating since most brokerages charge a transaction fee. This means every time you buy or sell stock, you’ll pay anywhere between $9 and $50 to make that trade. This kind of fee will wipe out ANY profit you make by investing your $100.
Luckily, there are ways to invest without paying transaction fees. Robinhood is a zero-commission trading app for iOS, Android, and the web. All you have to do is sign up, link your bank account with the $100, and start buying stocks. Unlike some brokerages that require $1000 to open an account, Robinhood doesn’t have an account minimum.
Watch this video to learn more about the Robinhood app.
This is a great way to get started investing in the stock market without losing all your gains to fees.
3. Invest with Stash
Stash is another app that allows you to start investing with a small amount of money. You only need $5 dollars and 2 minutes to get started on your path to financial independence.
When you sign up, Stash will ask you a few questions about your risk tolerance and what you’re interested in and then builds an investment profile around that. For example, they offer an investment profile called “the activist” which is focused on investing in companies that bring up positive social and technological change – like green energy companies. This is great if you want your money to make you more money AND make a positive difference in the world.
4. Pay off your debt
Paying off your debt faster is a great investment. Interest rates on credit card debt averages around 14%.
You’ll be hard-pressed to make a 14% ROI by investing in index funds. By putting your $100 bill towards your credit card debt, you’re saving yourself $14 of interest.
That’s an immediate return on your investment!
5. Get a gym membership
Investing in your health has a huge impact on your life. What’s the point of being retired if you can’t walk up the stairs without needing a 5-minute break once you reach the top?
But investing in your health isn’t just about being able to walk up the stairs. Being fit and healthy can save you thousands in health care costs during your lifetime. The first step to becoming healthier is to eat well and exercise.
Most gym memberships cost well under $100 so take some time to learn what you want out of a gym and find the best gym for you.
6. Become a lender
If you’ve ever wanted to switch roles with your mortgage lender, you can do so by lending money to your peers.
Prosper allows you to lend money to other people through peer-to-peer lending – also known as P2P lending.
Here’s how it works: When someone needs a personal loan, they can apply for that loan through Prosper. You can sort through the loans and choose which ones you want to fund. You can invest anywhere between $25 to the whole amount of the loan. It’s best to diversify your investments though. With $100 you can invest $25 in four different loans. Your return on investment will include the repayments of principal and interest on the loan. Return on investment can range between 4% and 10% annually depending on a few factors.
P2P lending can be a great investment vehicle and also a great way to help people who are in need of loans.
7. Buy a book
Earlier we discussed the importance of furthering your education by taking online courses.
The original way to gain knowledge is by reading books. Self-help and non-fiction books can provide you with knowledge that will save you from making costly mistakes. Reading one personal finance can change your whole outlook on money and can be the difference between savings hundreds and saving thousands of dollars a year.
A $14 dollar book can give you thousands of dollars worth of knowledge.
Some of my favorite personal finance books include Rich Dad Poor Dad, the Millionaire Next Door, and Your Money or Your Life. All three of these books have made a huge impact on my money-management philosophy.
8. Start a Side Hustle
Out of all the options on this list, building a second income stream has the potential for the biggest return on your $100 investment.
There are tons of side hustles that can be started with $100 or less. If you own a car, you can start driving for Uber or Lyft. If you enjoy writing, take some freelance writing gigs on the weekends.
My favorite side hustle is blogging. $100 is more than enough money to buy hosting and get a blog launched. You’ll even have some money left over to invest in a good book or two.
9. Let a robot invest for you
Betterment is a great way to invest your $100. They treat you the same whether you invest $100 or $100,000.
Betterment is a ‘robo-advisor’ which basically means they’ll personalize your investing based on a complex algorithm. When you sign up they ask you a bunch of questions – like your risk tolerance. The “robot” then creates a custom portfolio for you based on your answers.
We’ve come a far way from having to meet with a financial advisor in person and paying for their advice.
Join Betterment to get your own personalized investment portfolio.
Those were 9 great tips on what to do with $100. Whether you invest in yourself or the markets, $100 can go a long way.
What would you invest in with $100? I’d love to hear your answer in the comments below!