10 Ways to invest in stocks while on a budget
The purpose of investing in stocks is centred around the accumulation of wealth while the investor is busy with life and to have money that works for the investor with minimal effort so that the benefits can be reaped at a later stage.
Money is put away in investments with the hope that it can be grown over time, but to achieve this, investors will need some capital to start off with and when preparing to invest in stocks, setting a budget is one of the crucial steps.
Buying stocks cannot be compared to purchasing items such as a home, or a car, there is no significant down payment involved but with constantly changing economies and financial markets, investors with small budgets may seem intimidated.
It may require that some investors take some time in saving up cash that can be put towards investing in stocks and it will take a considerable amount of discipline and patience, and despite a very tight budget, anyone can put capital towards stocks.
- Determine how much you currently have to invest
Traders will need to evaluate their finances in great detail to determine how much they can invest, keeping in mind different prices on stocks along with fees pertaining to brokers along with compensating for any losses incurred.
It is imperative for investors to consider whether they will be managing their own investments, or whether they will need someone to aid them in doing so.
Despite the prices on shares, investors will need to evaluate different brokers to determine which brokers cater for their budgetary limitations.
- Create a budget
Investors can create a budget along with a budget sheet to have a clearer idea of what they can put towards investment in addition to having a comprehensive layout of expenses.
The importance of this is to be able to see what funds can be put towards investment and if the investor is serious about investing, what can be done and where to minimize expenses in an effort to add onto existing capital.
- Every penny counts
To manage existing capital and to save towards larger investments over time, investors can consider opening an automatic savings account, which is offered by an array of banks and financial institutions.
While doing routine banking, the banking institution rounds every purchase made with a debit card to the nearest dollar, or currency equivalent, with the change being deposited into the savings account.
It may seem like an insignificant notion but keeping in mind that small amounts contribute to more substantial ones that can be added to the investor’s investment pool which can be used in the foreseeable future towards buying larger stocks.
- Conduct research on companies
A crucial step towards investment is to research companies to get an idea of their financial and stock performance, to determine whether it would be a good investment and whether the investor will get sufficient return on their investments.
By finding several companies that seem favourable to the investor, the investor can contact their investor relations department, or view their investor relations section on their website for e.g. MTN.
Through this, the investor can obtain information pertaining to sales, the company’s cash on hand, debt, the history on stock prices along with dividend pay-outs.
Working on a limited budget will mean that the investor cannot afford to make the wrong investment choice by choosing a company that offers little return on dividends.
- Companies that offer stocks below $100
When investing at stocks, to start off, the investor will have to work with the budget that they have while working on an investment pool that will allow them larger investments, or investments in larger companies.
Some popular companies that have stocks at $100 per share include, but is not limited to:
CVS Health Corporation (CVS) – $66.56
Ford Motor Co. (F) – $5.85
Express Scripts Holding Co. (ESRX) – $70.37
HP Inc. (HPQ) – $15.01
Newell Brands Inc. (NWL) – $13.58
Share prices indicated are as per the NASDAQ Stock Exchange on the date and at the time that this article was written.
- Get some professional help
Investors who are unsure about investing on a budget can consult professional stock and investment experts on how they can go about investing, which companies to start off with and how they can build towards a larger investment pool.
Being on a budget should not stop investors from buying stocks, it should be seen as an early lesson in managing funds with smaller capital so that investors will more efficiently manage their money as their capital increases.
- Making an initial investment
A lot of companies have an investment program in which investors can enrol once they have decided on a company with stocks that suit their budget, alternatively, investors can buy stocks by using a stockbroker.
Investors need to keep in mind that stockbrokers have their set fees with regards to minimum account deposits, fees pertaining to investments, deposit, withdrawals, and other fees.
When working on a budget, it may be more cost-effective to enrol in investment programs as they are still done through brokerages, but the company normally covers the brokerage and administrative fees for stock purchases.
- Consider investing in ETFs
Exchange traded funds, or ETFs, trade a lot more like stocks and it may seem a lot less intimidating to investors who are not yet quite prepared, skilled, or experienced enough to select several individual stocks on their own.
ETFs also provide investors with the chance to diversify their portfolio and mitigate risks simultaneously. Due to diversification, should the stock of one company within the ETF perform poorly, it will not affect the investor’s entire portfolio so significantly.
- Make use of Robo-Advisors
Robo-Advisors help to simplify investments along with providing more accessibility. It may help the investor who is investing on a budget cancel out unnecessary fees and minimize potential losses that they cannot compensate for with their limited capital.
Automated financial planning platforms are driven by algorithms with the benefit of extraordinarily little to no human contact. The companies behind Robo-Advisors work to collect the investor’s information, goals, and budget, and then offer advice.
Should the investor be happy with the offer and the parameters set based on their investment needs, the Robo-Advisor invests assets automatically while tracking the investments in the background, eliminating additional fees.
- Pay attention to your investment
Should the investor prefer to handle their own investment, it is necessary to track them. Any investments made in the stock market should be done with a long-term goal in mind, for a minimum of three years.
Over this course of time, investors will need to track the progress of their investment, monitor stock market conditions, and identify potential events that may impact on their investment so that they can take the necessary steps to avoid losses.
Should any events or circumstances indicate a direct impact on the investment, the investor will have to decide whether to keep their investment or sell it and invest somewhere else.
Despite working with financial constraints that limit the capital that can be invested, with little effort and some diligence, anyone can invest and be successful in doing so.
The importance is to get started, conduct research and not to settle for the first, best share that may present itself. The aim is to get a start on the investment, and to grow capital slowly and steadily, some of which can be used towards larger investments.