Investing Starts Here

Investment - words

Q: How can a lower- or middle-income couple invest? We don’t have much money.

A: Investing doesn’t have to be a big bucks endeavor, and you don’t need a Ph.D. in Wall Street.

Let’s take one step today. In some ways, it’s wiser to get moving and establish even a super basic investment or retirement account—than to wait until you Know Everything.

None of this is set in stone. You can—and should!—change your mind as you learn more.

First, decide how much you can invest each month. How about $50? Making a monthly commitment enables you to open accounts that might otherwise have high minimum investment requirements.

Feeling confident? T. Rowe Price and TIAA-CREF allow you to open an IRA or investment account by setting up an automatic contribution of just $50 per month.

If you open a High Yield Investor checking account with Charles Schwab, you automatically get a brokerage account that allows you to start investing, and waives the minimums on most investments.

A tad nervous? Consider a “savings account IRA” with Sharebuilder, now a part of ING Direct. This hybrid account follows IRA rules (i.e. contributions are tax-deferred, and it’s hard to withdraw them before age 59 1/2 without a penalty)—BUT your account would be FDIC insured, like a regular savings account.

Investment IRAs (i.e. not FDIC insured) are available through ING’s investment arm, Sharebuilder. 

Best of all, Sharebuilder and ING have no minimums to open an account. You’re not even required to make regular contributions.

For now, as you get to know the world of investing, park your money virtually risk-free in a money market mutual fund. And revisit DailyWorth’s more detailed Investing 101: Why, What and How by personal finance expert Manisha Thakor.

How did you get started investing? What would you do differently, if you could do it over again?

Note: The companies referred to are based on our editorial research. They are not sponsored, i.e. paid, references, nor are we endorsing these companies or products.

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