What to Invest in with Under $5,000

Investment and fun are two words that rarely make an appearance in the same sentence.

Saving is seen as boring and investing is something your dad does, but with a little bit of knowledge, you can make some reasonable coin on money that you’re not touching anyway…right?

With the average income needed to afford a house in Sydney sitting around $154,482 a year before tax, it’s safe to say that a lot of us won’t be dipping into that market anytime soon.

Unless you’re the type of person that gets guac every time.

Settle down mate

So with the property market becoming an impenetrable fortress, lets explore other ways that you can make money with money.

If I had you at ‘Investment’, I admire your enthusiasm, but lets clear up a couple of things first.

Before throwing money into the mystical investment machine, you should clear any outstanding debt that you have. There’s not much point in investing if your profits are overshadowed by interest payments on your atrocious credit card.

GET OUT OF MY LIFE

Also, have some money stashed away in an emergency fund, as any savings tied up in stocks will not be easily accessible.

Now that we’ve taken care of housekeeping, lets take a look at some platforms.

Wrong platforms, pal


Stockspot


Stockspot are a fully automated online adviser and fund manager. They run a few questions by you on signup to determine which portfolio they will invest your money into on your behalf.

You can invest a minimum of $2,000 with them for no fees for twelve months, which is a pretty great deal considering most fat cats will charge you a small fortune for tinkering with your cash.

They reduce risk by spreading your money across a number of different financial assets, meaning you’re more likely to see steady growth over time.

Translation: If you give your savings to Stockspot, they will put it somewhere that’s best for you and the level of return you want from your investment, they’ll spread it out to make it safe and they’ll let you do it for free for the first year. Rad!


Going it on your own


Where Stockpot will make it easy for you to invest, using mainstream platforms like Commsec, Nabtrade or Etrade won’t give you the same level of security.

When starting out as a lone wolf trader, it’s best to put your money into the bigger, well known companies that you feel comfortable with. These are generally seen as lower risk investments and a good entry point for smaller investors.

If you’re feeling a little more risky, you could throw some money at a lesser known company that you feel may take off.

Make sure you do some research before letting go of your cash, or end up like Hans Moleman.

Pictured: Bad investment


Acorns


This little gem isn’t in Australia just yet, but it’s only around the corner.

Acorns is linked to your credit or debit card and will automatically round up your spending to a nominated amount, sending the spare change into your Acorns account.

From there, the app will invest that money according to your preferred portfolio, (moderate through to aggressive) making you money on what is essentially an automated piggy bank.

One less thing that your poor, overworked brain needs to worry about.


Invest in yourself


You and your skills are the most valuable asset at your disposal, unless you own a really nice watch or something. You can’t compete with that.

But for most of us, we are the determining factor in just how wealthy we’ll be, so why not invest in that?

Take a course, learn a new skill, start a business – all ways in which you can enrich your own life without relying on other people.