Building wealth takes time and patience, but it also requires you to take real, actionable steps with your money. After all, you won’t get rich by keeping your extra cash under your mattress and hoping for the best. You have to invest your money if you want it to start growing to its full potential.
But, how do you do that if you only have $100 to get started? That’s not a lot of capital, but it’s definitely better than nothing.
Also know that most “regular people” who’ve built real wealth started with small sums, kept on investing, and watched as their money snowballed from there. Not only that, but the act of learning how to invest is often all it takes to change someone’s mindset about money, and to get them on a path to earning more cash in other ways.
Having $100 in the bank might not seem like a lot, but it may be all you need to change your future for the better. If you’re wondering how to invest $100, how to flip $100, and how to invest and make money daily, you’re in the right place.
Can $100 Really Make a Difference?
Learning how to invest can feel like you’re playing a game of “catch-up” at first, and that’s especially true when you only have small sums of cash to start the process. After all, we’ve all heard of people who have made millions of dollars investing in the right stocks, crypto, or non-fungible tokens (NFTs) at the right time, or coming up with an awesome business idea nobody had ever thought of before.
However, you really do have to change your mindset if you want to flip $100 and turn it into substantial sums of money. The reality is, there are plenty of situations where you could have turned $100 into thousands, tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands had you invested at the right time.
Don’t believe me? The chart below shows how much $100 would be worth today if you invested approximately 10 years ago:
|Company/Stock||Invested 10 Years Ago||Investment Value Today|
Investing $100 into Bitcoin a decade ago would have seemed crazy at the time, yet a single Bitcoin purchased in 2012 would have set you back just $5.29. If you were forward-thinking enough to get in the game early on, imagine how many Bitcoins you could have purchased and what they might be worth today.
Remember the 12-year-old who made NFTs and used them to build a crypto wallet worth over $1 million dollars? How about the teenager who made millions on Bitcoin after investing what he had at the time ($1,000) in 2011?
These stories are absolutely real, and they happened to real people who had the courage and foresight to create something or invest at just the right time.
Can You Really Become a Millionaire with $100?
If you don’t want to make risky bets that may or may not pay off, you can still become a millionaire by investing relatively small sums of money over time. The key to winning at this game is investing in assets that can provide a fairly steady return you can count on, and making sure your contributions are consistent and automatic.
For example, it’s totally possible to invest $100 per month into a combination of index funds, ETFs, and individual stocks and then turn the money into more than $1 million dollars over the long term.
You may have to wait decades to become a millionaire, but it’s still totally possible. The chart below shows how long you would have to invest and the type of return you’ll need to hit the $1 million mark during your lifetime.
|Monthly Investment||% Earned||10 Years||20 Years||30 Years||40 Years|
What Should You Do With $100?
What it really boils down to is this: How do you want to spend the $100 you have right now, as well as the hundreds (or thousands) of extra dollars you’ll have over the next few years?
For the most part, you have three main options to choose from. You can:
- Spend the money. Buy “stuff” you want, go out to eat at your favorite restaurants, and have a blast as long as you can. YOLO!
- Save your money. Stash your cash in your emergency fund, which is hopefully held in a high-yield savings account. You can also use your money to pay down debt.
- Invest for the future. With some discipline and forward-thinking, you can also begin investing your extra $100 or more for the future.
While you may have to give up a few things you want today to start investing $100 every single month, your future self will thank you. Not only that, but you’ll get used to stashing away $100 per month if you give it enough time, and you may not even miss the money at all.
Investing for Quick Profits vs. Long-Term Gains
As you decide how you want to invest your $100, you’ll also need to think about whether you want to invest for quick profits or for the long-term. The fact is, there are a ton of ways to flip $100 and turn it into a few hundred dollars or even $1,000 or more over a few days or a few weeks. However, you can also get in the habit of investing to build long-term wealth, which is a totally different ballgame.
Examples of how to flip $100 include:
- Searching for garage sale or thrift store finds you can sell at a profit
- Investing into high value sneakers you can flip
- Flipping sports cards after buying them for less than they’re worth
- Offering a service on social media, such as washing cars or painting
As you decide whether you want to flip $100 or invest for the long haul, it’s important to remember that time is money. For the most part, flipping items for profit requires you to exchange time for money, so this work isn’t passive at all.
Investing for the long haul is the opposite of that because it helps you build long-term wealth in a way that is totally passive. With the best passive investments, you don’t have to do any work outside of contributing more money to your account every month.
Examples of how to invest for the long-term include:
- Buying index funds, ETFs and other long-term investments aimed at long-term growth
- Pouring small sums of money (even as little as $1) into fractional shares of popular stocks
- Investing in crypto or NFTs and HODLing (holding on for dear life)
- Investing in real estate with the goal of creating long-term profits
How to Invest $100 Starting Today
Here’s a secret about investing most people don’t know:
It’s not really about how much you invest at first. What matters most is that you actually get started and do something.
Whether you’re trying to figure out how to invest $100, or you need to know how to invest $1,000 dollars, the key to getting ahead is making a decision and sticking with it.
Ready to invest $100? The ten strategies below are the perfect place to start.
1. Round Up Your Savings
Risk level: Low
Acorns is an app that automatically “rounds up” your change when you make a purchase so it can invest that money on your behalf. When you sign up for a plan, you can automatically grow your wealth and your savings. You can also even choose among professionally curated portfolios that might work better or worse based on your goals and risk preferences.
How It Works: Plans cost $3 or $5 per month depending on whether you want a personal plan or a family plan. Both plans automatically round up your purchases and invest your spare change, and they come with added benefits like checking and fee-free access at more than 55,000 ATMs nationwide.
Where to Get Started: To get started, open an account with Acorns and download the mobile app. Pick your plan and you can begin rounding up your purchases and investing the difference at a lightning-fast speed. The top-tier Personal and Family plans are an excellent place to stash your initial $100 investment. Learn more through my Acorns app review.
Who It’s Best For: Acorns is ideal for anyone who wants help saving money automatically, then investing that money into expertly chosen investments.
|Acorns Pros||Acorns Cons|
|Plans start at just $3 per month||No free plans available|
|Family plans let you get your kids involved in saving and investing||Even $3 per month is expensive if you have a low starting balance|
|Money is invested on your behalf|
2. Dabble in Fractional Shares
Risk level: Varies
Fractional shares are nothing more than a “fraction” or a “slice” of an individual stock. As a result, this type of investing lets you use $100 to buy stocks and other investments you couldn’t otherwise afford. You can also diversify your $100 investment across many different stocks and other assets that would work well in your portfolio.
How It Works: With Robinhood, you can buy stock in a company even if you don’t have enough money to buy an entire share. It’s called fractional share investing. Instead of buying one share of a $100 stock, you could invest $10 in 10 different stocks.
Where to Get Started: Robinhood makes it easy to open an account and get started. This platform even lets you invest into BTC, ETH, LTC, DOGE and other cryptocurrencies with 0% in fees and a minimum starting investment of just $1.
Who It’s Best For: Robinhood is a great option for investing in fractional shares since there are no commissions and no minimum balance required to get started. Fractional share investing can be a good option for any investor who wants to diversify as much as they can.
|Fractional Shares Pros||Fractional Shares Cons|
|Diversify your $100 across many different stocks||Some brokerage firms do not offer fractional share investing|
|Robinhood doesn’t charge investing commissions||Costs can add up quickly with brokerages that charge commissions for trades|
|Get a free stock for opening an account|
3. Invest in Real Estate
Risk level: Varies
Investors who poured their money into real estate have done incredibly well over the last decade and especially the last few years. In fact, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) just reported that the median price for a single-family home rose 15.7% nationally from May 2021 to May 2022. That’s a pretty sweet return for just a single year, and this rate of increase comes after a decade of rising prices among all types of housing across the board.
That said, the real estate industry has a fairly high barrier to entry since you need tens of thousands of dollars to begin buying up properties. That’s why I typically suggest investing in real estate through other means instead, including Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs).
How It Works: By investing in Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), you get exposure to real estate without having to buy individual properties or deal with the grunt work of being a landlord. Once you pick a fund and invest your money regularly, your investment balance can grow based on real estate profits that are realized over time.
Where to Get Started: Fundrise is my favorite platform for investing in Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs). However, this company specifically sells private equity REITs, or “eREITs,” which is a trademarked term. You can get started with Fundrise with as little as $10, and the starter account comes with auto-invest and dividend reinvestment features.
Who It’s Best For: Fundrise is best for individuals who want to invest in real estate without dealing with the hassles involved in buying individual properties. There are also many other popular REITs to choose from, including options from brokerage firms like Fidelity and Vanguard.
|Investing in Fundrise Pros||Investing in Fundrise Cons|
|Invest in real estate with Fundrise with as little as $10||Returns aren’t guaranteed|
|No need to deal with individual properties or landlord duties||Not as liquid as other investments|
|Strong potential for long-term growth|
4. Invest in Cryptocurrency
Risk level: High
Cryptocurrency is a term used to describe digital currency, like Bitcoin or Ethereum. Although crypto has been incredibly volatile, many experts believe the industry is still in its infancy, and that crypto will be adopted widely within the next few decades. For example, some industry analysts predict one Bitcoin will be worth $200,000 or more several years from now.
How It Works: There are many reputable platforms that let you invest in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. You can open an account and fund the crypto purchase of your choice in a matter of hours.
From there, you can buy more cryptocurrency, trade, or sell depending on your needs and goals. Currently, BlockFi lets you invest in BTC, ETH, LTC, and PAXG, as well as USD-based stablecoins like USDC, USDT, GUSD, and PAX.
Where to Get Started: BlockFi is an excellent choice for investing in cryptocurrency due to the fact there are no minimum balance requirements. This means you can go ahead and invest your initial $100 into cryptocurrency today, but you could also get started with $5, $10, or whatever you have.
Who It’s Best For: Investing in cryptocurrency is a good option for anyone who has a high tolerance for risk, as well as people who won’t need to withdraw their money right away. Check out this BlockFi review to see if it’s the right cryptocurrency platform for you.
|Investing in Crypto with BlockFi Pros||Investing in Crypto with BlockFi Cons|
|Get started with no minimum balance requirement||Cryptocurrency is very volatile|
|Invest in most major cryptocurrencies||You’ll need to do plenty of research on crypto before you invest|
|Mobile app makes buying, selling, and trading a breeze|
5. Buy Index Funds
Risk level: Moderate
An “index fund” is a type of mutual fund or exchange-traded fund that tracks the returns of a market index such as the S&P 500. This means you can invest in an index fund and receive roughly the same return as the market it tracks without any added work on your part.
Index funds are popular with long-term investors who are looking for ways to invest passively without having to worry about picking individual stocks. Plus, index funds have secured pretty good returns over the years. As an example, the S&P 500 index fund from Vanguard (VFIAX) is currently averaging a return of 8.17% over the last 15 years.
How It Works: Investing in index funds is about as easy as it gets. All you have to do is select one of the best online brokerage firms then open an account. Decide on the index you want to track, and invest in the fund that suits your needs.
Where to Get Started: I suggest investing in index funds with Betterment, mostly because this robo-advisor will work with you to help you achieve your long-term investing goals. You can set up an account in minutes, and Betterment offers added benefits like portfolio rebalancing, dividend reinvestment, and tax-loss harvesting.
Who It’s Best For: Index funds are ideal for investors who want a passive way to invest in the stock market so they can build wealth over time.
|Investing in Index Funds Pros||Investing in Index Funds Cons|
|Invest passively for long-term growth||Growth will be gradual and take time|
|Index funds typically come with lower fees than other investments||Unlikely to earn exceptional returns over the long haul|
|No need to pick individual stocks|
6. Collect Dividends
Risk level: Moderate
When I talk about collecting dividends, I am of course talking about investing in dividend stocks. This type of stock pays out a distribution of cash or stock to its shareholders regularly, so they are commonly used by investors who want to build streams of passive income.
For the most part, dividend stocks are offered by companies that have a long history of strong profits. However, there are also plenty of popular dividend-paying ETFs to choose from. Just remember that dividends aren’t necessarily guaranteed, and the expense ratios for dividend stocks, mutual funds, and ETFs can be higher than investment options without dividends.
How It Works: Like other stock market investing strategies, you can get started with dividend stocks by opening an online brokerage account. One of the best platforms for this type of investment is M1 Finance since it lets you invest in dividend stocks without any investment fees.
Where to Get Started: Open an account with M1 Finance since this company lets you invest without any fees. From there, you can build your own pie of investments with a selection of ETFs such as the Schwab US Dividend Equity ETF (SCHD), the Vanguard International High Dividend Yield ETF (VYMI), the Vanguard Dividend Appreciation ETF (VIG), and more.
|Collecting Dividends Pros||Collecting Dividends Cons|
|Invest passively for long-term growth||Earning dividends comes with tax consequences|
|Earn dividends with a broad range of stocks, ETFs and mutual funds||Expense ratios can be higher on dividend stocks|
|Opening an account and getting started is a breeze|
7. Enroll in a Course or Certification
Risk level: Low
There are thousands of different online courses you can take for less than $100, including ones that can help you expand your knowledge in any area you want. Whether you want to learn how to be a better writer, how to use Photoshop, or how to get paid to be a speaker — the options are endless!
How It Works: A variety of online platforms let you purchase online courses and certifications in almost any industry. Consider what skill can be useful in your professional or personal life. Perhaps a certification would help you get a promotion at your current job, or maybe a new skill would help you drop your 9-to-5 job and begin working in a brand new field.
Where to Get Started: MasterClass is my top pick for enrolling in courses and certifications. With this online platform, you can pay a small monthly fee ($15 to $23) and enroll in hundreds of courses in arts and entertainment, music, business, and more. Your initial $100 investment in this platform could currently pay for more than six months of unlimited learning.
Who It’s Best For: Online courses and certifications can be a good investment for anyone, but MasterClass in particular is a good choice if you don’t know exactly which courses you want to take. With a small monthly fee, you can take a bunch of different courses until you find the right fit.
|Masterclass Pros||Masterclass Cons|
|Take courses in nearly any field||Taking courses requires time and energy|
|Certifications and courses can help you learn new skills or get promoted in your career||Annual subscription required|
|Low monthly investment|
8. Open a Roth IRA
Risk level: Varies
A Roth IRA is a type of retirement account you can open in addition to other accounts you have like a workplace 401(k). This type of retirement account lets you invest with after-tax dollars, and your money grows tax-free until you are ready to access it. The best part is, you can withdraw your Roth IRA funds without paying income taxes once you’re at least 59 ½ years in age.
How It Works: You’ll need to open a Roth IRA on your own, which is easy to do with any number of online brokerage firms. Just keep in mind that income caps limit who can contribute, so it’s possible you may not be eligible if you have a high income.
Also, note that contribution limits apply. Most people can contribute up to $6,000 to a Roth IRA (and a traditional IRA, in total) in 2022, yet those ages 50 and older can contribute up to $7,000.
Who It’s Best For: A Roth IRA makes sense for anyone who wants to save money for retirement or other goals. Since this account lets you withdraw money without income taxes in retirement, it’s also a good choice for people who want access to tax-free money later in life.
|Roth IRA Pros||Roth IRA Cons|
|Build up tax-free income for retirement||You don’t get a tax advantage the year you contribute|
|You can withdraw contributions (not earnings) before retirement without penalty||Income caps limit who can use this account|
|Many top brokerage firms make it easy to open an account||Annual contribution limits are low|
9. Worthy Bonds
Risk level: Medium
Worthy is a company that offers bonds with a fixed interest rate of 5%. You only need $10 to get started, and interest compounds in your account on a daily basis. There are no hidden fees, and the money you invest is loaned out to businesses that can make a positive impact in your community.
How It Works: Opening an account with Worthy is easy, and there are no fees or penalties involved. Since each bond costs just $10, your initial investment of $100 can help you buy 10 bonds right off the bat.
Where to Get Started: Head to the Worthy website and select the option to open a new account. From there, you can buy as many bonds as you want in $10 increments. Interest will accrue daily in your account, and there are no fees involved.
Who It’s Best For: Worthy bonds are a great option for anyone who wants to earn a fixed rate of 5% on their savings.
|Worthy Bond Pros||Worthy Bond Cons|
|Earn a higher rate on your savings||Not FDIC-insured like a traditional savings account|
|No fees and the account minimum is only $10 to get started||Worthy Bonds was just founded in 2016, so the company doesn’t have a long history|
|Easy to open and fund an account online|
10. Open a High-Yield Savings Account
Risk level: Low
If you have $100 to your name but you don’t have any extra cash for emergency expenses, then your best bet, for now, is to save that money. However, you can easily earn a better rate of return with a high-yield savings account from an online bank.
This type of savings account works like other savings accounts from a traditional bank. Setting up an account is a breeze, and the biggest difference is that you can earn a higher interest rate on your deposits.
How It Works: The best online savings accounts from banks like Discover, CIT Bank, and Ally Bank offer exceptionally high-interest rates when compared to the national average of just 0.07%. Just make sure you compare accounts until you find an option with the perks you want and no hidden fees.
Where to Get Started: Discover offers excellent high-yield savings accounts with no minimum deposit requirement and no ongoing fees. You can also earn 5x the national average on your savings. That’s still not a lot, but earning something is still better than nothing.
Who It’s Best For: Everyone needs savings for emergencies and a rainy day.
|High-Yield Savings Pros||High-Yield Savings Cons|
|You can access your money quickly if you need it||You won’t earn a lot of interest|
|Build savings for emergencies||Some accounts require a minimum monthly deposit in order to get the highest rate|
|Many high-yield savings accounts come with no fees|
Your Investment Style
If you only have $100 to invest right now, you’ll want to be careful you’re investing in a way that aligns with your investment style. This style will probably depend on a whole host of factors, which may include:
- Whether you’ll need easy access to your money
- How much risk you want to take
- Your investment timeline
- How much research you want to do
If you want to invest for the long haul and you won’t need your $100 right away, then you may want to look into options like opening a Roth IRA, investing in cryptocurrency, or getting started with fractional shares. Each of these lets you grow your money over a long timeline, and potentially without a lot of fine print or hidden fees.
On the flip side, you may want a “safer” option if you need access to your $100 when emergencies come up. In that case, Worthy Bonds or a high-yield savings account might be a better choice.
Invest $100 to Make $1,000 a Day
Many people also wonder how they can invest $100 and turn it into $1,000 in income for every day of the year. While it will absolutely take time to build up $1,000 per day in passive income, keep in mind that $1,000 per day works out to $365,000 per year, and there are all kinds of people who have that kind of passive income coming in.
Generally speaking, you’ll need a $9 million dollar investment portfolio earning 4% to generate $360,000 per year (or a little less than $1,000 per day) in passive income. However, you’ll only need a portfolio of $6 million dollars to generate that much if your money is earning 6% per year.
If your portfolio is earning 9%, on the other hand, you only need a portfolio of $4 million to generate $360,000 in spending money every year.
Building that kind of portfolio may seem out of reach, particularly if you’re starting out with just $100. However, these examples still show the point I’m trying to make.
The sooner you start investing, the faster you can start working toward your goals. From there, finding a way to achieve higher annual returns can help you reach your goals at a lightning-fast speed.
Don’t Waste Your $100 on This
Finally, you’ll want to read this warning: Don’t fall for get-rich-quick schemes!
It’s absolutely crucial to avoid throwing your $100 (or more) away on something that won’t help you build wealth. Remember that there are always going to be people who promise you can get rich quick if you do this or that, but that their promises are totally empty the vast majority of the time.
Also try to remember the golden rule that applies to most aspects of our lives:
If something seems too good to be true, it probably is!
Some of the most common schemes to avoid include:
- Penny stocks (Remember the movie The Wolf of Wall Street?)
- Options trading
- Fly by night crypto meme coins
- Pyramid schemes
- Almost all MLMs (market-level marketing companies)
If someone is promising that you can turn your $100 into thousands of hundreds of thousands of dollars practically overnight, you should run from them, block them on your phone, or both right away.
Chances are good that whatever plan they’re suggesting will only benefit them (and not you).
The Bottom Line
There are many ways to invest $100, just as there are smart options if you have $1,000 to invest, $5,000 to get started, or $10,000 you are ready to devote to building wealth. Make sure you compare all of your options and only dive in once you know you’re ready.
Although $100 may not seem like a lot, imagine what you can accomplish if you began investing $20, $50 or even $100 per month. When it comes to building wealth, you really do have to start somewhere. Investing $100 is the first step to building the life you really want.