Finder makes money from featured partners, but editorial opinions are our own. Advertiser Disclosure

How much money do I need to start investing?

Learn about your options and what you can expect to put down at the outset.

Contrary to what many think, you don’t need to be wealthy to start investing. More and more every day, people are taking responsibility for their own investments. And in today’s online world, it’s more accessible than ever.

How much do I need to start investing?

A few dollars and a few days’ wait is all it takes to get started with many beginner-friendly investment accounts. There are a handful of robo-advisors and brokerage accounts you can open for as little as $1 and offer fractional shares. This means you can buy a $10 piece of Amazon stock instead of paying $2,000 for a full share.

The biggest obstacle is often the wait time for the brokerage or adviser to verify your identity and for the bank to transfer your initial deposit. Though some brokerages like Robinhood have begun allowing instant deposits that enable you to invest around $1,000 immediately while your deposit is processed.

Almost any robo-advisor or brokerage account will accept recurring bank transfers that build your portfolio gradually every week or month.

Beware the investment fees

  • Although some companies allow small investments, some charge a flat rate. Acorns, for example, bills you at least $1 a month. Until you have several hundred dollars invested, the fee likely amounts to more than you’d make from your investment. It helps to have at least a small lump sum to start off with.
  • Several robo-advisors charge a percentage of the total amount you have invested with them annually, often between 0.25% and 1%.

What investment options do I have?

Regardless of whether you opt for a robo-advisor or brokerage account, there are two things to think about when getting started: your actual investments and the kind of account you’ll keep them in. Accounts offer different benefits.

Account types

  • Employer-sponsored retirement plans: 401(k)s, pensions, 403(b)s, 457 plans, SIMPLE plans and SEPs are all set up by your employer. To set this up you usually fill out some paperwork, decide the percentage of your paycheck you’ll contribute to the account and choose a portfolio. There’s usually a cap on the amount you can contribute annually, and many employers match your contributions up to a certain percentage — often 3% of your paycheck.
  • Individual retirement account (IRA): Like other retirement plans, there’s an annual contribution limit for IRAs, but you can contribute as little as you want — and you’ll get a tax deduction for qualified IRA contributions.
  • Taxable investment account: This is an investment account offered by a brokerage, like Robinhood or Chase. Once you open the account, you can typically deposit or withdraw any amount.

What to invest in

The second thing to consider is what to invest in. In general, here’s what you’ll find:

  • Stocks or ETFs: If the brokerage account you choose allows fractional investing and charges no commissions on trades, you could buy any amount of individual stocks or exchange-traded funds that hold a basket of stocks or other assets. If not, you’ll need enough money for at least one share plus any commission or fee.
  • Robo-advisors: Because they’re investing your money into a predefined portfolio, you simply deposit any amount of money and it’s invested for you.
  • Options: You’ll have to have enough cash in your account to cover the premium for at least one contract of 100 shares, plus any commission or fee.

But there are exceptions. Some mutual funds or ETFs may have minimum investments, so your choices might be limited if you have very little to invest.

How often should I be investing?

This, too, depends on your investment goals and strategy.

  • Long term: Investors with long-term or retirement goals often contribute regularly either through a portion of their paycheck or an automatic bank transfer. The strategy here is known as dollar-cost averaging. By spreading out your contributions, you’ll be investing at both low prices and high prices, which averages out over time. The key is to contribute regularly — start small and increase your contribution when you can.
  • Medium term: Investors with multi-year time horizons can still start small and contribute regularly to their account, though they may decide to either invest that amount immediately or wait for a good time and invest whatever cash is accumulated.
  • Short term: Short-term investors or traders generally monitor trade opportunities closely and want to have enough money in their account to take advantage of those opportunities.

Compare trading platforms

1 - 7 of 7
Name Product Asset types Stock trade fee Minimum deposit Signup bonus
SoFi Invest
Stocks, ETFs, Cryptocurrency
$10 - $100
when you open an account and place a first crypto trade of $50 - $5,000+
A free way to invest in most equities.
Stocks, ETFs, Cryptocurrency
8%-12% of your deposit
when you sign up and deposit at least $50. T&Cs apply.
Trade stocks in the app or online with $0 commissions. Not available in NY, NV, MN, TN, and HI.
Stocks, ETFs, Cryptocurrency
Receive a free stock slice worth between $3–$300
when you sign up for an account and deposit at least $20.
Commission-free trading in stocks and ETFs with a social networking twist.
Stocks, Options, ETFs, Cryptocurrency
$200 in US stocks
when you open and fund an account with min. $2,000 for 3+ mos.
Trade stocks, options, ETFs and futures on mobile or desktop with this advanced platform.
JPMorgan Self-Directed Investing
Stocks, Bonds, Options, Mutual funds, ETFs
$125 - $625
when you open and fund an account with $25,000 - $250,000+
Ally Invest Self-Directed Trading
Stocks, Bonds, Options, Mutual funds, ETFs
when you deposit or transfer $10,000–$24,900
500+ commission-free ETFs, some of the industry's lowest fees plus a cash bonus up to $3,000.
Stocks, Options, ETFs
Customize your trade platform or build your own Deep tools, charts and screens Analyzers to help you study before you trade

Compare up to 4 providers

*Signup bonus information updated weekly.

Disclaimer: The value of any investment can go up or down depending on news, trends and market conditions. We are not investment advisers, so do your own due diligence to understand the risks before you invest.

Bottom line

You can start investing with a little money — as little as a dollar in some cases. If you’re aware of the risks and don’t invest more than you can afford, you have the chance to start growing that portfolio sooner than you may have thought. Decide which approach to investing you want to take, then compare robo-advisors, stock trading platforms or other services.

More guides on Finder

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked provides guides and information on a range of products and services. Because our content is not financial advice, we suggest talking with a professional before you make any decision.

By submitting your comment or question, you agree to our Privacy and Cookies Policy and Terms of Use.

Questions and responses on are not provided, paid for or otherwise endorsed by any bank or brand. These banks and brands are not responsible for ensuring that comments are answered or accurate.
Go to site