How to invest $1,000

Turn that stash of cash into even more money.

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Are you wondering how you can take $1,000 and turn it into even more money? Here are the five best ways to invest $1,000 today.

How to build a $1,000 investment portfolio

What should your portfolio look like? The answer is different for everyone, but it should be tied to your goals and how much or little risk you want to take.

Here’s an example of what a balanced portfolio might look like:

Investment typePercentage
CDs and bonds15% to 40%
Stocks, ETFs and mutual funds50% to 75%
Peer-to-peer lending, real estate and alternative investments0 to 25%

Before you invest $1,000

If you want to get the most out of your $1,000, consider the following before you invest it:

  • Pay off high-interest debt. If you have any debt accruing 10% or more interest, you’ll come out ahead if you pay this down before you invest.
  • Create an emergency fund. Prepare for the unexpected by keeping three months of expenses in a high-yield savings account.
  • Build a vacation fund. If you take vacations often, consider keeping the $1,000 in a high-yield savings account to pay for your next adventure.

Invest with a commission-free online trading platform

If you’re interested in picking stocks, there are several free trading platforms that let you start investing with as little as $0.

Pros

  • Choose from multiple accounts. You can invest using a retirement, taxable or employer-sponsored account.
  • Comprehensive range of investments. Most platforms offer exchange-traded funds (ETFs), low-cost index funds, stocks and more.
  • Free trades. You’ll keep more money in your pocket when you invest using a platform that doesn’t charge fees.

Cons

  • Risk varies. If you invest in an individual stock, it will have more risk than an ETF.
  • Requires research. You’ll need to research different stocks and analyze their performance to avoid losing money on risky investments.
  • Trading fees. Some platforms charge fees every time you buy and sell, so look for one that won’t eat up your profits.
Name Product Available asset types Stock trade fee Option trade fee Annual fee
Firstrade
Stocks
Options
Mutual funds
ETFs
$0
$0 + $0/contract
0%
Firstrade customizable trading platforms let you manage your account and trade from your desktop, iPad or mobile phone.
Webull
Stocks
Options
ETFs
$0
$0
0%
Margin financing rates start at 3.99%. No monthly subscription fees for margin.

Compare up to 4 providers

Invest in peer-to-peer lending

Lend your money to other individuals in need through peer-to-peer (P2P) lending.

Pros

  • Lucrative returns. The average investor earns 6% interest with P2P lending.
  • Steady cash flow. You’ll receive steady monthly income as the borrower repays their loan.
  • You’re helping someone in need. Most P2P investors enjoy lending money to help someone who needs it more than they do.

Cons

  • Risk of default. There’s a chance you could lose your money if someone defaults on their loan.
  • P2P lending is new. This industry has only been around since the Great Recession, so it’s hard to tell how it will do during the next economic downturn.
  • Unsecured loans. Borrowers don’t put up collateral for the loans, so there’s a slim chance you’ll get your money back if something happens.

Invest in a CD

CDs have three-month to five-year terms and provide a guaranteed return, but you can’t withdraw money before it matures.

Pros

  • Guaranteed returns. When you park your money in a CD, you earn a fixed-rate, guaranteed return.
  • Locked-in rates. You don’t have to worry about your rate of return fluctuating when you invest in a CD.
  • Good for short-term goals. CD terms range from three months to five years, making them a good investment option for short-term goals.

Cons

  • Penalty for early withdrawals. If you need to access your funds before the maturity date, you’ll pay a penalty.
  • Rates and fees vary by institution. Financial institutions set their own fees and minimum deposits, so you’ll need to shop around for the best rates.
  • Low interest rates. CDs offer guaranteed returns, but they typically produce lower returns than bonds, ETFs and stocks.
Name Product 1-year APY 18-month APY 2-year APY 3-year APY 5-year APY
CIT Bank Term CDs
1.86%
1.85%
1.4%
1.3%
1.7%
Radius Bank CDs
1.55%
1.6%
1.7%
1.85%
2.2%
BBVA CD
1.5%
1%
1%
Discover CDs
1.75%
1.75%
1.75%
1.8%
1.8%
Discover IRA CDs
1.75%
1.75%
1.75%
1.8%
1.8%
Barclays Online CDs
2%
2%
2%
2%
2.1%
Ally High Yield CDs
2%
2.05% on CDs of $25,000+

2% on CDs of $5,000 to $24,999

1.9% on CDs of $0 to $4,999
2.1% on CDs of $25,000+

2.05% on CDs of $5,000 to $24,999

1.95% on CDs of $0 to $4,999
2.15%

Compare up to 4 providers

Invest in a Roth IRA

If you’re looking to save for retirement, you can get a jump start by opening a Roth IRA.

Pros

  • Tax-free growth. You fund a Roth IRA with after-tax money, so your earnings and withdrawals are tax-free.
  • Use funds for qualifying expenses. You can withdraw funds before you’re 59-and-a-half years old for qualifying expenses, such as your first home or educational expenses.
  • No required minimum distributions. You don’t need to take out your money by 70-and-a-half because you pay taxes on them up front.

Cons

  • Low contribution limit. You can’t contribute more than $6,000 a year to a Roth IRA.
  • Income requirements. You may not qualify for a Roth IRA if you make more than $124,000 a year.
  • Self setup. Roth IRAs aren’t offered through your employer, so you’ll have to open this account yourself.

Invest with a robo-advisor

Want some guidance on how to invest? You may benefit from opening an account with a robo-advisor.

Pros

  • Affordable. Most robo advisors have minimal to no fees and minimum investment requirements.
  • Diversified investments. Robo-advisors use low-cost funds to keep your investments diversified.
  • Hands-off investing. Most robo-advisors maintain your portfolio by performing routine tax-loss harvesting and rebalancing.

Cons

  • Technology varies. Not all robo-advisors are as advanced as others.
  • Managed by a computer. If you prefer face-to-face discussions about investing, this may not be the best option.
  • Limited advice. Robo-advisors work based off an algorithm, so they don’t offer personalized investments.
Name Product Minimum deposit to open Available asset types Annual fee
Betterment
$0
Stocks
Mutual funds
ETFs
Real estate
0.25% on balances up to $99,999

0.4% on balances of $100,000+
Betterment's automatic investment site aims to improve your returns and support good financial habits with passive investing and financial planning support.
Streitwise
$1,000
Real estate
2%
Streitwise is an online real estate investing company that combines innovative technology and new federal regulations.
Ally Invest Managed Portfolios
$100
Stocks
Bonds
ETFs
Cash
0%
No advisory fees for automated investing that's professionally managed. Now with a Socially Responsible Investing portfolio option.
SoFi automated investing
$1
ETFs
0%
Put your money to work. Pay zero SoFi management fees.
Blooom
Stocks
$10 per month
After an analysis, Blooom will place the trades within your 401k, 403b, 401a, 457 or TSP plan account for a low flat fee.
Worthy
$10
Bonds
0%
Earn a 5% fixed return on bonds that support American small businesses.

Compare up to 4 providers

Bottom line

There are many ways you could invest $1,000. Set aside time to determine your goals, timeline and risk tolerance. Then do your homework and compare your investment options before jumping in.

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