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If your image of investing is saving thousands of dollars before hiring a financial adviser to help you invest, it’s time to shatter that image.
Not only can you invest with $100 or less, you can also do it from the comfort of your computer or smartphone.
"The internet has been a huge game-changer," said Erin Lowry, author of "Broke Millennial Takes On Investing: A Beginner's Guide to Leveling Up Your Money.". "You don’t have to have a lot of wealth accumulated in order to get in."
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Investing just $100 in companies like Apple or Amazon even 10 years ago would reap you thousands of dollars today.
When women, especially, do not invest, they lose out on potentially hundreds of thousands, or millions, of dollars, experts say.
"Women keep, on average, 71 cents out of every dollar of their wealth in cash, which, versus men, can cost women upwards of a million dollars over the course of their lives," said Sallie Krawcheck, a former Wall Street CEO and the co-founder of Ellevest, an investing platform for women. "That is life-changing money."
Here are five ways to start investing now with just $100.
1. Find a 'no minimum' fiduciary
A fiduciary is a financial adviser who has a legal duty to act in your best interest when it comes to your investments and portfolio.
Many fiduciaries, Ellevest included, will have a "no minimum" entry, meaning you can begin investing, in theory, with as little as a penny.
"Several times a week I will get an email from a woman, typically a young woman, who has put in $10, $100, $1,000, any amount," said Krawcheck. "If you’re nervous [about investing], start with $1 and then keep adding a little bit out of every paycheck. Just get started."
2. Use 'robo-advisors'
Robo-advisers empower you to invest without having to sit in-person with a financial adviser. Instead, you answer a series of questions online that will dictate how your money is invested.
Betterment offers a digital plan -- with no minimum balance and a fee of 0.25 percent per year -- that gives financial advice online, through email and through a mobile app.
Stash allows you to invest with a minimum of $5 and charges a $1 fee each month. The investments offered on the platform are hand-picked and a coach is available for advice on investments.
3. Try micro-investing
New platforms exist that let you get a piece of the investing pie and also invest in increments of just cents.
Acorns invests your spare change into micro-investments over time. If you buy a $7.50 salad, your charge will be rounded up to $8 and 50 cents will be invested.
Users on apps like Acorns should be sure to link it to a debit card, not a credit card, in order to avoid adding charges, and ultimately interest, on the credit card, experts say.
Stockpile is a digital platform that allows you to buy or give stock at a fraction of the price.
If a company is trading at $600 per share, for example, you can spend $60 to buy 0.1 shares of the company. There are minimal fees involved.
"You need to do the math on what the fee is and making sure you’re getting a return," said Lowry. "But most of the apps have a lot of instructional information."
4. Think saving and money market accounts
Investing is not just buying stocks but any way you can save money and make interest.
"A lot of people don’t think of investing that way, but if you’re putting money away, you’re investing in your retirement," said Lowry.
While savings accounts and money market accounts will typically earn you less interest than stocks, they are guaranteed to not lose you any money.
The accounts are typically held at a bank and insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).
Pro tip: Shop around and do your research to find a high-interest savings account.
5. Make your contribution automatic
Starting with $100 is great but ideally you want to keep adding to your initial investment.
Make it easy by setting up an automatic transfer from your bank account to your investment or savings account to make regular contributions each week or month.
"What I recommend is start where you are and try to make it a habit,” said Krawcheck, of Ellevest. “That is in my opinion the very smartest way to invest.”