Once you’ve taken care of "the basics" (e.g., reduced household debt, purchased adequate insurance, and set aside an emergency reserve of at least 3 months’ expenses), you are ready to explore affordable investment options. This way, your money will earn a higher rate of return over time than a certificate of deposit or passbook savings account to help you achieve important financial goals. This unit will discuss investments that can be purchased for a thousand dollars or less and are suitable for beginning investors whose largest asset is their future earning ability.
Even saving $20 a week for retirement is much better than doing nothing. While this may not sound like a lot of money, over time it really adds up. At a 5% annual real rate of return, an investor would have $36,100 more than they would otherwise have in 20 years ($65,500 with a 10% return), according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute. In 30 years, the figures for 5% and 10% returns are $72,600 and $188,200, respectively, and, in 40 years, the figures are even more dramatic: $131,900 with a 5% return and $506,300 when $20 per week is invested to earn 10%. The take home message: small-dollar investments matter!