How can a self-employed single mother begin investing with $100 to $700?

I am a self-employed single mother with six children. I am interested in beginning investing. Is it smart to invest with limited income, or is investing only recommended for people who are affluent? I can invest $100 to $700. Where should I start?

Investing
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March 2018

If you do choose to start investing with a small amount, my #1 piece of advice is to find an arrangement where you can buy stocks without commission.  On a modest initial investment such as what you are suggesting, even a $4.95 commission (what Schwab and Fidelity current charge for a stock trade) on a $100 investment puts you 5% in the hole on your investment before you even can get off the ground.  Terrible.  The only way it would make any sense for you to invest is if you could get free stock trading (zero commissions).  Take a look at Robinhood, which has a decent free stock trading offering.

When thinking about what to invest in, either buy stock in companies you know and understand or go with an index fund that is highly diversified, such as a Vanguard total market fund like ticker VTI.

If you have any debt, it is probably best to pay down debt before investing, since the guaranteed return from paying down your debt is probably better and safer than taking the risk of buying stock while you have loans hanging over your head.

March 2018
March 2018
March 2018
March 2018