No. of Recommendations: 1
for now I'm planning on keeping it small, even if that means I suffer a bit short term. That $1000 I consider an investment in my financial education.

I want to start small, slow and conservative. In a year I hope to have learned enough to begin doing more.

Unfortunately, $1000 is too small to "learn by doing". It's like sitting down at a $100 ante poker table with $1000. Just (barely) enough to get you in, not enough to keep you from losing it all in the first few hands.

To invest in individual stocks & ETFs, the realistic bare-bones minimum is $5000 -- 5 positions of $1000 each. Even then, the friction -- commissions & bid/ask spread -- is going to take the bulk of any profits.

The fact that most mutual funds have a minimum initial amount of $3000 should tell you something.
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