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No. of Recommendations: 2
Hi Sunshine,

I've been a member of MF only since 12/05 and I don't know very much. I've been reading and trying to learn. I'm 46 and have very little money to invest. I actually took on a second job so I could start investing more. I understand your position and wanted to make some suggestions since I've been there.

I don't know if where you work has a 401K plan. But if it does, I highly recommend you get into it. I believe a 401K should be the foundation of a retirement plan especially if your employer matches a percentage of your contributions. My company matches 3% plus an annual profit sharing contribution. So, I view this as already having earned 3+% on my contributions. Since the money is taken out before you get it, you really don't miss it and it might even lower your taxes. Another benefit is it grows tax deferred. You might want to check out the Rule Your Retirement boards and related readings.

Mutual funds are also great for someone who has little to invest. Of course, a lot of the funds require a lump sum to open which could be a problem. You also want to be careful about how much the fund charges. Check out Champion Funds boards and related readings.

Another suggestion is get into a DRIP. I've been investing $50 a month into DRE for about 4 years now. I've been very happy with its performance. I'm going to stop the $50 because the dividends are large enough now to purchase between 1 to 2 shares each quarter. Also, the stock price has risen so much that I feel the $50 would be better allocated into a new DRIP. (Asset allocation is highly recommended.) You also have dollar cost averaging by investing a smaller amount monthly.
Check out http://aolboards.fool.com/Messages.asp?bid=100090 for info on DRIPs.

My goal on some of the stocks I own is to have enough shares so that the dividends will purchase at least 1 share each quarter. I do this because of the importance of asset allocation and having very little money to invest. I purchased DRE through American Stock Transfer & Trust (http://www.amstock.com/main/) because at the time I felt it was a strong company with a lot of growth potential. Also, it had a minimal purchase to start and the company pays the commissions. That's something else I look for – inexpensive stock and minimal or company paid fees.

I purchase some stocks through Sharebuilder (http://www.sharebuilder.com/sharebuilder/Index.asp) and try to purchase at least $200 at a time. That makes the $4 fee equal 2% per transaction which is the percentage MF recommends. This can be very frustrating because while I'm saving up the money for a purchase, I miss out sometimes on a lower stock price. Other times, it's been to my benefit because the stock price dips and I actually get it at a better value.

David gave you very good advice about picking blue chip and dividend paying stocks. MF has 10 Monster Stocks Blue Chips Report that if you have the money could be very helpful to you. http://www.fool.com/shop/reports/23/index.htm?source=ibcsittps4150004&vstest=mainpage-ft-bottom_062606_test

I'm slowly purchasing shares in Cedar Fair (FUN) which in an Income Investor pick. I've purchased some Cherokee (CHKE) but I think its expensive now so I'm not buying at this time.

Good Luck and I hope this helps.

I'll post again if I think of anything else.

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