I often receive questions from readers who don’t have much cash to get started investing. Or they saw their retirement funds get wiped out in 2008 and are still trying to start over. Or they just never invested much, and now they’re 5, 10, or 20 years from retirement, and they don’t think Social Security will be enough.
If you fall into any of the above categories, I can sympathize. I remember being a first-time investor. I remember buying my first shares of stock. I remember the overwhelming feeling of not entirely understanding this great big investment world out there.
When you’re holding a few hundred or a few thousand dollars in your hand, it feels like it’s not even worth trying.
But my job as a newsletter editor is to help all of my readers make good investment decisions – not just the folks with lots of money.
Helping people with very little money get started is probably the most difficult task I can tackle, and potentially the most rewarding. If I help some rich people become richer, they’ll be grateful – but if I can help someone with very little money become a successful investor, then they’ll be a life-long fan for sure.
So today, I’d like to talk about something a little different than your standard commodity investment topic for those folks who are just starting (or restarting) out – though I will be writing about an energy stock to consider buying now.
I’ll kick off the topic with a question I recently received from a reader, KR.
I only have $500-$800 to invest. I am 50 years old. I have not worked enough to have much hope for social security at retirement age and I don’t make enough to save enough to live on later.
What would you recommend to get started investing?
Is there any hope for a poor girl like me?
Thanks KR for writing.
I think KR’s friend is probably right. I generally avoid penny stocks – especially the ones trading on the pink sheets (.pk) or over the counter (.otcbb).
Sandstorm Gold (SNDXF.PK) could be one possible exception, but even then, I don’t plan on dipping my toe into Sandstorm until I know for sure that they’ll be uplisted.
The overwhelming majority of these companies go bust. Maybe 1 in 5,000 actually gets uplisted to a real stock exchange (like the NYSE or Nasdaq).
If your goal is to make enough to provide supplemental income in 15-20 years when you retire, then you probably don’t want to assume very much risk at all. And even non-fraudulent penny stocks with real earnings, real filings on real exchanges are risky!
So if you’re like KR and you’re looking for a responsible way to get started, I’d like to turn your attention to something you might already be familiar with: dividend reinvestment plans, or DRIPs.
Many companies on the S&P 500 (the 500 largest companies on the NYSE) have these plans available. The concept is simple. You buy at least one share, and then you can enroll in these plans. The company will reinvest any dividends into more shares. You can even own partial shares.
The problem I ran into when I first began researching DRIPs is that most of them do carry a fee. And while these fees are small, they tend to easily chip away at any gains you’re making when you first start out.
So I’ve put together a research report on three DRIPs that don’t charge any fees. Once you own one share, you’re set. You can also get enrolled to continually buy more shares every week, month, quarter or year.
I wrote this report for folks who are just getting started, and don’t have a lot of money but want to begin putting one foot in front of the other to really build wealth safely and reliably.
These DRIPs tend to be boring. But if you can only sock away a few hundred bucks every few months, I think they’re the best way to get started. After a few years, when you’re starting to see your dividends grow and your nest egg balloon – they won’t be so boring.
The three companies in this report are all yielding over 4% annually, which is pretty great considering that US Treasury bonds don’t come close – even 30-year bonds are yielding less.
All three companies are real companies listed on the NYSE, they’ve been around forever, and you probably already use their services, directly or indirectly. All three will be around for a long time, continuing to pay more and more dividends.
And all three let you set up a ZERO fee dividend reinvestment plan.
One company in this report is Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK).
It’s an energy company serving millions of American customers throughout the Midwest. It also has operations in South America.
More importantly, they’re selling for a pretty cheap valuation of just under 13 times trailing earnings AND they pay a healthy 5% dividend.
So if you’re interested in Duke’s DRIP, here’s what to do:
Buy shares direct from Duke Energy. You won’t pay any transaction fees to do so. Then, enroll in Duke Energy’s dividend reinvestment plan.
(Note: if you’re already a shareholder of Duke Energy, you can skip step one and go straight to step two.)
Duke Energy requires that you initially buy $250 worth of stock – without any fees added on, of course.
Call 1-800-488-3853 to speak with a representative from Duke Energy who will help get you started with their dividend reinvestment plan.
If you’re interested in learning about the other two DRIPs in my report, I encourage you to click here and take a trial subscription to High Yield Wealth – our $49 newsletter all about unique income opportunities.