Monthly Archives: April 2017

BFM BFM Editors #start #your #own #business #ideas

#business first


Editorial Team

Pamela Young is a strategic change consultant and has an extensive career in both consulting and executive management. She has lived and worked in many cultures including Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, the UK, continental Europe and the USA. Her cross-cultural experience adds richness to her insights and is generously shared with people wanting to become better leaders and know how to lead change to achieve sustainable diversity.

Mark Champman

Mark Chapman is Head of Tax with Taxpayers Australia, a not-for-profit organisation committed to a fairer and more transparent taxation system for every Australian taxpayer.

Andreas Costi

Andreas is responsible for the development and sales of Goal Group Ltd suite of products and services and the relationship management in Australia and New Zealand.

Allan McKeown

Allan McKeown is the CEO and Founder of Prosperity Advisers and has over 25 years experience providing taxation and wealth advice to a range of executive and high net wealth clients. Prosperity Advisers is a Chartered Accounting and Financial Planning Advisory firm with 120 staff and offices in Sydney, Newcastle and Brisbane.

San Diego Business Journal Homepage #registering #a #business

#business journal


    September 5, 2016 – Largest Employers September 12, 2016 – General Contractors September 19, 2016 – Banking Performance and Credit Unions / SBA Lenders September 26, 2016 – Manufacturing October 3, 2016 – Catering Companies / Restaurant Companies
    Click here to order the SDBJ 2016 Book of Lists
    September 5, 2016 – Legal / Cybersecurity September 12, 2016 – Construction / Contractors September 19, 2016 – Banking and Finance Update September 26, 2016 – Manufacturing: Made in San Diego October 3, 2016 – Technology / Cybersecurity
    Click here to go to the Special Report Section
    September 5, 2016 – Legal September 19, 2016 – Banking and Finance September 26, 2016 – Manufacturing
    Click here to download FREE SDBJ Supplements (pdfs)

Business First Greater Richmond #t #shirt #business

#business first


We re Here to Help Your Business

We identify your needs connect you with resources.

We have lots of resources available to help businesses. And if we can t help you directly, chances are we know who can. What can we do for you today?

  • Hiring workforce training
  • Financing
  • Real Estate
  • Operations planning management
  • Investment hiring incentives
  • Downsizing Management
  • and much more!

Free Confidential

because we re managed by a non-profit

Business First Greater Richmond is funded by public and private investors. Our confidential services are offered at no charge and we leave all the profit-making to you. When your business succeeds, we succeed.

A strong business community is the key to an amazing life in Greater Richmond.

Businesses are the backbone of our community. Strong businesses create a strong economy and improve everyone s quality of life. Our goal is to grow the regional economy by helping you prosper.

The Business First Visit

So you’ve decided to participate in a Business First visit. We’re looking forward to talking to you!

This is a great oppurtunity to voice your opinion, connect with resources that might help your business today, and form a lasting relationship with your local economic development department for any needs that may arise in the future.

Business First | Greater Richmond is a program supported by the Greater Richmond Partnership, Inc. in collaboration with the economic development offices of Chesterfield, Hanover, Henrico and the City of Richmond.

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Is a Home Business Right for You? Horizon Job Marketing #business #insights

#home business


Is a Home Business Right for You?

Every morning as people wake up and make the commute to work, many dream of the day when they will finally work for themselves. Every time the boss lets someone know that they must give up their weekend plans for the good of the company, people contemplate the benefits of being the owner of their own business.

Are you one of these people?

If you are, it is important to ask yourself some very important questions before you make the uncertain leap into self-employment.Many dream of the benefits of home business ownership, but few take into account the sacrifices that must be made to bring the dream to fruition. Please don t make this mistake yourself.

You must approach home business ownership with your eyes wide open. Ask yourself the important questions, and more importantly, answer your own questions openly and honestly.


Are you the type of person who relishes every chance to gather around the water cooler for social interaction? If so, then home business ownership may not be the right decision for you.Instead, if you feel that you can be quite content sitting alone at your desk; speaking only to clients and really minding your own home business, then you might have what it takes to succeed as a home business entrepreneur at IDLife .

If you feel at ease with your own company and don t need a dozen coworkers milling around your desk, then you, too, could savor the freedoms that will allow you and your family, to live the lifestyle you know you want and deserve.


Self-motivation is the key to success when you start a home-based business. You need to possess the ability to push yourself ahead. Your drive and determination will be reinforced with every new sale. The level of success that you will achieve greatly depends on the time and effort you are willing to plow into your new home business.

Your organization, planning and marketing skills, will all be put into practice when you embark on your liberating journey from employee, to being your own boss. In fact, you will be the wearer of many hats and gain a wealth of business experience along the way, when you finally make that commitment to work at home.

Finding the appropriate products or services to market should not be over-looked as well. You need to find what you are passionate about or the fun of working for yourself will turn into another job that you hate. Consider IDLife products as a potential outlet for your business or other recurring income opportunities.


You will now be the boss. Are you truly able to work independently? Do you have the drive; the tenacity, to persevere with your home based business? Will you be able to invest the necessary time to nurture it, to watch it grow and see it through, from germination to full, glorious bloom? When you re the boss, you are responsible for the success of your home business, from A to Z, from disappointments to victory.

When you work at home, it will empower you to achieve many things you were unable to do when you were stuck working for that tyrant boss. Remember him? He s the guy that wouldn t let you take time off when your baby was sick the same guy that called you in to work on Thanksgiving Day.

A home business means that you can take good care of your family and make money from home, simultaneously. You will have the best of both worlds! Just think no more dirty laundry piling up you can do it while you work. No more scurrying around at the last minute searching for a babysitter either. And no more worrying about getting fired; you ll be the boss!

Stay positive and focused on your home based business, even if, when sales aren t up to par, you get occasional negative remarks or derogatory comments from people with stuffy, dead-end jobs. Ignore their cutting words and bear in mind that success is the best revenge! Keep your admirable, positive attitude at the forefront and show them what you re made of!

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Online business ideas: what – s the best online business to start?

#online business


Get my 5-day email funnel that generated $400,000 from a single launch

Online business ideas: what s the best online business you could start?

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By the end of this post, you’ll know exactly what s the best kind of online business to start.

But first, I love how 2,000+ of you responded to my question, “What excites you about starting an online business?”

with a bunch of ME-FOCUSED responses. “I want ___, I need ___, I can’t wait for ____.”

What are you, a bunch of 14-year-old girls? Who else talks only about THEMSELVES and what THEY want?

Attention weirdos: What about your customers? It’s great that YOU want a flexible schedule, and freedom, and recurring revenue.

But do you notice how nobody said, “I’m really good at helping my friends with their relationship problems. I don’t want to just help people 1-on-1 I want to help THOUSANDS of people.”

Or “I love helping people get in shape. I want to help as many people get fit as possible.

Look, I m being tough because nobody else will. They’ll sell you the dreams of a 100% automated business based on your passion. That’s a lie. Your passion is important, but it won’t help you decide what idea to pursue, how much to charge, and how to SELL without being sleazy.

Oh, YOU want recurring revenue? Oh WOW! I’M SO IMPRESSED! I want to be in the NBA. I want to have a billion dollars. I want to have 10 houses around the world.

So what? Anyone can WANT something. Few will actually take action on it.

Few will learn how to dig deep into what their customers really want and put their needs first.

Few will build the systems required to turn your dream or passion into a real business that makes money.

No big deal, just revenue from a recent day

Do you want this? Do you want an online business that runs on systems not on your time?

OK, then it s time to get real.


What other “experts” teach:

Unlike other gurus who will tell you to follow your passion (then leave out step #2 and skip right to you somehow ending up living the dream lifestyle), I take a very different approach.

Yes, it’s important to create a business around something that interests you. But what separates a successful online business from everyone else is BUSINESS SYSTEMS.

How do you know which idea will be most profitable? How do you know if people will pay? How do you get traffic, and buyers and then set the business on autopilot?

I told Grace she had to wait. just like everyone else. I don t want starry-eyed dreamers joining my Zero to Launch course. I want you to know EXACTLY what it takes to start a successful online business. And if you’re ready to put in the work, I’ll show you the exact, step-by-step roadmap.

UPDATE: You can join the Zero To Launch waiting list for more detailed information, along with first access to the course when it s open.

(By the way, imagine what it would feel like to have an online business where customers beg you to let them pay you thousands of dollars BEFORE THEY EVEN KNOW WHAT’S IN YOUR COURSE.)

Hmm if only there were a way to learn how to do that

In true IWT fashion, I’ll give you the exact tactics you need to create a dependable, scalable online business including word-for-word scripts and conversion techniques you can use to quadruple your revenue.

In today’s post, I’ll show you the different ways you can start your first successful online business with my specific recommendation.

Which online business should you start?

Lots of options here. Should you start a drop-shipping company? Software? Etsy? Online courses?

How do you know which is best?

I could give you a bunch of theory, principles, and a long history of the relative pros and cons of each. Or I can just tell you the answer.

  • There are 6 main options for an online business
  • I have systematically tried them ALL, and I’ll tell you the straight truth about which is good and which is bad
  • As always, learn these rules. When you get more advanced, you can break them!

Your 6 options for starting an online business: Software (including apps), physical products, ads, affiliate marketing, coaching, and online courses.

What do you notice about this illustration?

  1. Using a simple framework lets you instantly see if a business model is attractive or unattractive (most people never do this)
  2. You don’t have to quit your job and raise millions in venture capital funding (which I’ve done as well and I can tell you I love IWT way more)
  3. Online courses and coaching are both very attractive. So how do we decide?

At this point, either model is great. I love coaching, and I’ve taught thousands of people how to become freelancers/consultants/coaches via my Earn1K course. It is the single-best way to start learning business skills.

But if you want to scale your business so you can create something once and profit for YEARS to come that’s where an online business comes in.

Specifically, online courses.

Which online courses could you create?

Here’s where it’s easy to get tripped up. “But Ramit,” people say, “I’m not an expert in personal finance or finding a dream job. I don’t know anything that people would pay for!”

Take a look at these 3 amazingly weird (yet successful) courses.

  • Toilet Trained Cat. Train cats to use the toilet. Revenue through books and courses.
  • The Ultimate Disney World Savings Guide. Take a vacation to Disneyworld for half the price. Revenue through ebooks.
  • Hear and Play. Play the piano without years of lessons and sheet music. Revenue through courses.

What are you good at? What do your friends call you for advice on? What kind of sites fashion, sports, marketing? do you read while you’re waiting to check out at the grocery store?

Notice how, at this point, we’re already jumping 50 questions ahead:

  • “But what if I’m not sure what I’m good at?”
  • “An online course? But I don’t have a website/traffic”
  • “What kind of software should I use for ”

Part of trusting the system is focusing on ONE step at a time, not jumping ahead. I have a proprietary process to show you how to identify what you’re ALREADY great at and what the market will pay for.

Am I going to teach you that right now? Not yet. You can join my course when I open it on March 30th.

For now, I want you to know that YES you have passions and experiences in you that people will pay for. Even if you’re not the world’s expert on them!

Let’s take a minute and celebrate. You already learned more in this post than in the last 3 months of reading blog after blog.

What I want you to do TODAY (updated)


I want to make it easy for you to learn which online business to start and how to grow it. I m revealing some of the real numbers and results from my business along with case studies and other premium material to my behind-the-scenes priority list for Zero to Launch (click here to join) .

UPDATE New Zero to Launch course reviews!

Check this out, several Zero to Launch students have posted detailed reviews of the Zero to Launch course on their own blogs. You can hear all about their experiences including pros and cons, and who the course is right for in their own words. I ll keep updating this list as more reviews come out:

Want to learn more about Zero to Launch and get instant access to more case studies? Join the Zero to Launch waitlist (takes 20 seconds).

Related Articles

It’s truly amazing how bad most career advice is. Pass out business cards! Use higher-quality resume paper! Tell them.

12 years ago, wise old Ramit wrote his first post on “5 steps to getting rich.” Here you go: Know.

Standard Business Card Dimension #business #card #printers

#business card dimensions


Standard Business Card Dimensions

Standard dimensions of business cards is a 3.5 x 2 inches, but in spite of small size,e nsure that graphics is sharp, it means that your designer has to prepare image resolution at least 300 dpi or better, to use the vector design, which can then be magnified to higher dimensions, without loss of quality.

Do not let your impression of your company being broken only
because apparently frivolous business cards.

Business cards are printed in different sizes, visual effects, methods of printing, prices and other details that differed from culture to culture.In general, business cards are printed in the stocksof 350 g / m² density, 45 kg (100 lb) weight. But the best quality business cards are prepared without full-color photos and business cards were usually printed using the so-called spot colors on sheed-fed offest printing processes.
For example, the process of the two colors is that it is enough that the logo on business cards is one color and the type of business cards and other colors. Of course, if necessary, add more of these spot colors.
Before digital printing was quite expensive, but now a lot cheaper and more effective, using modern technology business card printing in color has never been easier.
Monochrome card or cards on which there is more than one color, the printed sheet-fed processes, however, for the processes they use light blue, magenta, yellow and black, and it is called the process of printing with four colors.

As for the dimensions of the card we have certain standards in certain countries. In Italy, the Netherlands, Great Britain, France, Slovenia, Germany, Austria, Spain, Switzerland, Belgium and Ireland are using 85 55 (mm) dimensions or aspect ratio Aspect ratio is the so-called 1.545.
In Japan, the dimensions are 91 55 and Aspect ratio is 1655. In Hong Kong, China and Singapore have a 90 54 Aspect ratio is 1.667.
Australia, Norway, Vietnam, Sweden, Denmark, Taiwan and New Zealand have the dimensions of 90 55 Aspect Ratio and 1.636.
Finally, Croatia, Serbia, Finland, Israel, Kazakhstan, Russia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ukraine, Mexico, Argentina They have dimensions of 90 50, and aspect ratio 1.8.
These were the basic parameters for the listed countries, these dimensions are largely similar, but again everyone has their own standards.

Although business cards are now used less as the technology progresses, all usually give away CDs, USB sticks on which all relevant information about them and also their work, USB sticks and mini discs are convenient to them, plus it can also put a print so that is the reason why people are becoming more and more used. But again, the business card has its advantages, because its dimensions are designed to fit in a purse and everything inside pocket, so we believe it will never pass their time.

What Is Common Stock and What Is Preferred Stock? Stock Types and

#investing in stocks


What Is Common Stock and What Is Preferred Stock? Stock Types and Their Differences Explained

NEW YORK (TheStreet ) — When you step into the investing jungle, what will you find there? Lions (stocks) and tigers (bonds) and bears (cash), for sure. But they’re not as scary as you think.

These three are the main investment classes, but the one we’ll be tracking exclusively in this guide is the king of the jungle: stocks.

You may have heard stocks referred to as equities or securities. The reason they’re called equities is that you purchase an equity, or ownership, share of a company. Stock is also called a security for the same reason, because you’re securing a share of ownership in the company. That’s right; you’ll be a business owner just like you’ve always dreamed!

But, as you know from everyday life, there are terrifically run businesses and there are businesses that make you say, “I’ll never go back there again!” How do you know the difference before you buy the stock? That’s what this guided tour will be teaching you.

So when you buy stock, you become part owner of the company — maybe only a very small part, but still an owner. The size of the part you own, by the way, is irrelevant to your personal objectives.

We won’t cover bonds in this guide, but it’s important for you to know that they’re out there in the investing jungle. When you buy a bond, you don’t become part owner of a company — you’re the bank! You lend the company, or others, money. When companies, counties, municipalities or the U.S. government need to raise money, but not raise taxes or prices, they have bond offerings.

Bonds are loans, with a maturity date, and a percentage rate, promised to you, the Bank of I.O.U. The maturity date and set percentage rates can make bonds an attractive investment as part of a stabilizing influence in your investment portfolio. But you don’t want just bonds in your portfolio — over the long haul, stocks outperform bonds. If you want to purchase and own bonds, it’s very important to have quality bonds in your portfolio. If you want to continue to learn about bonds, see “Why Buy Bonds?”

When financial advisers suggest you diversify, or vary your investments, they’re advising you to spread out any potential risk, or decline, in your investment portfolio. Your investment portfolio is a collection of all of your investments, which could include assets from each of these three classes.

It’s like a nutritionist telling you to eat a little bit of each type of food to maximize your health. A balance of green vegetables, lean meats, dairy products and whole grain breads keep you physically and mentally healthy. Likewise, you want to invest your money in a variety of assets in your portfolio: stocks, bonds and cash products. Cash investments include products such as certificates of deposit (CDs) and money market mutual funds that keep you financially healthy.

Ready then? Get out your compass.

Top 10 Business Card Printing Services of 2016 #free #business #plans

#business card printing


Business Card Printing Reviews

Why Use Online Business Card Printing?

The top performers in our review are Elite Flyers. the Gold Award winner; Jukebox Print. the Silver Award winner; and 4Over4. the Bronze Award winner. Here’s more on choosing a service to meet your needs, along with detail on how we arrived at our ranking of 10 services.

While everything is going digital these days, a good business card is still a viable way to get your business noticed. The more flashy, innovative and creative your card, the less likely it is to be tossed into the proverbial pile of business cards and forgotten. While there are many business card printing services to choose from, the companies we reviewed stand out with their large selection of design tools, superior quality, and various printing and finishing options that help you create a custom business card that stands out from the rest.

In addition to business card printing services, be sure to check out our reviews on business card scanners that you can use to scan cards to a desktop program for easy access later on. While all of the business card printing services on our lineup offer other promotional business items and office supplies, our review of online printing services delves into more detail about the quality and vast selection of promotional items you can purchase from these companies. For more information about these companies, read our articles on business card printing services and other business-oriented services.

While both offset printing and digital printing create quality products, a good rule of thumb to remember is that offset printing is preferable for specialty colors and for applying certain finishes, such as gloss and ultraviolet (UV) varnishes. Digital printing is a good option for small projects.

Using an online design tool, you can either create your own business card designs, use a pre-designed business card template or choose from a variety of themed business cards to use as your own. After you have created a card that represents your business, you can view a proof of what the finalized cards will look like and then order them from the printer. Each service offers a variety of paper types, finishes and printing options.

Business Card Printing: What We Evaluated, What We Found

When choosing an online business card printing service, consider the service’s printing process, design tools and selection. These features greatly influence the quality of both the service and the product you will receive.

Print Quality
For our evaluation, we compared sample business cards from each of the services on our lineup, noting the quality of the ink, paper strength, finish and selection available from each company.

All of the companies sent a variety of business cards, ranging in paper type, weight and finish. Some even sent samples of other print materials. We evaluated a standard cardstock business card with a high-gloss finish. We assessed the ink quality of those cards, awarding business cards with deep and vivid colors a higher score.

The best business cards have finishes that make them stand out, such as gloss, UV spot finishing and foil stamping. We looked at a standard business card printed on 14-point cardstock with gloss coating and awarded the services that offered the most durable, shiny and high-quality images a higher print-quality score.

While our top-rated business card services offered the best quality, the difference in the quality of the ink, paper or finish from one company to the next was minimal.

Quality of Service
To determine our overall quality of service score, we evaluated how easy it was to navigate the company’s website, the online design tools it offers as well as customer service before, during and after our cards were shipped.

Most of the websites are easy to navigate and offer several business card designs you can browse through. However, we found that some services do not display any designs on their website. Instead, you have to open the design tool and browse through stock images or designs to see what types of business cards you can create. These services also typically charge an additional fee to use those designs and stock images.

Each service has an online design tool you can use to either design your own business card or personalize a pre-existing one. However, our top-rated business card services, such as GotPrint. offer superior design tools with advanced features that help you make high-quality business cards.

If you prefer using your own design program, each of the business card services on our lineup give you the option of uploading your finished project for printing. Each service has its own file formats it accepts. These requirements can be found on our matrix, on the service’s website or by contacting its support personnel.

When reviewing online business card companies, we considered the turnaround time, or how long it takes for your cards to arrive after you place your order. Most companies offer a 24-hour turnaround time for rush orders. However, orders generally take a few days to ensure every detail of your card is perfect before it goes to press.

We awarded companies that sent confirmation emails about our order and shipping details a higher score, since this was not standard. There were several companies we had to contact for updates about our order since they did not send out confirmation or shipping emails. Some orders took several weeks to arrive.

Our hands-on testing is designed to simulate typical, real-world experiences with business card printing services. For our tests, we evaluated the sample business cards each company offers and used the design tool to customize others. The companies had no input on our testing methodology, and our rankings are not shared with them prior to publication.

What Else Is Important in Selecting a Business Card Printing Service?

In addition to the quality of the service, the final product and the turnaround time, you should consider the selection of cards each service offers. While some companies offer cards with vivid colors, it’s not enough to compensate if they do not offer a variety of paper types, shapes, finishes or card features.

We looked at the selection each service offers, including paper type, finishes, shapes, paper weight and whether the service offers specialty cards. With most services, you can choose from a variety of materials linen, cardstock, magnet and plastic. Some online business card companies, specifically MOO. have custom services to print on specialty materials, such as metal and even food items.

Finishing Options
While the type of material you print your business card onto makes a big difference in distinguishing your card from the mundane, each service also offers finishes you can apply to your card to help it stand out. We found that spot UV coating helped emphasize logos and made the business cards pop. Our award-winning services, as well as MOO and Vistaprint. offer several finishing options to bring your designs to life.

Paper Weight
Business cards need to hold up to everyday wear and tear. Lighter-weight cardstocks can be flimsy and fall apart easily. Using a heavier cardstock not only makes your business cards more durable, it sets them apart from the standard card. The best business card services give you several weights you can choose from. In addition, they offer specialty shapes so you can create round, square and oval business cards.

Our Verdict Recommendations

We found minimal differences between the quality of the business cards we reviewed. However, there was a significant disparity in the usability of the design tools, card selection and customer service between the best business card printing services and average services.

Elite Flyers exceeds other printing services both in the quality of business cards it offers and its customer service. It offers a wide selection of paper types and finishes to make your business card stand out. It has an easy-to-use design tool so you can either create your own design or customize a pre-designed template. We found the service not only processed and shipped our order quickly, but they were helpful with any questions we had.

Jukebox Print and 4Over4 offer a large selection of high-quality business cards. You can select from a variety of paper types, finishes and even specialty shapes to help you create a unique business card. Both services’ design tools are easy to use and allow for advanced customization.

GotPrint serves as an affordable option. Not only is this service more affordable than all of the other printing services, it offers a good selection of paper types, finishes and shapes. We found the service offers high-quality prints and helpful customer service.

Contributing Reviewer: Jessica Stone

How to Start Investing in Stocks with Only $1, 000 #business #valuations

#investing in stocks


Start Investing With Only $1,000

So you have a $1,000 set aside, and you’re ready to enter the world of stock investing. But before you jump head first into the world of stocks and bonds, there are a few things you need to consider. One of the biggest considerations for investors with a minimal amount of funds is not only what to invest in but also how to go about investing. Not long into your investment journey you may find yourself bombarded with minimum deposit restrictions, commissions and the need for diversification, among a myriad of other considerations. In this article, we’ll walk you through getting started as an investor and show you how to maximize your returns by minimizing your costs.

More from Investopedia:

What are the account minimums?
To the inexperienced investor, investing may seem simple enough – all you need to do is go to a brokerage firm and open up an account, right? What you may not know, however, is that all financial institutions have minimum deposit requirements. In other words, they won’t accept your account application unless you deposit a certain amount of money. With a sum as small as $1,000, some firms won’t allow you to open an account.

Stock brokers come in two flavors: full-service and discount. As the name implies, a full-service broker provides much more in the way of service, but it only deals with higher net worth clients. It’s not unusual to see minimum account sizes of $50,000 and up at full-service brokerages.

This leaves the $1,000-investor with the option of a discount broker. Discount brokers have considerably lower fees, but don’t expect much in the way of hand-holding. Fees are low because you are in charge of all investment decisions � you can’t call up and ask for investment advice. With $1,000, you are right on the cusp in terms of the minimum deposit. There will be some discount brokers that will take you and others that won’t. You’ll have to shop around.

You also could purchase shares directly from a company through direct stock purchase plans (DSPPs). But some of these plans have a minimum investment amount restriction, which ranges between $100 and $500.

With the advent of online trading, there are a number of discount brokers with no (or very low) minimum deposit restrictions. One of the most popular online trading sites is ShareBuilder. You will, however, be faced with other restrictions and see higher fees for certain types of trades. This is something an investor with a $1,000 starting balance should take into account if he or she wants to invest in stocks.

Mutual Funds and Bonds
If mutual funds or bonds are investments you would like to make, it is simpler in terms of minimum deposit amounts. Both of these can be purchased through brokerage firms, where similar deposit rules apply as stocks. Mutual funds also can be purchased through your local bank, often for less than $1,000 when you have an existing relationship with the bank.

If you want to purchase government bonds, this can be done straight from the government through TreasuryDirect. The only restriction here is the minimum purchase amount of a bond, which can range from $100 to $1,000.

Learn the Costs of Investing

Before you open an investment account, you must also consider the costs that you will incur from purchasing investments once the account is open. In most cases, every time you purchase an investment, it will cost you money (through commissions). With a limited amount of funds, these transaction fees can really put a dent on your $1,000.

Investing in stocks can be very costly if you trade constantly, especially with a minimum amount of money available to invest. Every time that you trade stock, either buying or selling, you will incur a trading fee. Trading fees range from the low end of $10 per trade, but can be as high as $30 for some discount brokers. Remember, a trade is an order to purchase shares in one company – if you want to purchase five different stocks at the same time, this is seen as five separate trades and you will be charged for each one.

Now, imagine that you decide to buy the stocks of those five companies with your $1,000. To do this you will incur $50 in trading costs, which is equivalent to 5% of your $1,000. If you were to fully invest the $1,000, your account would be reduced to $950 after trading costs. This represents a 5% loss, before you investments even have a chance to earn a cent!

If you were to sell these five stocks, you would once again incur the costs of the trades, which would be another $50. To make the round trip (buying and selling) on these five stocks it would cost you $100, or 10% of your initial deposit amount of $1,000. If your investments don’t earn enough to cover this, you have lost money by just entering and exiting positions.

Mutual Fund Fees
There are many fees an investor will incur when investing in mutual funds. One of the most important fees to focus on is the management expense ratio (MER), which is charged by the management team each year based on the amount of assets in the fund. The higher the MER, the worse it is for the fund’s investors. It doesn’t end there: you’ll also see a number of sales charges called “loads” when you buy mutual funds.

In terms of the beginning investor, the mutual fund fees are actually an advantage relative to the commissions on stocks. The reason for this is that the fees are the same regardless of the amount you invest. So, as long as you have the minimum requirement to open an account, you can invest as little as $50 or $100 per month in a mutual fund. The term for this is called dollar cost averaging (DCA), and it can be a great way to start investing.

Reduce risk with Diversification
Diversification is considered to be the only free lunch in investing. (If you are new to this concept, check out Introduction To Diversification, The Importance Of Diversification and A Guide To Portfolio Construction.) In a nutshell, by investing in a range of assets, you reduce the risk of one investment’s performance severely hurting the return of your overall investment. You could think of it as financial jargon for “don’t put all of your eggs in one basket”.

In terms of diversification, the greatest amount of difficulty in doing this will come from investments in stocks. This was illustrated in the commissions section of the article, where we discussed how the costs of investing in a large number of stocks can be detrimental to the portfolio. With a $1,000 deposit, it is nearly impossible to have a well-diversified portfolio, so be aware that you may need to invest in one or two companies (at the most) to begin with. This will increase your risk.

This is where the major benefit of mutual funds comes into focus. Mutual funds tend to have a large number of stocks and other investments within the fund, which makes the fund more diversified than a single stock.

A Small Step Toward a Large Future
It is possible to invest if you are just starting out with a small amount of money. It’s more complicated than just selecting the right investment (a feat that is difficult enough in itself) and you have to be aware of the restrictions that you face as a new investor.

You’ll have to do your homework to find the minimum deposit requirements and then compare the commissions to other brokers. Chances are you won’t be able to cost-effectively buy individual stocks and still be diversified with a small amount of money. Given these restrictions, it’s probably worth starting out on your investment journey with mutual funds. However, like all aspects of investing, it’s up to you to do the research and figure out the strategy that suits you best.

by Chad Langager

Chad Langager is the Senior Financial Editor for Chad graduated from the University of Alberta Business School with a degree in finance.

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