The Best Ways To Invest $1000 - now available in Leeds

Published Feb 18, 23
4 min read

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At its core, investing is an incremental game: you build a portfolio bit by bit rather than all at once. Find out how you can invest $1,000 and get the most bang for your buck. Paying off debt is always the best guaranteed return. The interest you save by paying debt down faster is essentially risk free.

In real life, however, there are many scenarios where you end up investing while carrying debt. These scenarios are often based on rational decisions, such as taking advantage of employer matching in a retirement account or saving for an inevitable future cost like a child’s education. For the vast majority of investors looking to put $1,000 to work, the best investment has to be simple, low risk and cheap with respect to fees.

And the best option for that are low or no fee funds. Exchange-traded funds and index funds are an excellent way to invest with a relatively small amount of money. These funds also have the advantage of being very transparent investments. You can learn all you need to know about a particular ETF or index fund in a few paragraphs, including its holdings, any commissions, and the expense ratio.

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Index funds are essentially a passive, broad market investment through the major indices, while ETFs can offer more choices to customize a portfolio. With $1,000 you can pile together ETFs with different risk profiles. For example, you could split the money into $250 in a higher risk, growth-oriented ETF, $250 into a dividend ETF and put the remaining $500 into a bond ETF.

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It all depends on your time horizon and your risk tolerance. Target-date funds offer similar diversity to ETFs, but these require less effort than picking your own ETFs. A target-date fund may have a higher expense ratio than your basic ETF, but in return you won’t have to worry as much about allocating your money or rebalancing the portfolio over time.

With $1000 to invest, the fees that come with active management can be hard to swallow, especially given that performance often lags passive index or ETF options. That said, robo-advisors like Betterment, Acorns and Asset Builder have hit the market offering active management at lower expense ratios than prices offered by human fund managers.

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You can get the benefits of active management, particularly more frequent rebalancing of the portfolio during market events, without having to pay the traditional price. The funds mentioned above generally carry higher risk and return profiles than investments in debt instruments. If your main goal is preserving $1,000 rather than growing it, then debt investments may be your best choice.

They do, however, have the benefit of very low risk and a modest return. There are bond offerings direct from companies that offer much higher interest rates, as well as bond ETFs, but these both require a bit more research and a lot more risk than simply putting the $1,000 into a US Treasury Bond.

Now we are going to look at some investments that you wouldn’t recommend to your grandparents. These require a higher risk tolerance and lot more research, but they also offer high potential returns for your $1,000. This is for the type of person who relishes in yelling “I’m all in!” while playing poker.

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You do lose some money in the transaction itself, but the right stock can return many times the transaction costs. There were several points in the last five years where an investment in Meta (formerly Facebook), Apple, Netflix, or Google would double or triple your $1,000. The catch is that you would have to time the market, and you have to have realized those gains.

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Of course, it can also end up with you losing money or making a smaller return than the ETF investments containing the same stock as part of the mix. There is a fairly big gap between can and should when it comes to $1,000 investments. $1,000 can be used to open an online options or Forex trading account and, yes, these accounts offer ways to leverage that money up to make large returns in a short time.

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Of all the investments we’ve looked at, Forex and/or options trading offers the most risk and the highest probability of being able to lose all your money in a short period of time. There are, of course, many people who can take $1,000 and, pulling on their experience with different trading strategies, produce solid returns while controlling their risks.