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Updated: 9:23 a.m. Monday, Nov. 12, 2012 | Posted: 9:52 p.m. Friday, Oct. 22, 2010

Low-cost investment options by dollar amount

You don't need big bucks to get started investing!



Roths are very flexible depending on which company you choose to put your money into. You may be able to start with as little as $100 with some companies! Here are some of my favorite low-cost investment options. I've broken it down by the dollar amount you need to get started.

 


$100 and Up 


Schwab Total Stock Market Index Fund

schwab.com
Invests in 4,000 companies
Expense:
0.09%
Minimum investment:
$100

Schwab International Index Fund
schwab.com

Invests in 350 publicly traded companies from selected countries outside the U.S.
Expense: 0.19%
Minimum investment: $100

      Schwab Small-Cap Index Fund
      schwab.com

      Invests in the second-largest 1,000 publicly traded U.S. companies
      Expense: 0.19%
      Minimum investment: $100

         


        $1,000 and Up


        Vanguard Star
        vanguard.com
        Invests 35% in bonds and 65% in stocks using a basket of Vanguard funds
        Expense: 0.37%
        Minimum investment: $1,000 minimum to open an IRA; $1,000 minimum to open an investment account

        Vanguard Target Retirement Funds
        vanguard.com
        Invests in a combination of stocks, bonds and cash equivalents
        Years available: 2015, 2020, 2025, 2030, 2035, 2040, 2045, 2050, 2055, plus the Target Retirement Income Fund for those already in retirement
        Expense: 0.21% or 0.22%
        Minimum investment: $1,000 minimum to open an IRA or general account

        TIAA Equity Index
        tiaacref.org

        Invests in approximately 3,000 companies
        Expense: 0.09%
        Mininum investment: $2,000 to open IRA; $ 2,500 for general account (or $50 if you start an Automatic Inv. Plan). If your balance is below $1,500, you will be charged $25, unless you invest at least $100/month in an automatic investment plan.

        T. Rowe Price Automatic Asset Builder
        troweprice.com
        Expense: This is simply an automatic investement program, so expenses vary depending upon which fund(s) you actually select.
        Minimum investment: $1,000 minimum to open an IRA or general account

        T. Rowe Price Target Retirement Funds
        troweprice.com

        Invests in a combination of stocks, bonds and cash equivalents
        Years available: 2010, 2015, 2020, 2025, 2030, 2035, 2040, 2045, 2050, 2055
        Expense: between 0.67% and 0.84%
        Minimum investment: $1,000 minimum to open an IRA; $2,500 minimum to open an investment account (Editor's note: This option also available via the Automatic Asset Builder program as noted above)

           


          $2,500 and Up


          Fidelity Four-in-One Index Fund
          fidelity.com
          Invests 48% in 500 largest stocks, 12% in rest of U.S. stock market, 25% in international stock index, 15% in bond index
          Expense: 0.23%
          Minimum investment: $2,500 minimum to open an IRA; $10,000 minimum to open an investment account

            Fidelity Freedom Target Retirement Funds
            fidelity.com

            Invests in a combination of stocks, bonds and cash equivalents
            Years available: 2015, 2020, 2025, 2030, 2035, 2040, 2045, 2050, 2055, plus the Fidelity Freedom Income Fund for those already in retirement
            Expense: between 0.71% and 0.91%
            Minimum investment: $2,500 minimum to open an IRA; $2,500 minimum to open an investment account

              Vanguard Total Stock Market Index
              vanguard.com
              Invests in approximately 3,400 companies
              Expense: 0.18% (other fees may apply)
              Minimum investment: $3,000 minimum to open an IRA; $3,000 minimum to open an investment account