The costs of living are getting higher by the day, and for many people, the take home pay doesn’t improve correspondingly with the cost of living. The result is reduced disposable income left over each paycheck. If you are one of the several millions affected, you can still move up the investment ladder.

Contrary to what most people think, you don’t have to be a five-figure earner to be able to afford some extra investment. Even if you earn a meager income that leaves you with just crumbs after paying the bills, you can still invest with those crumbs and get worthwhile results in the long term. If you are wondering how to keep an investment portfolio of your own despite earning a very low income, the following 10 tips can help you achieve that.

10 Powerful Stock Investing Tips for Low Income Earners

1. Save something every week or month

Since the only way to get started with investing is to have some savings, you will need to save a fraction of your paycheck weekly or monthly, depending on how you are paid. It doesn’t matter whether it’s $10 or $100. What matters is consistency: if you save $20 every week, you will get $1,040 at the end of the year—and that’s good enough to start investing in stocks. Similarly, if you save $100 at the end of each month, you will get $1,200 at the end of the year. So, those little amounts could add up to significant figures when saved consistently.

2. Start small

If you wait for the time when you will have up to half a million dollars before getting started with stock investing, you might never get to invest in stocks because that time might never come. Rather than wait endlessly for that to happen, you can start small by finding low-cost stocks to invest in. Having a small investment that has the potential to grow over time is better than having nothing, but only hoping to have five or six figures before getting started.

3. Consider joint ventures

There are times when your biggest savings won’t be enough to get started with stock investing. But should you give up and dismiss the idea of stock investing until a later time when you can afford to gather more cash? No! Instead, you should consider teaming up with other people and investing together.

For example, if you have just $2,000 and need a minimum of $4,000 to purchase certain stocks, you can approach one or two other people who might be interested, and raise the $4,000 you need. This is a smart way to share your risk with others and to learn from them.

4. Be creative

There are times when breaking away from traditional rules and practices bring huge benefits. It happens in stock investing, too. You don’t have to put your money into a particular company’s stocks just because everyone and their dog is doing the same. Always think outside the box, especially since you have very little money to invest. Consider investment opportunities that you get explore with your low capital and still fetch huge returns from in the long term.

5. Be patient

Stock investing isn’t for anyone who is broke and needs to make money fast. It’s not for those who anticipate huge returns and fast financial success. The truth is that those who have achieved real success with stock investing implemented a long-term strategy. Only with a realistic strategy can you make serious headway towards your financial goals. So, always think long-term.

6. Look before you leap

Your first investment decision is very important, as its outcome can have a long-term effect on you—financially and otherwise. Before investing in any opportunity, study and analyze it critically. How has that opportunity fared in the past? How is it likely to fare in the future? What are people saying about it? What experiences have people had with it in the past? These and other probing questions can help you make well-informed stock investment decisions, especially since you cannot afford to lose the little money that you have to invest. The key here is to avoid impulse investment.

7. Watch out for hidden fees

If you are on a low income and are starting your investment portfolio with very small capital, make sure you are not wasting even the little money you have on unnecessary fees and minimums. Before putting your money in any investment, find out about all fees that apply.

8. Know when to run

There are times when a company’s stock would change direction; though fluctuations in stock prices are normal. But you need to understand when a reduction in stock prices will most likely remain permanent, such as when a company is hit by a devastating natural disaster or some other crippling problem. In such instances, waiting too long for a positive outcome might cause you to lose badly. So, always get ready to sell off your shares when the need arises, so you can move on to other opportunities.

9. Don’t stop investing-: After making your first investment move, don’t stop the habit of saving. Rather, keep saving to invest more in the same stocks or spread your risk by investing in other stocks. Remember, stock investing is a long term strategy, not a one-time thing.

10. Be positive-: Without a healthy dose of optimism, you will never invest a cent. Only optimism can motivate you to keep channeling your savings into an investment whose outcome you are not sure of, but hope will be positive. So, play your cards right and hope for the best.

Ajaero Tony Martins