A few years ago one, it was popular to say that a super-rich billionaire like Bill Gates wouldn’t stoop to pick up a $100 bill because it wasn’t worth his time. I feel relatively certain that this wasn’t true, of course. Later I did hear a true story about Warren Buffet who stooped to pick up a single penny. “The start of the next million,” he was rumored to have said to his companions.
The good news is that while you don’t have to make a million bucks from that penny in your pocket, there are multiple opportunities to make extra money. One of them is by opening a ShareBuilder account and picking up an easy $50 in the process.
What is ShareBuilder?
ShareBuilder is the online brokerage operated by ING Direct, one of the world’s leading financial institutions. Through it, investors are able to schedule regular monthly contributions to an investment account with trades as low as $4. There are NO account minimums and a free mobile app. Additionally, ING offers free guidance to help you:
- Understand your investment style
- Design a personalized ETF portfolio
- Integrate the portfolio into an Automatic Investment Plan
From there, your investing can easily go on auto-pilot, very similar to the way Allen Roth advocates in How A Second Grader Beats Wall Street (a great book for any investor). Read my review of the book here.
How to get the $50 bonus
Right now through the end of May 2011, if you open a ShareBuilder account and deposit just $50 or more, ING will deposit a $50 bonus approximately 4-6 weeks later. Though not available for Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) or Education Savings Accounts (ESAs), the $50 bonus offer IS available for Individual, Joint and Custodial accounts. The bonus is available for withdrawal 90 days after it’s awarded to your account and is available only for new customers.
What type of person is wrong for ShareBuilder?
- Extremely active traders who can’t decide if they want to keep a stock more than a few hours.
- People who consistently spend more than they earn and live their lives on credit cards.
- Anyone who doesn’t yet have a savings account.
- People who haven’t set up their emergency fund.
Everyone else should give ShareBuilder a look!
- No account minimums – you can set up an investment account for $50. Most other brokerages require $500 to $2,500 just to get started.
- With a ShareBuilder Automatic Investment Plan you can choose from over 7,000 stocks, mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) for only $4.
- Schedule investments on a weekly, biweekly or monthly basis.
- Escape to a clear website with research that makes decisions easier, not harder.
Photo courtesy of the US Mint.