Start Investing with $100 (and Pre-Launch Team Special Access)

Start InvestingNote: Start Investing with $100 is no longer available as of October 10, 2014.


They wouldn’t let me get away with it.

I tried to tell them, “What’s the big deal? I mentioned it in my September Pulse Check and even sent a personal message to the newsletter community about it.”

A couple of them then said the equivalent of, “Dude. This is the first product you’ve ever launched and we want you to do it right. What you’re creating can help a ton of people, but only if they know it exists and why it’s useful.”

I replied, “But I’m not an Internet Marketer. And I don’t have a team to help me pull off a big product launch.”

The back and forth continued until I agreed to do a few things. This post was one of them so now I’m thrilled to give you an insider’s look of the online course I’ve spent months planning, writing, stressing about, and mentally battling until it’s just right.

Origin Story of Start Investing with $100

Start Investing with $100 is like the first house Melinda and I bought. When we initially investigated it, we thought, “Hey, that’s nice. But maybe there’s something better out there.”

Two months and 40 house showings later, we were talking about our search and Melinda says to me, “So…what was the problem with that house we saw two months ago?” The answer was that there was nothing wrong with it. In fact, it was perfect for us at that moment and we realized we should stop searching for something magically better.

Start Investing with $100 is like that. At first I thought, “Hey, that’s nice. But there are some other projects that might be better.” After many days and much mental strain, all the effort to find something better was a waste. Start Investing with $100 was perfect for me at this moment and ideal for the mission of Value of Simple.

The resistance I encountered came in a couple of forms:

  1. It was only months ago that I quit my job in the investment industry and now my first product was going to be investing related?! I told myself, “C’mon Joel. You gotta be kidding me! Real original thinking man.”
  2. I thought about making the wrong impression of the focus and usefulness of Value of Simple. After all, it says right on my About page that personal finance topics not specifically mentioned – and investing isn’t mentioned – “don’t get covered much here”. Would all the people drawn here for the simplicity and organization benefits be turned off?

The decision came down to answering to one question in the end:

What can I build right now, with my current skills and resources, which will help the greatest number of people in the biggest way possible?

The hands down answer was Start Investing with $100 (SIW100).

There’s a huge need for this! I continue to hear from people who aren’t investing and have no good reason. And worse, I hear from people who are intentionally not investing for all the wrong reasons and harming their long-term purchasing power in the process.

And for those of you in this refuge of simplicity looking for something other than personal finance stuff, don’t worry. The boys in the back labs of VoS have some awesome things brewing just for you.

What This Is

SIW100 is an online course with modules spaced out over a couple of weeks. It’s intended to solve huge problems with money and how that impacts your ability to plan and enjoy the future. I’m talking problems like you:

  • Realize the importance of investing but never take action to start
  • Have a small amount of money to invest but no idea how to get started
  • Have debt to pay off but feel investing can’t wait until it’s all gone
  • Don’t know the difference between a stock and a bond or have never invested in “The Market” before
  • Are a solopreneur or small business owner who wants to invest somewhere other than back into your business
  • You already invest but question their appropriateness, if they’re diversified, whether they’re beating inflation and taxes, or have unnecessary fees

These pain points (and more) are resolved as each module builds until you’re confidently investing for yourself. It could be with as little as $100, but you’ll ultimately become a poised and knowledgeable investor. Here’s what you can expect at a high level:

Start Investing

  1. The considerations to make before starting or reevaluating any you’ve already made
  2. Choosing the best investment account type (e.g. retirement, higher education, plain vanilla) based on your goals
  3. Selecting an appropriate investment
  4. Picking the right investment company or organization
  5. A walkthrough of the account opening process
  6. Info for placing your first trade
  7. Various tips and resources to get  really awesome at investing down the road
Side note: There’s a bonus I can’t mention because ruining the surprise wouldn’t be any fun.

Each module is supported by a combination of checklists, worksheets and workbooks, relevant examples, case studies, and curated resources.

And everything in SIW100 is relevant for people in the U.S., U.K., Canada, and Australia.

Why Me?

I absolutely love personal finance. And despite my knowledge of topics like Daily Money Management, reducing financial related stress, passive income, and healthy relationships with money, people keep coming back to me for investing insight more than anything else.

It could be related to my decade in the investment industry, managing my own investments since I was 21, or something else.

All I know is I have a passion for this, the skills to help, and the background for it. And it’s the perfect time to get this highly requested resource out there.

There are other resources to get you investing, but only if you have a combination of:

  • A huge amount of money
  • Prior experience or knowledge of investing
  • A desire to turn over full control to an investment pro
  • A fondness for paying large fees to have your money managed

A comprehensive course that gives someone like you the education, skills, and resources for investing just doesn’t exist. And that’s unacceptable because investing is so frickin’ important for everyone! Even 2.7 billion people who live on two dollars a day know the power of investing and how much it empowers their future.

A giant personal goal for 2012 was to help a ton of folks in a big way with something that legitimately scares or intimidates the bejesus out of them. That will be accomplished in just a few weeks and I couldn’t be more excited!

Join the Pre-Launch Team

Capitalizing on SIW100 is easy and rewarding when you join the pre-launch team. When you do, you get:

  • Pioneer Member exclusive early access
  • The opportunity to buy SIW100 at a nifty discount
  • Free bonuses in the run up to the launch
  • A shot at winning free membership
  • The chance to provide feedback and help shape the course. This is for you and I need to see your marks all over it!

I’m creating this course because I know the pain and unnecessary loss when people don’t invest or take a bad approach to it.

We don’t want our self-worth tied to our net worth, but they can grow at the same time.

SIW100 will not make you rich. It will not give you hot stock tips or make any decisions for you.

But you will come out the other end feeling confident, smart, and excited about your investing future.

Don’t let your fears, intimidation, or lack of knowledge stop you any longer.

Don’t be convinced that whatever amount of money you have is too little to open an account or be worth investing.

And don’t let your debt or business hold you back from investing the way you’ve always hoped you could.

Start Investing with $100 will help.

Join a new generation of smart and confident investors!

Photo Credit: trenttsd and s_falkow
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31 Responses to Start Investing with $100 (and Pre-Launch Team Special Access)

  1. Ethan says:

    Investing is one of those things that I’ve always wanted to try, but could never justify parting with my hard earned dollars over. I’m really looking forward to getting my hands on this resource so I can really evaluate whether investing is right for me or not. Keep up the great work Joel! The world needs this training :-)

    • You’re only parting with your hard earned dollars if you are ill informed or misinformed. Over the long term, there are so many ways to grow your money to beat the double headed monster of inflation and taxes. And that’s my biggest goal of all with this: to make sure people don’t have their purchasing power eaten up without even realizing it. Thanks for the encouragement and sharing in the excitement Ethan!

  2. I love personal investing. I just get so confused by all the options. I have invested part of my part over the past 25 years and it has grown amazingly. I am now working on debt free living and consider that to be the best investment – the freedom.

    • The freedom that comes from living debt free is amazing Jane. Except for the mortgage on my house, I’ve never owed a dime to anyone except Charles in 3rd grade (for reasons I won’t get into here). It’s awesome to hear you have such a long and successful investing experience. I love it when I encounter people who don’t need my help because they already have it all figured out.

  3. says:

    Looking forward to this.

  4. Erin says:

    Congratulations, Joel, this is so exciting! Investing is definitely a topic that scares me a bit. I did finally start myself a retirement account, but I still don’t actually know much about the process — just that I’m supposed to do it :) Thanks for putting your knowledge and experience into helping people get started with such an important thing!

    • I’m a process guy but I’m trying to draw as little attention to the process as possible in this course. The more important thing is if you feel knowledgeable about the core principles of investing and are confident in your approach, regardless of how well your investments perform in the short term. So don’t worry a ton about the process Erin. Getting started is huge and the fact you’ve done that already puts you ahead of the curve.

  5. Denise says:

    Sounds like an awesome project, but I’m definitely not in a position to invest – not even $100.

    I’ll be sure to tweet this, though. I bet many people assume they need more than $100 to start investing, so I agree there’s a need for this.

  6. Shanna Mann says:

    I’m a finance geek, too. I remember math class in middle school — calculating compound interest. My mind was blown.

    I pestered my parents until they told me to make an appointment with the loan officer at the Royal Bank, and I went there after school one day. I walked out having started my first ladder GIC but disappointed that the interest rates were not the 10 and 12 per cent my math textbooks had led me to believe. 😀

    Still, I had no idea I only needed $100 to invest. Cool!

    • Hey Shanna,

      Be glad inflation is low enough where we don’t regularly see 10 to 12 percent interest rates on fixed income investments. I’d rather not see the economy of the late 1970s pop up again.

      FYI: You had a small (if indirect) role in helping me get my first job out of college. Giving your money to the Royal Bank of Canada helped them expand to the point where their subsidiary, Dain Rauscher, had enough growth to offer me an Operations job. So thanks for that! 😉

  7. Bobbi Emel says:

    Looks great, Joel! I remember how intimidated I was by investing until a very kind and patient person taught me the basics. Suddenly, it all started to make sense! I think your course will do this for a lot of people out there who felt the same way I did. Great job!

    • Hey Bobbi! I try to be that kind and patient person for other people like someone was for you. But helping people one-on-one doesn’t scale and this will allow me to help many more folks with something that can be legitimately scary. I’m confident this course can have the kind of impact that would otherwise require hours of one-on-one time that some people simply can’t afford.

  8. Jim Bessey says:

    I like your approach, Joel,
    And believe wholeheartedly in your premise. I’ve been reluctant to “invest” in anything but my own business; yet I realize that I should be making other investments. “Fear of the unknown” has been my roadblock, year after year.
    A quick story:
    In 1991 a colleague introduced me to an upgraded PC run by Windows 3.1, which seemed to compare very favorably to the tres chic Apple OS of the day.
    I thought to myself — this is a GREAT product. I should invest in this “Microsoft” company, whatever it is. I planned to put $1000 into that investment. Honest, I did.
    A few days later, before I had taken the plunge, my wife announced that she was pregnant with our first child. I immediately discarded my investment idea, “just to be safe.”
    My son will turn 21 soon, and he is indeed Priceless. I’d rather not do the math on that missed investment, though. If I had held it and simply let it grow…ah well.
    Count me in, Joel.

    • Hey Jim,

      I ran the math on investing $1,000.00 in Microsoft on January 1st, 1991 and what it would be 5, 10, 15, and 20 years later. They are big numbers. But that’s not the point. All those shoulda, woulda, coulda moments in life will just drive us crazy if we think about them too much.

      Swinging for home runs isn’t my game. I’ve invested in two stocks in my life and actually did quite well with both. But then I decided passive index mutual funds were best for my overall health (with financial health only being a small part of it). I’m glad I can count you in for whatever you’re planning to do Jim!

      • Jim Bessey says:

        Oh, yes, I agree Joel.
        I only recall the story now and then because I really did have the $1000 on hand and was actually going to make the purchase until my wife discovered she was pregnant. I’m sure I’d have cashed out fairly early, silly guy that I am.
        Thanks Joel!

  9. Priska says:

    Hi Joel,
    This sounds great, most people think that they need much more money to get started. I’m sharing this with those I know that may be interested.

  10. Sarah says:

    This might be a totally silly point, but investing has always struck me as one of those things that we all think we’re supposed to do but nobody in our generation really knows why… just some vague notions about return rates and compounding interest and maybe being able to retire one day. I’d love to hear more in the pre-launch about REALLY what the value of investing is, especially in today’s economy.

    But congrats on the official announcement! I’m excited for your first product, even if a bit wary of the financial industry.

    -Your resident neighborhood skeptic

    • It’s great to have skeptics around Sarah. I just try to stay away from the cynics.

      The pre-launch content is going to dive into why investing is so important in this era. In addition to that, I’m planning an episode of Smart and Simple Matters to be completely investing related before the launch. Like my curating episode, if I can’t convince you of the value of investing after listening to it, then I’ve failed. I will say that investing – at least in the way I approach it – isn’t appropriate for everyone. Some people won’t be comfortable with my principles and that’s OK.

  11. Dave says:

    What a great idea for your first product, I just signed up to get more information.

    And I clearly see where combining simplicity and investing smarts can help a great number of people. Good luck with this, Joel!

  12. Amit Amin says:

    Good luck with this!

    This definitely sounds like it will be a great product.

    One job I had in the finance industry a few years ago involved generating pageviews so that the ad team could sell impressions for the Motley Fool and other investing advice newsletters.

    I was pretty good at my job (my articles generated a few 100k views), but man did I feel like the ads were a frikken scam. This sounds… not scammy at all :)

    • Thanks Amit! Actually, Start Investing with $100 is designed to be very non-sexy and as far from scammy as possible. You might be disappointed with the lack of sexiness, but the content will be rock solid. If I’m doing it right, the course will seem a bit dry and methodical at times because most aspects of investing are not glamorous at all. Just like blogging and pretty much everything else I do.

  13. Angelina says:

    I like this idea – my only question – do you promote ethical investing? Thank you.

    • Angelina, are you referring to what’s commonly called socially responsible investing? If so, I personally appreciate this form of ethical investing. But in Start Investing with $100, I don’t nudge a student in any direction. I give them the knowledge and tools to make their own decisions and they have to choose for themselves. Ethics are different from person to person and I always honor that in whatever I do and create.

  14. Angelina says:

    Thanks. So if we join in on this we have the option to go in that direction?

  15. Cory Bolton says:

    Hi Joel, I really dig the concept that you came up and how you’re framing it to others. Big Steve told me about it this weekend so I had to check it out. I’m a big technical analysis guy when it comes to stock charts, and have been trading stocks and options for the past 4 years and it’s grown into a passion of mine. I too try to explain that anyone, even with little initial investment, can grow their wealth. I’m eagar to see where you take the site! I’m definitely jealous… maybe I need to quit my day job and join you. :)

    • So Big Steve is spreading the word, huh? I was talking to him about my business and recent activity yesterday and he seemed primed to mention me to some people. It’s cool that you were one of them. :)

      With the investing experience you just rattled off, I think it’s safe to say you don’t need my course. But if you need some guidance on how you might approach leaving the traditional workforce and doing something “out there,” by all means, hit me up dude.

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