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Four Smart Ways to Invest Tiny Sums

Think that you need a king's ransom to begin investing and make it grow even more? You're not alone.

If you're in your 20s and 30s, you're likely paying off school loans and probably can't fathom setting aside any extra cash on top of your expenses, but tucking away just a little bit can have a big payoff down the line.

"Many people think that it takes a lot of money to get started in investing and think small amounts aren't worth it," says Ginita Wall, a certified financial planner and author of "It's More Than Your Money, It's Your Life." "Remember that, over time, small amounts become big amounts."

Below, Wall offers ways to invest $500, $1,000, $2,500 and $5,000. Keep in mind that the advice is interchangeable, and you can use the suggested ways to invest for any of the dollar amounts.

$500
Buy a bond.

Go to your bank, and buy an I savings bond, which is currently paying an annual interest rate of 4.84%. The interest adjusts on a semi-annual basis, and you can hold on to the bond as long as you want, but to get the real benefit, you should think of this as a long-term investment.

At the current interest rate, your $500 will have quadrupled to $2,000 in 30 years. You need a minimum of $50 to buy this bond, but can't invest more than $5,000 in a year. To learn more about I savings bonds, go to this Web site.

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