Where and how to invest $1,000 in Australia

Choose between low risk, high risk or guaranteed returns when investing under $1,000.

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Are you looking to invest $1,000 and not sure where to start? Luckily, there are plenty of options available for you to choose from – it all depends what your goals are and how much risk you're willing to take on.

This guide explains what these investment options are, how to distinguish between assets like shares, cash, options, futures and ETFs, and what sort of fees you need to pay.

What are my options when I want to invest $1,000?

  • Pay off existing debt - Before you invest, make sure to pay off any outstanding debt you may have, especially if the interest rate is high. Even if you find an incredible investment, will the returns cover what you're paying on your debt?
  • Invest in shares - You can start investing in Australian shares from as little as $500 and as little as $10 at a time into US stocks – depending on your online broker. Share market investors earn profits when share prices increase, and they can be paid dividends when the company generates profit. While you can make a lot of profit with shares, the downside is that it's a risky investment. $1,000 is enough to buy stocks in one or two companies – can you afford to lose the money if the price falls? And will your returns cover your brokerage fees.
  • Invest in an ETF. Like stocks, the minimum investment for an Australian exchange traded fund (ETF) is $500. ETFs are less risky than buying shares directly because it gives you access to hundreds of companies in one trade. Here's how to invest in ETFs and why they're great for beginner investors.
  • Contribute towards super - Add funds to your super while you're still young and watch it grow over the years. When you make contributions to your super from after-tax income, the government does not tax the contribution up to a certain threshold because it's already been taxed. If you earn less than $50,564 annually as your pre-tax income and you end up making post-tax contributions to your super, the government adds to your super by matching your contributions.
  • Open a high interest savings account. A high interest savings account is your zero-risk option, and you'll still earn a return on your money. You can check out the best savings accounts in our comparison.
  • Micro-investing. Robo advisers allow you to invest small amounts into the share market, sometimes as little as a few dollars at a time. This is known as micro investing, and you can learn more about it in our guide.
  • P2P platforms. Peer to peer (P2P) platforms allow you to lend your money to everyday borrowers in exchange for a fee. Minimum deposits range from $10 up to $10,000 depending on the provider, and the return that you can expect is normally a fixed rate. Head to our P2P homepage to find out more.

How do I compare investment products?

  • Minimum investment amount. If you're considering getting into the share market, you can start with just one share. You can start trading foreign currency with no more than $25, and can also start trading in futures with little investment. To open a term deposit, you may have to start with a minimum of $500 or $1,000, depending on the financial institution you choose.
  • Commissions and fees. If you plan to deal in shares and futures, there may be brokerage and other fees. Full service brokers normally charge fees as a percentage of any given trade value, and some online brokers charge fixed fees per trade. For assets like term deposits and high interest savings accounts, financial institutions tend not to charge any account keeping fees. Percent-based fees are often more suitable for smaller trades, but if you'll be making larger investments it might be preferable to find an account with flat fees.
Name Product Standard brokerage fee Inactivity fee Markets International
eToro (global stocks)
US$0
US$10 per month if there’s been no login for 12 months
Global shares, US shares, ETFs
Yes
Zero brokerage share trading on US, Hong Kong and European stocks with trades as low as $50.
Note: This broker offers CFDs which are volatile investment products and most clients lose money trading CFDs with this provider.
Join the world’s biggest social trading network when you trade stocks, commodities and currencies from the one account.
IG Share Trading
$8
$50 per quarter if you make fewer than three trades in that period
ASX shares, Global shares
Yes
$0 brokerage for US and global shares plus get an active trader discount of $5 commission on Australian shares.
Enjoy some of the lowest brokerage fees on the market when trading Australian shares, international shares, plus get access to 24-hour customer support.
Superhero share trading
$5
No
ASX shares, US shares
Yes
Australia’s lowest-cost broker for ASX shares and ETFs.
Pay zero brokerage on US stocks and all ETFs and just $5 (flat fee) to trade Australian shares from your mobile or desktop.
ThinkMarkets Share Trading
$8
No
ASX shares
No
Limited-time offer: Get 10 free ASX trades ($0 brokerage) when you open a share trading account with ThinkMarkets before 31 December 2021(T&Cs apply). $8 flat fee brokerage for CHESS Sponsored ASX stocks (HIN ownership), plus free live stock price data on an easy to use mobile app.
Bell Direct Share Trading
$15
No
ASX shares, mFunds, ETFs
No
Finder Exclusive: Get 5 free stock trades and unlimited ETF trades until 31 Dec 2021, when you join Bell Direct. T&Cs apply.
Bell Direct offers a one-second placement guarantee on market-to-limit ASX orders or your trade is free, plus enjoy extensive free research reports from top financial experts.
SelfWealth (Basic account)
$9.5
No
ASX shares, US shares
Yes
Trade ASX and US shares for a flat fee of $9.50, regardless of the trade size.
New customers receive free access to Community Insights with SelfWealth Premium for the first 90 days. Follow other investors and benchmark your portfolio performance.
Saxo Capital Markets (Classic account)
$5
No
ASX shares, Global shares, Forex, CFDs, Margin trading, Options trading, ETFs
Yes
Access 19,000+ stocks on 40+ exchanges worldwide
Low fees for Australian and global share trading, no inactivity fees, low currency conversion fee and optimised for mobile.
CMC Markets Invest
$11
No
ASX shares, Global shares, mFunds, ETFs
Yes
$0 brokerage on global shares including US, UK and Japan markets.
Trade up to 9,000 products, including shares, ETFs and managed funds, plus access up to 15 major global and Australian stock exchanges.
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Important: Share trading can be financially risky and the value of your investment can go down as well as up. Standard brokerage is the cost to purchase $1,000 or less of equities without any qualifications or special eligibility. Where both CHESS sponsored and custodian shares are offered, we display the cheapest option.

Name Product Last 1 year performance (p.a.) Last 3 year performance (p.a.) Last 5 year performance (p.a.) Last 10 year performance (p.a.) Fees on $50k balance (p.a.)

AustralianSuper - Pre-mixed, Balanced option

Finder Award
AustralianSuper - Pre-mixed, Balanced option
+20.46%
+9.6%
+10.46%
+9.74%
$476
AustralianSuper is an award-winning industry super fund and the largest super fund in Australia. The Balanced fund invests in a mix of different assets like shares, property and cash.

Spaceship GrowthX

Spaceship GrowthX
+23.41%
+15.25%
New Fund
New Fund
$536
This is a high-risk investment option that aims to deliver high returns over the long term.
Spaceship's GrowthX fund invests heavily in technology ETFs with high exposures to Australian and international shares. Performance figures and fees supplied by Spaceship, not Chant West.

Sunsuper Lifecycle Balanced

Finder Award
Sunsuper Lifecycle Balanced
+20.62%
+8.77%
+9.84%
+9.06%
$558
Sunsuper is an award-winning super fund with more than 1.4 million members. Its Lifecycle Balanced option invests your super in a mix of growth assets, and reduces your risk when you're near retirement.

Virgin Money Super - Lifestage Tracker

Virgin Money Super - Lifestage Tracker
+22.17%
+10.04%
New Fund
New Fund
$363
Virgin Money Super Lifestage Tracker has some of the lowest fees in the market. It invests in a range of different assets in line with your age, reducing your risk as you get older. Plus, you can earn Velocity Frequent Flyer Points when you rollover your super, and on the contributions you make (T&Cs apply).

Australian Ethical Super Balanced

Green Company
Australian Ethical Super Balanced
+17.96%
+10.33%
+9.67%
+9.01%
$622
Certified by the Responsible Investment Association Australasia.
Australian Ethical seeks to invest in companies that have a positive impact on the planet, people and animals, such as renewable energy and healthcare while avoiding investments in coal, oil, tobacco and gambling.

Aware Super Growth

Aware Super Growth
+18.02%
+8.81%
+9.8%
+8.97%
$519
Aware Super is a not-for-profit fund with more than 750,000 members. The MySuper product invests your super in a pre-mixed Growth fund until you’re 60, then it’ll switch to Balanced.

QSuper Lifetime - Aspire 1

QSuper Lifetime - Aspire 1
+17.11%
+9.02%
+8.61%
New Fund
$360
QSuper is one of the largest profit-for-members funds in Australia. QSuper Lifetime continually adjusts your investment mix in line with your age and your super account balance.

Australian Catholic Super Lifetime - Grow

Australian Catholic Super Lifetime - Grow
+17.36%
+7.42%
New Fund
New Fund
$528
A Catholic super fund open to all Australians and designed for people working in Catholic education, healthcare or aged care.The Lifetime One fund option changes your investment mix as you get older.

Verve Super Balanced

Verve Super Balanced
+12.85%
New Fund
New Fund
New Fund
$691
Verve Super is an ethical super fund tailored for women. It seeks to invest in companies making a positive impact, such as renewable energy and women in leadership, while avoiding those that cause harm, such as fossil fuels, tobacco and guns.

Superhero Super Autopilot

Superhero Super Autopilot
+14.52%
+8.39%
New Fund
New Fund
$429
Superhero Super Autopilot allows you to invest up to 30% of your super in different themed ASX shares and ETFs, with at least 70% of your balance invested in the Vanguard Global Diversified Index Portfolio. Performance and fees are based on having 100% of your balance in the index portfolio.

Future Super Renewables Plus Growth

Future Super Renewables Plus Growth
+5.26%
New Fund
New Fund
New Fund
$837
Future Super is Australia's first 100% fossil fuel free super fund and is certified by the Responsible Investments Association Australia. The Renewables Plus Growth option has a 20% asset allocation in renewable energy projects.

Superestate Balanced Essentials

Superestate Balanced Essentials
New Fund
New Fund
New Fund
New Fund
$291
Superestate invests your super in a range of assets, with a focus on physical residential properties in Australia. The Balanced Essentials fund charges some of the lowest annual fees in the market.

LGIAsuper MySuper

LGIAsuper MySuper
+15.33%
+7.42%
+8.43%
+8.21%
$522
LGIA is a medium-sized, member-owned super fund open to all Australians. The LGIA MySuper option is designed to suit most members and aims for high returns over the medium to long term.

BT Super for Life - MySuper Lifestage Fund

BT Super for Life - MySuper Lifestage Fund
+26.04%
+9.68%
+10.18%
+9.11%
$558
The BT MySuper Lifestage fund is a retail fund that invests your super in a mix of asset classes depending on how old you are. Westpac Group customers can manage their super alongside their day-to-day bank accounts.

Cbus Growth

Cbus Growth
+19.34%
+8.76%
+9.81%
+9.55%
$514
Cbus is a leading industry super fund for the building and construction industry, that’s open to all Australians. The Growth fund is a pre-mixed investment portfolio and an approved MySuper product.

BUSSQ MySuper Balanced Growth

BUSSQ MySuper Balanced Growth
+17.28%
+8.02%
+8.52%
+8.86%
$657
BUSSQ is an industry fund designed for the building and construction industry and open for all Australians. The MySuper Balanced Growth option is a ready-made, diversified fund with a medium level of risk.

Suncorp Lifestage Fund

Suncorp Lifestage Fund
New Fund
New Fund
New Fund
New Fund
$455
Suncorp superannuation is a retail fund with access to personal financial planning and advice. The Lifestage Fund readjusts your investment mix every few years to reduce your level of risk as you get older.

HostPlus Balanced

HostPlus Balanced
+21.32%
+8.34%
+10.12%
+9.68%
$641
HostPlus is an industry super fund open to all Australians with a focus on the hospitality and retail sector. The Balanced fund invests your super in a range of assets and is designed for high long-term growth.

MTAA My AutoSuper (Balanced)

MTAA My AutoSuper (Balanced)
+3.23%
+6.26%
+7.45%
+7.44%
$539
MTAA is a national super fund available to all Australians with a focus on the motor trades and automotive sector. The Balanced option is a MySuper product that invests in a range of asset classes aiming for medium to high long-term returns.

REST Super - Core Strategy

REST Super - Core Strategy
+17.43%
+7.17%
+8.26%
+8.43%
$467
REST is an industry super fund tailored towards the retail sector and open to all Australians with almost 2 million members. The Core Strategy is a diversified investment portfolio that balances risk and return.
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The information in the table is based on data provided by Chant West Pty Ltd (AFSL 255320) which is itself supplied by third parties. While such information is believed to be accurate, Chant West does not accept responsibility for any inaccuracy in such information. Chant West’s Financial Services Guide is available at https://www.chantwest.com.au/financial-services-guide . Finder offers no guarantees or warranties about the data and we recommend that users make their own enquiries before relying on this information. Performance, fees and insurance data is based on each fund's default MySuper product. Where the performance, fees and insurance data for the MySuper fund vary according to the member's age, results for individuals between 40-49 years of age have been shown. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.

*Past performance data is for the period ending .

Disclaimer: Performance, fees and insurance data is based on each fund's default MySuper product. Where the performance, fees and insurance data for the MySuper fund vary according to the member's age, results for individuals between 40-49 years of age have been shown. This article is general advice. You should consider your own personal circumstances before deciding if a superannuation product is right for you. Superannuation is a long term investment and past performance is not indicative of future performance.

Name Product Maximum Variable Rate p.a. Standard Variable Rate p.a. Bonus Interest p.a. Fees
Virgin Money Boost Saver (25+ year olds)
1.5%
0.1%
1.4%
$0
Intro rate of up to 1.50% p.a. for the first 3 months and an ongoing bonus rate of 1.20% p.a. thereafter when monthly criteria is met (T&Cs apply). To earn these bonus rates customers aged 25+ need to deposit at least $2,000/month into your bundled Virgin Money Go Transaction Account and make 5+ transactions/month.
Westpac Life (18-29 year olds only)
2.5%
0.15%
2.35%
$0
If you’re between 18-29, you can earn a 2.5% p.a. variable rate each month you grow your balance (excl. interest) and make 5+ settled debit card purchases from your Westpac Choice account, up to a balance of $30,000.
Rabobank High Interest Savings Account
1.35%
0.25%
1.1%
$0
Maximum variable rate of 1.35% p.a. for 4 months, reverting to a rate of 0.25% p.a. No deposit or withdrawal conditions. Available on balances below $250,000
Virgin Money Boost Saver (18-24 year olds)
1.5%
0.1%
1.4%
$0
Intro rate of up to 1.50% p.a. for the first 3 months and an ongoing bonus rate of 1.20% p.a. thereafter when monthly criteria is met (T&Cs apply). To earn these bonus rates customers aged 18-24 need to deposit at least $1,000/month into your bundled Virgin Money Go Transaction Account and make 5+ transactions/month.
Citibank Online Saver
1.1%
0.35%
0.75%
$0
Introductory rate of 1.1% p.a. for 4 months, reverting to a rate of 0.35% p.a. Available on balances Up to $500,000.
Virgin Money Grow Saver
0.65%
0.1%
0.55%
$0
Earn an ongoing variable 0.65% p.a. each month you make at least one deposit of any amount and no more than one withdrawal.
Westpac Life
0.3%
0.15%
0.15%
$0
Ongoing, variable 0.3% p.a. each month you deposit money, and make sure your balance is higher at the end of the month than it was at the beginning. No monthly account-keeping fee.
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Name Product 3 Mths p.a. 4 Mths p.a. 5 Mths p.a. 6 Mths p.a. 7 Mths p.a. 12 Mths p.a. 24 Mths p.a.
Rabobank Term Deposit
0.45%
-
-
0.75%
-
0.75%
0.50%
Suited to customers with deposits between $1,000 and $2,000,000.
With a Rabobank Term Deposit you will receive a competitive rate on your deposits and the choice of a 1, 3, 6, 9 or 12 month term.
Citibank Term Deposit $10,000
0.50%
-
-
0.50%
-
0.50%
-
Suited to customers with deposits between $10,000 and $249,999.
This term deposit is for new Citibank customers only
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Should you just keep money in the bank?

The answer to this will depend on how long you can afford to have your money locked away for. Shares and ETFs can be a good investment over several years, but very risky and volatile over a short timeframe. Can you afford to wait for a year or more to get a good return on your investment and are you prepared for the possibility of losing your investment entirely?

If you’re wanting guaranteed returns without the risk, look at high interest savings accounts and term deposits. Both earn you interest as long as you have money in the account. Term deposits will require you to lock away funds for some time, but high interest savings accounts let you access your money as needed.

What are the pros and cons of savings accounts?

  • Government guarantee. If you put your money in a savings account or a term deposit, the Australian Government Guarantee Scheme Security covers you in case your bank fails to honour the deposit. This guarantee applies on deposits of up to $250,000 per person per institution, and does not limit the number of institutions you can bank with.
  • Returns guaranteed. A savings account comes with virtually no risk, especially if you have no more than $250,000 with any one financial institution. The money in your account continues earning interest as long as it's in there. Credit unions tend to offer more competitive rates than mainstream banks because they don’t have the added costs associated with shareholders. Online banks, because they don't have to spend money on physical stores, also tend to offer competitive rates. Some financial institutions provide bonus interest to account holders who meet given criteria.
  • Flexibility. Savings accounts come with varied features. While some let you access funds via online and phone banking, some others provide access to BPAY as well. Some savings accounts designed especially for children or for retirees can offer preferable interest rates, all while ensuring you have around-the-clock access to your money.

Cons

  • Limited returns. Despite offering guaranteed returns, the interest you earn from such accounts can be noticeably lower than what you may earn through other types of investments. The interest rate of Australian savings accounts is normally between 0.5% to 3%.
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What are the risks of investing?

  • Inadequate information. No matter where you plan to put your money, carrying out a little groundwork is important. Even with simpler assets like savings accounts and term deposits, it's still a good idea to do your research because banks offer different interest rates.
  • Fees. Investing requires that you work with a financial institution or a broker. Both may charge fees to provide services, and it’s important that you know how much they may charge in different scenarios, and consider these costs alongside the potential returns of an investment.
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Is there anything else I should consider?

  • The risk factor. Every investor should start by understanding the link between risk and returns. High risk investments tend to offer greater potential returns. What’s also true is that how people perceive risk can vary, and perceived risk does not necessarily reflect upon statistical analysis. You may want to avoid following your instincts until you've checked it against the facts.
  • Your risk profile. Your risk profile essentially refers to your willingness to take risk and how it can have an effect on your ability to make decisions. Risk profiling gives investors the means to recognise investment pitfalls with consideration to their own capacity for and tolerance of risks. If you're a naturally cautious person or a natural risk-taker it's important to recognise these qualities in yourself.
  • Financial goals. Set yourself clear and measurable financial goals so you know whether your investments are on track to get you there. For example, you might be planning to have a specific amount by the time you retire, and can adjust your investment habits to stay focused on this.

How to invest $1,000

Frequently asked questions

What are the risks of investing in shares?

You’ll lose money if share prices fall, and it's possible for them to go all the way down to zero. If the company you invest in goes bust, shareholders are often last in line to receive any money. Since share values can vary periodically, you cannot expect fixed dividends.

Does borrowing to invest work well?

Borrowing to invest, also referred to as gearing, can be risky. While it can increase your returns in favourable market conditions, the reverse holds true as well. Ideally you'll only go this way if you know your after-tax returns will exceed the cost of borrowing.

How much of it can I afford to invest?

Before you start investing make sure you have your debts under control. Paying off debts is always a sensible financial move while investing is a riskier. Keep money aside for emergencies, the equivalent of about three months of household expenses is a good amount, and consider making sure you have adequate insurance cover as well to reduce the risk of losing it all if something goes wrong. With these taken care of, you can start investing in diverse asset classes. Consider making some practice trades and trying out different markets until you've found one you can call home.

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