Originally Posted by Alvin
I've done a little looking into index funds but it seems that a lot of them require a big amount to buy-in; the Vanguard 500 lists a starting investment of $5000 for eg.
Are there solutions for people like me without a big amount of cash but would like to start early?
Originally Posted by JohnnyJimJams
3) What would be the first step in getting started using indexed funds. Is this something that I would do through my bank, a financial adviser, or another financial instituition?
You can check with your bank; they should have a list available of all the funds they can offer you. See if any of them have names like blah-blah-blah index fund
or Unmanged growth fund
Otherwise, check with a financial advisor. Tell them that you've finished paying off debt and want to start investing. They can find you a mutual fund company that offers index fund options. (Educate yourself a bit on what options your country offers; the US offers HUGE tax savings if you're willing to commit to saving this money for the long-term, like for a first home or if you promise not to touch it until you're 60. If your country has something similar, take advantage.
It's true that most fund companies have minimum investment requirements, but they're usually happy to find some
way to take your money.
Usually they ADVERTISE a minimum initial investment, but they also will take a minimum monthly investment. Van Kampen, for example, won't accept an account smaller than $25,000 unless
you set up an autopayment to contribute at least $50/month -- then you can start up an account with nothing.
I don't know specifically that non-US companies would do this, but it seems logical. Or maybe you could start an account with a US company?