The image associated with startup investing tends to be that super-rich Silicon Valley genius doing transcendental yoga on the porch of his third vacation home.
But that's not reality.
Today, anyone can be an angel investor. In fact, you can do this fairly easily without being a millionaire - and without yoga.
We'll show you how. But first, what is an angel investor?
An angel investor is someone providing initial capital investment to a company at the ground level, typically looking to share in that company's profits.
An angel investor sees promise in that company and will fund it, either with a loan or cash in exchange for partial ownership.
Angel investors fund startup companies. That's it. They don't (have to) drive Ferraris, they don't (have to) live in gated mansions, and they don't (have to) vacation in Tahiti.
They don't necessarily have to read a book a day, either (though that couldn't hurt your chances in life).
Those things are peripheral. An angel investor, purely and simply, is someone who helps a company scale in its early days, before it potentially trades on the stock exchange.
But the reason so many known angel investors can dabble in luxury is that the return on their investment can be huge.
You Have to See This to Believe It: America's favorite "Shark" debuts the Angels & Entrepreneurs Summit. Watch now...
We wrote last week about how Ashton Kutcher's net worth skyrocketed after he began angel investing.
Though he had already made some millions, it was nothing compared to what he would gain as a part owner of Skype - going from under $40 million net worth to over $200 million in less than 10 years.
But again, you don't need $40 million, and you don't have to be a famous actor to get into angel investing. You can start small - with just $50, in fact...
Becoming an Angel Investor
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Billionaire angel investor Mark Cuban used to trade stamps as a kid. "I started with a quarter, bought a stamp, and left with $50 thinking hey, if I can do this, I can do anything."
His first big investment was while attending Indiana University. He bought a bar for $15,000 and turned it into the most popular student gathering place in town.
Cuban went on to be valued at over $4 billion with investments in the technology and media industries, as well as ownership of the Dallas Mavericks professional basketball team.
While Ashton Kutcher and Mark Cuban both have millions upon millions of dollars today, they started their investing careers completely differently. One was a successful TV star, and the other started out selling stamps.
But mindset is a common, important factor between these two. They were both forward-thinking in their investments. Kutcher saw a future in video calling through Skype, and Cuban pioneered Internet television streaming through his company, Broadcast.com.
There's an art to knowing what investments will be most profitable. Today, these two proven angel investors still have that intuition - in addition to star power and loads of money to keep them going.
But a lot has changed since Mark Cuban and Ashton Kutcher began angel investing. Now, you do not need millions to be a contender for stake in a promising startup. You don't even need thousands.
And you don't need to be a celebrity.
In fact, almost anyone can do it. All that's needed is the knowledge to make the right decisions.
And here's how you can get that...
Anyone Can Become an Angel Investor with as Little as $50
Angel investing used to be off-limits to the average American... but Shark Tank's Robert Herjavec said it best during this live broadcast: "The walls have finally come down. You no longer have to be rich, famous, or powerful to become an angel investor!"
Congress has now made it possible for you to take advantage of these life-changing deals.
By becoming an angel investor, you can be right there - one of the first to invest in the next Steve Jobs, the next Bill Gates, or the next Elon Musk.
And because you're there at the beginning, the upside is infinitely greater.
For so long, regular folks have been locked out... but not anymore. Click here for details...
About the Author
Mike Stenger, Associate Editor for Money Morning at Money Map Press, graduated from the Perdue School of Business at Salisbury University. He has combined his degree in Economics with an interest in emerging technologies by finding where tech and finance overlap. Today, he studies the cybersecurity sector, AI, streaming, and the Cloud.