I don't think it should be demoralizing, I think we should do a better job of informing "smaller portfolio" folks of their options. They have better risk free options that can juice returns.
Like, let's say you had $100 to invest, you could open a bank account account with no minimum balance and no monthly fees at MyBankingDirect and collect $50 just for setting up three bill pays that you would have paid anyway. Leave it all there for a year and That's a + 50% APY return (Or 71% APY if you consider the inittial deposit $70 since $30 is just getting redirected to bills). Zero risk with that.
Or what about the Insight Prepaid Card, you can earn 5% on up to $5k with zero market risk.