With the holiday season approaching, everyone’s looking for a unique gift for our friends and family. After all, no one wants another receive another pair of boring socks!
Just as our modern world is evolving, why should the holiday season and gift-giving be any different? To get with the times, did you know you can give the gift of stock investing?
Did you know that there’s a whole slew of clever ways to give a new facet of financial responsibility (and fun!) that can give young investors and those new to handling the stock market an “in” to the rich world of investing?
Here are 5 smart ways to give the gift of stock investing this holiday season.
Ever wanted to get rid of all that spare change jangling around in your pockets and put it to use?
Acorns is an app that links to your bank account and credit cards, rounding up your daily purchases and investing the remaining “change” into fractional shares.
This allows younger and newer investors to circumvent the traditional barriers to stock investment, like buy-in prices, start-up capital, and high fees.
Acorns is customizable, with the ability to round up higher amounts if you want to funnel more money into your investments.
You get the ability to choose between five types of EFT (Exchange Traded Funds) portfolios, which range from conservative (cash and bonds) to aggressive investing (over 80% in equities).
Best of all, Acorns is free to download. However, it will cost you $15 a year if your entire portfolio is less than $5000 (0.275% for accounts in excess of $5,000), which is significantly less than a traditional broker.
Looking for a tried-and-true way to give the gift of investing? Since 2010, Motif has been one of the most recognizable names in cutting-edge investment platforms, with over 250,000 users worldwide.
It also has been ranked for three consecutive years as a CNBC “Disruptor 50”. In other words, Motif could be the gift that keeps giving!
Similar to Acorns, Motif allows users to buy bundles of stocks and ETFs. Instead of the aforementioned “rounding up” feature, your funds are bundled into “motifs”, which groups 20-30 like-minded securities by concept or industry.
Of the 9,000+ motif to choose from, the most popular include “Recession Resistant”, “Biotech Breakthroughs”, or “Lots of Likes”, a motif that generates the most popular stocks from how many likes they receive on Facebook.
There’s also the “Create a Motif” function, which allows the user to create their own stock picks as a motif to customize their own trading. The clincher to this is that every time uses your custom motif, you earn royalties.
This is just one of the many features Motif offers, which is sure to keep young investors glued to their money instead of video games!
So, how much does it cost? Motif requires a $250 minimum balance to start trading, with $9.95 for most purchases and sales.
As an added benefit, Motif doesn’t charge a fee for withdrawal. Motif is available for iOS, Android, and iPhone.
Looking for a free gift to give as a gateway into stock investing? Look no further than Robinhood. Made with a no-frills interface with Millenials in mind, Robin Hood offers a FREE way to invest in EFTs or individual stocks with no minimum deposit.
Similarly no-nonsense, Robinhood only offers bread-and-butter stock trades, avoiding the somewhat confusing options, OTC securities, warrants, and mutual funds.
Of course, Robinhood offers more advanced features for new investors looking to be more involved with their investments. Users can schedule automatic transfers on a weekly, biweekly, monthly, or quarterly basis.
The feature Robinhood Instant also allows for immediate withdrawals (up to $1,000), side-stepping the typical three business-day wait so users can get their money instantly.
And the monthly-subscription service Robinhood Gold includes after-hours trading, lines of credit (for accounts over $2,000), and larger amounts of instant deposits
Currently, Robin Hood is only available via app on your iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Android smartphone, or by visiting their website.
Offering innovative tools, a diversified investment portfolio and reasonable management fees, Betterment may be one of the best gifts you give this holiday season.
Like Robinhood, Betterment has no minimum deposit, allowing new investors to learn investing without having much capital to start out with.
Like the other services listed, Betterment uses exchange-traded funds (ETFs) to ensure that they don’t lose their shirt while dipping their toes in the stock-investment world.
Betterment accommodates newer investors with its goal-based savings features, personalizing your investment strategy based on income, expenses, retirement-savings targets.
There’s also the optional Smart Deposit feature, which siphons unneeded cash from your checking account and puts your money to work instead of lying fallow in your checking account.
Betterment claims to be industry leader in the “robo-advisor” industry with more customers than all of its competition combined and $3.9 billion in managed assets.
Another type of stock-investment app that functions as a “gift that keeps on giving”, SparkGift just might solve the problem of “what presents do I get them?”
By using SparkGift, you can easily buy a share of any publicly traded company, and give that share of stock as a gift to anyone in just a few clicks.
The recipient then receives instructions via email on how to set up a brokerage account or add to an existing account. That’s it! No messy financial jargon or Wall Street wizardry to ward off those inexperienced in financial matter.
What makes SparkGift great is that it’s perfect for anyone, from newborns to teens to grandparents. Younger users, of course, are safeguarded from selling the farm by having a custodial account set up for users under 18 years of age.
Best of all, Spark Gift is cheap: you can spend as little as $20, with a $2.95 fee for any purchase under $100.
Recently acquired in June 2016 by Stockpile, a company with a similar mission and wider user-base, SparkGift is currently adding more features and a wider array of functionality.
Newer users are encouraged to user Stockpile’s website and apps to take advantage of their complete functionality.
When it comes to giving this holiday season, think non-traditionally. Introducing stock investing to those who’ve never had the opportunity to do so before might be the most exciting gift they receive. After all, stocks are better than socks!
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