According to data revealed by Forbes, 42 percent of millennials are investing more conservatively than their Generation X (38 percent) and Baby Boomer (23 percent) peers. Also, 66 percent of the corresponding age group say that investing in the stock market is “scary or intimidating." It is possible that much of the fear concerning the process of investing relates to a lack of knowing how to get involved.
Fortunately, technology is an excellent resource for those who are looking into investing and want to learn more about maximizing their investment opportunities. A smartphone app is not a complete substitute for taking the time to learn about this process, but it can help to get you started. Here are five robust smartphone apps that will help you to start investing.
If you want to jump right into investing without the challenges of a hard-to-follow interface, Robinhood is an excellent option. Robinhood enables you to follow your portfolios easily, invest in stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) without commission, and keep your eyes on customized investment news.
You can also chart your progress, research reports, and buy full shares (instead of partial shares offered by competitors). Robinhood also sets itself apart by allowing you to jump into investing in cryptocurrency efficiently. All services are provided without the requirement of fees.
The Acorns app is perfect for those who don’t have the time to always keep up with investments, or are still learning about the options that are out there. The Acorns app makes the process as quick and painless as possible. The Acorns app takes spare change from purchases that they round up to the nearest dollar and invests it into a pre-arranged portfolio of your choosing.
There is no minimum dollar amount needed to begin investing, but they do require a $1 a month fee. If you have trouble deciding how much money to invest, Acorns will handle this for you.
If you want an emphasis on learning while investing, Stash is one of the best choices out there. You can invest in low-cost ETF funds and stocks that have been vetted by the company’s investment analyst. Stash’s emphasis on analysis takes some of the fear away regarding risk and uncertainty.
Also, beginners can work with a personalized investment coach to make the best decisions regarding their investments. You can start with as little as five dollars and view user-friendly and straightforward financial investment guides for help in better understanding the basics of investing.
Betterment is excellent for beginners who seek customization and for someone else to handle portfolio adjustments. Betterment requires you to fill out a profile that asks for demographic information and goals.
The app then creates a customized portfolio based on this information. From there, the app will readjust the portfolio to keep you in line with your goals and what you are investing for long-term. Betterment also allows you to keep track of all investments (even if it is not on the app). Betterment is excellent for investors who want a low-maintenance investing experience.
Many of the apps mentioned above do require a monthly fee. M1 Finance is one of the few options that is free for users. M1 Finance allows you to create your portfolio or use one that is already set up and ready to go. You can develop and maintain a free and diversified portfolio of stocks and ETFs, invest in fractional shares, and receive automatic deposits.
M1 Finance is excellent for beginners that have a bit of prior knowledge, but still need an app to simplify the actual investing process. You can even quickly assign percentages of money you want to invest for each company in your portfolio. It is worth noting that while M1 Finance does not have a fee, it does require you to invest a minimum of $100 into taxable accounts and $500 for retirement accounts.
Investing may seem daunting, but it can be the key to providing you with additional income and expanding your retirement funds. Investing in the stock market can help you reach long-term goals like saving for a car, home, or paying off debt a lot faster than traditional savings methods. The key is knowing where to start.
Today, many forward-thinking companies and entrepreneurs have thought about what can make investment more accessible and secure for beginners. Fortunately, you do not need thousands of dollars or even a vast knowledge of investing to get started. Many of the apps above will provide you with the education and tools you need to start from where you are.