Start Trading Today With These Easy Apps
Start Trading Today With These Easy Apps
Are you brand-new to the idea of investing? Or, do you have a teen who’s ready to learn about the stock market? Well fear not, it’s never been easier to get started! There are two inexpensive, simple apps that help you dip your toes into the world of Wall Street, without much chance of getting soaked.
I’ve done some research on them and want to show you what they’re all about.
Both of these apps offer quick and easy setup, low or no fees and allow you to enter the stock market and begin trading with $5.00 or less. In addition, these apps each have a robust education area which allows users to learn more about the market on their own.
The Acorns App Turns Spare Change… Into Stock
If you’re looking for a pain-free way to invest, the Acorns app is for you. Once you’ve signed up, you can choose to have Acorns automatically round up when you make a purchase with your debit card. The money goes directly into your investment account. There are no minimums and no trade fees, and the service costs just $1 for investments alone. You have the option to add a savings account and a checking account, which each increase your monthly bill by one dollar.
Acorns gives you the option to choose between five Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF) investment portfolios, which are put together by industry professionals. Based on your financial goals, the app will recommend whether you invest in a conservative portfolio, an aggressive portfolio, or one of three options in between. Support from advisors is available in case you need help.
Online education through articles and videos on the Acorns website makes this an especially useful tool for beginners to learn about investing and finance. You’ll find sections on investing, saving, earning, spending and borrowing in the “grow” section of the site, which are extremely engaging and informative. And did I mention those tools are free?
Stash Allows You to Choose Your Own Stocks
Like Acorns, the Stash app is a bargain at only $1.00 a month for the beginner account. For your dollar, you get an investment account and a debit card with “stock back” (an opt-in points program that gives you rewards when you use your card). Upgrading to a $9.00 per month account gives you a sleek metal debit card, tax benefits for retirement savings, investment accounts for 2 kids and monthly marketing insight reports.
Stash also has the benefit of allowing you to choose your own investments, rather than being limited to an existing plan. You can buy into ETFs, stocks, or bonds with as little as $5.00. The app makes this possible by breaking down larger shares into bite-sized pieces that allow you to buy a favorite company’s stock, even if its value per-share is high. This allows you to support your favorite companies and build a portfolio that you can feel personally invested in.
In addition, you can choose to automate your investments by setting up a monthly schedule to move money into your investment account. Stash also offers an opt-in “Round-Ups” program that, like Acorns, rounds up when you make a purchase. The app puts the change into a cash balance account, and when the account reaches $5.00 you can use it to invest.
Stash Learn provides an excellent array of learning material on everything from investing to debt management and even offers a monthly newsletter! Learning guides and quizzes are available to help you retain what you learn and the Stash Coach is an added bonus that gives you extra incentives, advice and education through a fun, game-like app.
A Great Way to Introduce, Automate, and Learn about Investing
Both Acorns and Stash are a great first step to investing. They offer excellent automatic investment opportunities (at rock-bottom prices) that help you invest without thinking about it… which, for many people, is half the battle.
They also offer truly excellent educational opportunities for both adults and kids who are just getting started. There’s no better way to learn than by doing, and both apps make it easy! The ability to invest in small amounts makes the process possible for those who don’t have access to a lot of money upfront, or who are tentative about investing and want to give it a try on a smaller scale before jumping in with both feet.
Both apps offer educational resources as an added bonus. They are free, engaging and are an excellent resource for learning about investing, budgeting and financial planning. While rounding up and turning change into stock might not make you wealthy overnight, Acorns and Stash are both excellent ways to learn about investing in a simple, fun, and stress-free way.