Got any spare change? You know, the kind you normally stuff in the jar, your sock drawer, in old shoe boxes and such?
A piggy bank is a good idea and will work well if you’re a tweenager. But if you’ve reached the age of drinking in a bar, it’s time you considered making proper investments even if you don’t have a lot of money.
The difference between a piggy bank and an investment is that piggy bank money can’t grow. Whereas an investment plan has the potential to grow.
So to begin with, take all the spare change you have floating around in your house and take it to the bank. Some banks like TD Bank have machines you can fling the coins into and they’ll count it up for you. No need to even roll it up like back in the day.
And once you’ve got the cash in your account, here are a few great APPS and simple ideas to make investing easy and painless if you’re not a mega billionaire yet.
Brandon Krieg, David Ronick and Ed Robinson started Stash in February of 2015. They all had backgrounds in banking and the idea was so simple that just over a year of launch they already have 850,000 users and over 25 million in investments.
That’s good company.
The app is designed for the novice investor, the first-time saver and works very simply. There’s a section called ‘Learn’ which breaks it down nicely.
You can invest as little as $5 to get started… or continue investing in increments of $5 for as long as you want. Like with a stock broker or a financial planner… you don’t pay commissions or percentages. Users are charged just $1 per month and .25% per year if you maintain a balance of $5000 per year.
You fill out a survey and the app generates personalized investment recommendations based on interest, investment goals and risk tolerance. You can buy, sell and monitor investment funds.
With over 30 investment themes organized by industry (health, tech, finance, auto and so on) and cause… the app also allows to follow the patterns of established investors.
As close to the piggy-bank concept as you can get, Acorns rounds up your purchases on linked credit or debit cards, then ads them to an account in their App that you sign up for. It’s as simple as that.
As the concept sounds, it’s going to take you a while to become a billionaire, but you’ll be surprised at how easily you could be saving $ 5 or 10 a day… money you probably hadn’t even known you actually had lying around.it’s savings without thinking about it. What’s not to like?
Link as many credit / debit cards as you want (linked to the same checking account) and with each purchase Acorns will round it up to the nearest dollar.
You can also invest lump sums manually or set up recurring deposits on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, the minimum amount being $5… which is incidentally, the required opening balance.
The app considers your data —age, goals, income and investment propensity — and suggests one of five portfolios that range from low risk to high risk. These include real estate, large-cap stocks, small-cap stocks, emerging markets and corporate and government bonds.
Like most other Apps, you Other investors pay $1 a month until their account balance hits $5,000, then 0.25% of their account balance per year.
“I have found that many people — particularly the millennial generation — are often hesitant about investing in the stock market or unsure about where to begin,” said Eyal Fruchtman, founder and CEO of Clink with more than 17 years of experience in the finance and tech spaces. “This has led us to rethink investing and create Clink, a free app that can be easily incorporated into anyone’s unique lifestyle. Designed for mobile, Clink’s advanced platform simplifies investing and allows users to personalize their contributions and save every time they spend.”
So what’s Clink, you wonder? It’s an easy to use, intuitive, mobile app that allows you to invest small amounts of money – as little as $1 a day and as much as is comfortable for you.
You can link your checking account to Clink… and say ‘Invest $1 per day.’
Or you can set a percentage of your grocery / dinner / shopping bill (via your credit card) that will be automatically added into your Clink account and invested in your stock portfolio.
The money from your Clink account will be placed into a portfolio of Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs).
Clink’s algorithm applies a low-risk portfolio that’s right for you based on the “Modern Portfolio Theory.” The Modern Portfolio Theory is all about diversification and is the key to maximizing return with minimal risk; it emphasizes that risk is an inherent part of higher reward.
It’s very simple to get started and lots of fun too. And yes, you can close your Clink account at any time. You can withdraw your funds and shut it down.
Clink charges a flat fee of $1 a month for managing your account (up to $5,000 of balance). When your balance is over $5,000 they charge 0.25% of your total balance annually.
WiseBanyan is one of the first ‘robo advisors’ (technology-based investment guru) in the market. It’ good for millennials – just beginning to think about savings.
The minimum account balance is $1 and there are no fees. They do have paid services which you can opt for… but there’s no compulsion to do so.
The company currently invests about $100 million in assets from a base of 25,000 customers.
Whether you’re saving for your first home, for retirement, or to travel the world, their investment team will you achieve your goals. It’s easy to set up and help is available online.
Some key features include an ‘Investing Milestone Tracker’ which tracks and rebalances your portfolio. It will also automate your deposits and you can select from Retirement, Rainy Day, Build Wealth, and Custom.
The robo advisor allows for weekly, monthly, and quarterly automated deposits.
Stock brokerage app Robinhood lets you buy and sell individual stocks for $0 a trade. Yes, you heard right. Robinhood is looking for millennials who want to get into the stock market business but don’t know how.
To sign up you need to fill out a form and if you’re accepted, there’s a short, fun video that helps you get started. It tells you how to trade… for $0 and more and gets the juices going. It’s a little over a minute long, the video because you can operate stocks in a limited manner. But the beauty part is that you can invest as little as you want since there’s no minimum. It’s a great way to get you feet wet in the stock market.
The interface is sleek and unfussy, making it easy to see what you’re doing. In addition, you can add stocks to a watch list, view basic information about individual stocks—volume, market cap, etc
‘Robinhood Gold’ is an advanced version of the platform for which you pay a fee. This lets you trade pre-and after-hours, gives you a line of credit and immediate access to proceeds as well as immediate deposits.