Invest in Yourself: 3 Apps That Make Investing in Stock Easy
By Paulana Lamonier
One of the biggest, and most valuable, lessons you’ll learn in adulting 101 boils down to two words: personal finance.
If you haven’t realized it yet, our parents didn’t have a money tree growing in our backyard as we would have liked, which means learning about checking, savings, credit cards and loans are essential to making it as an adult.
But, what about stock? What is it? Well, let’s discuss what it isn’t. For starters, dispelling myths like investing in stock is only for brokers and rich people or the most popular stock is like gambling are a couple of many myths.
According to Investopedia, stock “is a type of security that signifies ownership in a corporation and represents a claim on part of corporation’s assets and earnings.” In layman terms, you’re basically buying a small piece of X company for a small price hoping to see the company financially grow in the long run. As the company financially grows, so does your stock which means it’s important that your first financial investment is small and reasonable.
Certified financial planner and CEO of Brooklyn Plans, LLC, Kristen Euretig believes that millennials should invest into stock, however it’s vital that they have their financial priorities, like credit card debt and savings, are taken care of first.
“It depends on the financial situation of the individual. Over time, it makes sense to have exposure to stocks,” Euretig says. “Apps like Stash and Grow can be great for people just getting started because they simplify the saving and investing process.”
If you’re a first-time investor, ease your way into making your first financial investment by using one of these three apps, where you’re not only learning the ABC’s of investing, but also seeing your money grow.
If you’re a person who frequently uses plastic over paper, then this is the app for you. The objective for Acorns is to make investing as easy and seamless as possible for first-time investors. While you’re using your credit or debit card to make purchases, Acorns rounds your purchases up to the next dollar, then asks if you’d like to use that spare change and invest into your stock. They also have features where you can easily invest $5 at any time. If you refer your friends, they give referral rewards of $5.
They also charge a small monthly fee based on your account balance which is deducted on the last business day of the month. According to Acorns’ fees page, “For accounts $5,000 r mor, pay only 0.25% per year. Free for college students with a valid .edu address for up to four years from date of registration.” They also have their editorial division called Grow, where you can learn how some of your favorite celebrities and today’s business leaders invest their money.
These days everyone is making sure they’re putting their money where their values are and Grow is making sure that first-time investors are doing the same. According to their site, Grow aligns your investments with your values. They’ve supported companies like Trees For The Future, by planting one tree for each referral sent from its Grow Invest app.
Their fees are .25 percent of what you invest annually. So if you invest $100 a year, you pay 25 cents a year. When opening the app, they ask you socially conscious questions to see and understand the values of the first-time investor and make sure your investments are parallel. They also encourage users to automate their payments, whether it’s weekly, monthly or quarterly.
Stash helps first-time and millennial investors not only invest in movements and organizations they’re passionate about, but well-known companies that consumers know of and love. According to a Forbes interview, co-founders of the investing app, Brandon Krieg and Ed Robinson wanted to not only make investing easy for everyone but also promote financial literacy. App users can start with just $5.
Stash charge $1 per month for accounts under $5,000 and .25% for accounts more than $5,000. Stash also gives you a breakdown on how you can diversify your portfolio with different companies and organizations you can invest in.
Where does this put business owners who want to get involved with stock? Unlike the two apps mentioned above, this app gives small businesses and companies the opportunity to let their employees purchase stock in their company. For instance, if you’re a business owner and you’d like your employees to buy stock, they make it easy and require the employer to pay $10 per employee per year. If you’re thinking about taking your personal financial game to the next level, check out their financial blog, where articles cover topics like income tax and helpful financial terms, and there’s even a quiz to put your financial knowledge to the test.
Paulana Lamonier is a multimedia journalist & edu-tainer who loves to educate and entertain her audience with compelling stories. She loves Jesus, chocolate and still cries when she watches the ending of 'Set it Off.' Check out her latest updates on her new site, Paulana.co.