Gone are the days when hiding money in a mattress counted as a financial safety net. Tech companies are shaking up the finance industry by making it easy for anyone to start investing almost instantly.
Want to start earning money on the stock market without lifting a finger? Use a Robo advisor app. Are you a house flipper looking for someone to buy your property? Use an iBuyer.
If you’re ready to start investing, here is an overview of the most common ways to invest and how to get started today.
Investing in Stocks
If you prefer to get started investing on your own, you can open a brokerage account at any time. You’ll have access to mutual funds or individual stocks that meet your investment goals. There are dozens of brokerage account options available to help you get started trading.
Some accounts require high minimum balances to get started. But if you only have a little money to work with, you can start investing in stocks using trading apps.
These mobile phone apps help you start an investment portfolio with individual stock trades or automatic investing. Apps like Robinhood, Acorns, and Betterment allow you to start investing for as little as $1.
These apps aren’t meant to replace your employer-sponsored retirement accounts. Individual stock purchases are a way to supplement your investment income and provide a more diverse portfolio.
The Acorns app was one of the first fractional investing apps available. Acorns work by taking all of your spare change and automatically investing it into the stock market.
This is a great tool for people who need automated ways to save money. You won’t retire early off Acorns but it is a great tool for boosting up your emergency savings fund.
Newer features in the app allow you to boost the amount you save with each transaction.
A robot advisor invests your money automatically using an algorithm. Betterment is an app that uses robot advising to automatically invest in stocks depending on your investment level.
Investors with more than $100,000 to invest use Betterment Premium where they can work with certified financial advisors by phone if needed. There is no minimum investment amount for a standard Betterment account.
Robo advisors are helpful because they help you diversify your investment accounts. Betterment focuses on ETFs, or exchange-traded funds, across 12 different asset classes.
The Robinhood app is known for its no minimum account balance and free trade options. The app even starts you off with a share of free stock to kickstart your portfolio.
Link a bank account to the app to transfer money so you can start trading. There are no robot advisors with a basic Robinhood account so you’ll need to research each stock before you make a purchase.
Each time you invite a friend to use the Robinhood app, you earn free stock.