It used to be that you would have to call your stockbroker and pay them a commission to make a trade.
Now, there is the option of the investment app. You can do the same thing that a stockbroker would do, with the ease and convenience of tapping a phone screen and trading instantly, for free or at a low cost.
You can receive a portfolio that is tailored to your needs, or trade your own stocks, check the performance of your portfolio and shift money around, all on your own.
It is no wonder that self investing is increasing in popularity. Here are four apps that can help you start:
This is an app for those who want to pay as few fees as possible. There are no commissions, no account minimum, and you can invest any amount.
However, it doesn’t offer any retirement accounts or managed portfolios, which means that all investments made through the app are taxable and self managed.
You can make unlimited commission-free trades in stocks, funds, and options, and build a balanced portfolio, or customize it to reduce your risk.
This is an app for students who are just starting investing, with free management provided for college students.
Acorns offers “spare change” savings. Spare change tools round your purchases up to the nearest dollar and invests the spare change into your account.
For those with small account balances, Acorns’ flat fees can be high, at $1, $2 or $3 per month. Acorns offers a passive portfolio of ETFs.
Acorns also offers easy-to-understand articles and videos from financial experts to help you learn how to get more from your money.
With Stash, you can build a diverse portfolio at low cost. Stash doesn’t invest automatically, but helps you learn to make decisions for yourself.
Stash includes educational content that reflects your investment preferences. If you prefer, you can set up an “Auto-Stash” plan that will automatically fund your account for recurring investments, or you can fund it manually as needed.
Stash is a good starting point for investing, because they make it easy to understand what you’re buying when you make your investments.
Accounts start at $1, and some of the investments that you choose may be subject to additional fees.
Vault is for retirement investing, which is helpful for those who won’t have access to an employer 401(k) plan, like self-employed freelancers. The pricing model is the same as for Acorns and Stash.
With Vault you can open an IRA, Roth IRA or SEP-IRA account for your investments. The SEP-IRA is a good choice for freelancers because it is specifically designed for self-employed workers.
Whichever IRA suits you, Vault lets you invest based on a specific percentage of your income.
When your pay from your freelance work gets deposited into your bank account, Vault will deposit your paycheck percentage to your IRA account, either with your approval or automatically.
The best time to start investing is now!