Not everyone has the money to start investing, or so they think. Did you know you can invest with just a few dollars each month or even just spare change?
Do you want to build a small nest egg by investing a few dollars at a time? Then you should consider one of these micro-investing apps. Investing your money increases its earning potential compared to only keeping it in a savings or checking account.
The Best Micro-Investing Apps
We tried to put together an awesome list of the best micro-investing apps out there right now. There are so many and more and more keep coming onto the market. Let’s be honest, this is a great thing for consumers and those wanting to invest their money. Before, you had to have at least $500 to start investing, but now you can do it with just spare change. The investment landscape has changed and these investing platforms are a key to that change.
Micro-money apps have become very popular recently because they make it easy to build a small nest egg without changing your spending habits. If you are already using one of the best free micro-saving apps and want a higher rate of return, you should consider these easy-to-use investing apps to boost your income.
Acorns is the largest and most popular micro-investing app. By linking your debit and credit cards, Acorns will round up the purchase amount and invest the difference. Every dollar is invested in one of five ETF portfolios based on your risk tolerance.
They also have a different spin on cash back rewards with their Found Money shopping portal that allows select retailers to invest a percentage of your proceeds in your Acorns account.
It costs $1 a month to use Acorns. Once your account balance reaches $5,000, you pay 0.25% of your account balance each year. Students with a .edu email address can also use Acorns for free for up to four years.
With over 30 different investment portfolios, Stash can make it easy to invest in a portfolio that matches your dreams and beliefs. They have customized portfolios that focus on clean energy, social media, and travel providers to name a few. This can be a great option when you want to invest in specific industries but do not have the money to buy individual company stocks.
You get to decide how much you want to invest every month and all trades are free. To get started, you will need to make an initial $5 investment and the recurring fee is $1 per month. When your account balance hits $5,000, Stash will charge you a 0.25% annual management fee instead.
Stash is also rolling out the Stash Retire feature that allows you to invest in a Roth IRA allowing your investments to grow tax-free for retirement.
Robinhood is the first completely free app for trading individual stocks. There are no account maintenance fees or trade commissions. If you want to trade options or have access to after-hours trading, you will have to pay $10 per month. For the average investor, you will never pay a dime with Robinhood.
Even though Robinhood is completely free, there is a small price to pay. Robinhood is mobile-only and doesn’t offer investment research or portfolio advice. This app is the cheapest way to buy an individual stock, but, you will probably still want to hang onto your traditional brokerage.
Robinhood doesn’t buy or sell fractional shares, if you want your entire contribution invested at once, you will need to choose one of the other apps from this list.
Clink will invest in six different Vanguard ETFs based on your risk tolerance. Clink allows you to link your checking account and contribute a set amount every month, or, you can also have Clink withdraw a certain percentage of each dining and shopping purchase by connecting your credit or debit card.
It costs $1 a month to use Clink with an account balance of $5,000 or less (0.25% after that). Existing Clink users can still use the service for free if they signed up before July 1, 2016. If you happen to be one of these privileged customers, keep your Clink account open.
WiseBanyan lets you trade ETFs for free and bills itself as the first free financial advisor. There are no monthly account fees or trade fees. Currently, the only fee is for their optional tax-optimized investing add-on.
To get started, you only need $1 to invest and invest in an ETF portfolio based on your risk tolerance. Like the other micro-investing apps mentioned here, all contributions purchase fractional shares that make it easy to turn a penny into one million dollars.
If the idea of free ETF trades sounds appealing, WiseBanyan will be your cheapest option from this list.
While you might think of Betterment as a place to stash your primary investments since it’s technically a “robo-advisor,” you only need a $1 to make a trade. Betterment might be your best option on this list because there are no trade fees and you get a better bang for your buck with a feature-rich platform.
You get to choose how much you want to invest every month and Betterment will invest it all in an ETF portfolio. The annual account fee is 0.25% of your account value and you get automatic portfolio rebalancing and tax harvesting for that price. Plus, you also get access to their financial experts and customer support team.
If your spouse joins Betterment, they will analyze both of your portfolios to pick the investments that will generate the lowest tax bill. While investing is one of the best ways to make money, you don’t want those gains to be eaten up by taxes. This is another way Betterment can save you money with every trade and maximize your profit.
You will need to schedule automatic contributions or make one-time contributions.
Wealthfront is another robo-advisor app that is similar to Betterment. But, the first
$10,000 ($15,000 if you use this link) you invest is managed free. While you can save money in management fees, Wealthfront requires an initial minimum of $500 and you cannot trade fractional shares.
This might not be the best option if you only want to invest your spare change because of the initial account requirements and lack of fractional shares, but you do get portfolio rebalancing and tax-optimized investing for free.
As you can see, there is an app for every investing style. And, some even make it easy to fund your account with every purchase you make. Consistent investing is the secret to building wealth and these micro-investing apps are another tool you can use to make money.
Not Sure How to Start Investing?
I opened up my first investment account back in 2012 after paying off a lot of debt. That account was with Betterment. Since then, I haven’t looked back. I love the simplicity and ease of use they provide. I think their system is good for any type of investor. If you want to get into investing, check out Betterment.