By Kait Spong
2020 dropped uncertainty into the laps of many people around the country – and the world. Numerous workers lost their jobs, and new prospects became few and far between. Stocks even plummeted at certain junctures of the pandemic, and the future of the American economy was in a constant state of flux. In turn, it left a lot of folks wondering what they could do to secure a better financial future for themselves, particularly Millennials and Zoomers. Especially since, this is not the first economic crisis we’ve faced as a nation, and it will certainly not be the last.
One way you can invest in yourself is by learning about stocks. While this might seem intimidating, there are plenty of apps on the market right now to help you become a better – and smarter – investor. Not only will these apps take your stock portfolio to new heights, but you also do not have to be an expert to get started, nor do you need a lot of money in your checking or savings account. If you need resources, these apps provide plenty of them, too! Although, we never advise skipping out on classes, workshops, or group meetings to take your knowledge on finance up a notch. So, whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned investor, here are three apps that can help you grow a stronger financial future!
A lot of your friends may have hopped on the Robinhood app during all of the hubbub surrounding the Reddit thread r/WallStreetBets in January 2021. Even though the thread has been around for nine years, it garnered a lot of attention earlier this year when Redditors took the stock market on a wild ride, sending stock prices for struggling companies, like AMC, Nokia, and GameStop above normal. It showed everyone the power of the stock market – and how apps, like Robinhood, make it accessible to everyone, since option trades are both easy and free.
Other than options, you can also buy and sell US-exchange listed stocks, EFTs, and cryptocurrency without paying any fees. There isn’t a minimum account size requirement for stock, ETF, or option trades, either. For access to larger, instant deposits, research reports, and market data, first-time and seasoned investors can upgrade to Robinhood Gold with a 30-day free trial, then if you enjoy the perks, it’s only 5 bucks a month after that. It might be worth the investment to build your stock portfolio!
Acorns is great for college students since it is ultimately a “micro-investing account” that allows you to build your place in the stock market a few dollars and cents at a time – no, literally. With every debit or credit card purchase you make, Acorns will round up to the nearest dollar, or more, if you so choose, and micro-invests the difference. That’s right! By linking your bank account to Acorns, you can earn money towards your financial goals without thinking twice about it, which makes it even more appealing to college students, such as yourself.
In using this tactic, your stock market portfolio will be built around what economists called the “Modern Portfolio Theory,” helping you, the investor, achieve maximum returns at an appropriate risk level. Because, let’s face it – we all aren’t all Evel Knievel when it comes to investing, and that’s okay. Like any stock investment, however, you can choose your risk factor, so if you want to hit full throttle and take a more aggressive approach, Acorns allows you to do that, as well.
Last, but certainly not least, E*TRADE should help you better decipher the enigma that is the American stock market. E*TRADE is a one-stop-shop for investors, whether you’re just starting out, like most college students, or you’ve been at it for a couple of years. According to experts, E*TRADE is extremely approachable, easy to navigate, and affordable. E*TRADE also provides many resources to help you understand how to invest, as well as the insider scoop on the best companies to currently invest in.
Have a question that goes deeper than a couple of FAQ articles? Good thing that E*TRADE comes with an excellent customer service department that can answer any prodding questions you might have. Other than these perks, the app grants you access to your accounts, allows you to make trades, and gives you the ability to view charts and conduct research. Perhaps, best of all, you can watch Bloomberg TV for the latest news and advice.
Technology is a game-changer in multiple ways – and now, finance is just another aspect of your life that it can improve. Even if you don’t consider yourself money-minded or future-forward, these apps can help you plan better for everything life has in store, whether it’s early retirement or a global health emergency. Download one – or all of these apps – from the App Store or Google Play Store, and give them your evaluation to see which one works best for you. We guarantee that at least one will be your moneymaker!