Should I invest with Stash or Acorn?

The best investment apps for newbies

Investing is a dangerous business, Mr. Frodo. You enter the market and if you don't hold your feet, you don't know where your money could go.

While Gandalf may have had good advice on living an adventurous life, investing wasn't the most evolved concept in Middle-earth. Fortunately, we've put together a list of the best apps for on the go.

If you want to get started and get your feet wet without investing a lot of money in the volatile stock market, these apps are the best places to look around.

1. Acorns (website)

Acorns is a micro-investment app that works with your change. Literally. When buying, Acorns rounds up to the nearest dollar and invests the difference. If you buy a cup of coffee on your way to work for $ 2.15 in the morning, Acorns rounds the price to $ 3 and invests $ 0.85 in your portfolio.

You can then choose from five different portfolio profiles, ranging from conservative to aggressive. The conservative profile means your money will likely grow slowly, but on more stable, reliable accounts. An aggressive profile means a higher risk of loss, but also a higher risk of growth. Pick the one you know best about and see the results.

Acorn was developed as a mobile-first app. However, a web portal is available for anyone who prefers to use the internet rather than cell phones. While not free, Acorn is affordable - $ 1 per month for all accounts under $ 5,000, and then 0.25% of the balance per year for accounts over $ 5,000.

2. Hideout (website)

Stash has the same pricing structure as Acorns and does not automatically invest for you. Stash offers users educational content tailored to their investment preferences.

When you're just starting out, all of the terms and acronyms can be overwhelming. While you won't get in-depth analysis of all of the potential companies to invest in, Stash will help you understand what all of the terms mean.

You can choose between a value-oriented portfolio or build your own portfolio. Once you've done that, you can set up the "auto-stash" recurring investment settings to create some sort of automated system based on your end goals.

The process won't get out of hand, but Stash gives you the resources and information you need to get started in an often confusing world. Stash is available on iOS and Android devices.

3. Robinhood (website)

One thing you should know about investing: investing costs money, but trading stocks also costs money. There are often brokerage fees associated with moving your stocks that can include the potential profits you will make from growing them. Robinhood is a completely free app that allows you to trade stocks for free.

Of course, you can only trade at certain times, but you can extend that time by signing up for Robinhood Gold, a subscription service that grants access to a subscription with a wider range of features than the base app.

This may sound too good to be true, but Robinhood as a company is designed to have minimal overhead. This means that their costs are low and they can pass these savings on to their users without charging brokerage fees. The app may not educate you to invest. However, if you know what you are doing, you can move stocks without the usual cost.

4. Ally Invest (website)

Ally Invest is the investment portion of Ally Bank, an online-only company with low overheads that enables people to keep their costs down. It's a popular platform for daily stock traders, but it's also a great option for beginners. The cost is $ 4.95, but there are no minimum account requirements and there are many tools to help you with this.

Ally also provides training resources that can be used to learn how things work. This is a great option for DIY investors. All ETFs are commission-free, but there is a small fee to trade in mutual funds.

You should also know that Ally Invest doesn't have any automatic investing or balancing options - everything is done manually, but it does help you learn more about your investments and portfolio.

If you know absolutely nothing about investing, Ally Invest may not be your best option - but if you are ready to soak your heels in and read up on what it all means, it can be a powerful tool for increasing your wealth in the Over time.

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