Jason R. Rich is a consumer electronics expert who hosts the Featured App of the Week podcast and contributes articles to many publications.
If you’re interested in investing in the stock market, for example, but have a very small investment budget, there are powerful mobile apps that can help you establish and slowly build your own investment portfolio over time.
Of course, anytime you invest in the stock market, it involves some level of risk, especially during these uncertain financial times. However, using mobile apps, like Robinhood or Acorns, you can establish an investment account for free, and then invest just a few dollars at a time, so the financial commitment is truly minimal.
For people who already have an investment portfolio, chances are the broker you use has its own proprietary mobile app that allows you to monitor and manage your account, plus initiate trades from virtually anywhere, as long as your mobile device has an internet connection.
To determine if your broker has its own mobile app, either call the broker directly and ask, or visit the App Store if you’re an iPhone or iPad user. If you’re an Android mobile device user, access the Google Play Store, and within the Search field, type the name of your investment broker, such as Charles Schwab, Merrill Lynch, T. Row Price, or Fidelity Investments.
To quickly research stocks and see how they’re performing for free, you can also use the Stocks app that comes preinstalled on your iPhone, for example. However, this app does not allow you to buy or sell stocks. There are also countless other free mobile apps available that allow you to manage an existing portfolio or research investment opportunities using real-time financial data.
For someone who’s interested in dabbling in the stock market and establishing a portfolio with a minimal investment, check out the free Robinhood mobile app.
Once you download and install this app, you’ll need to set up a free Robinhood account, and then link it with your bank account in order to transfer funds. Then, you’re able to invest in stocks, options, crypto currencies, and ETFs, for example, on a 100 percent commission-free basis.
Using the Robinhood app from your Internet-connected mobile device, you’re able to access real-time market data, read news articles that are directly relevant to your investments, and manage your portfolio with ease.
What’s great about Robinhood is that you can invest any amount of money by purchasing fractional shares. What this means is that you can literally invest as little as $1.00 at a time.
The Robinhood app is well designed and secure. It provides a great way to learn how to invest and then start building your own portfolio with a minimal financial and time commitment.
Another useful app for first-time investors is called Acorns. It too is a free app. What sets Acorns apart is that it allows you to link your investment account with most debit cards and credit cards.
Then, as you go about making your everyday purchases, the Acorns app rounds each purchase up to the nearest dollar and invests that change on your behalf.
For example, if you buy a cup of coffee for $3.60 using your linked debit card, you’ll automatically and securely invest 40 cents into your Acorns investment account.
Over time, you’re potentially able to grow your investment portfolio automatically, plus learn more about the stock market from tidbits of tutorial information provided by the app.
Already in use by more than seven million investors, the Acorns mobile app also allows you to commit to making an automatic weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly investment of any amount, starting as low as $5.00, which allows you to potentially grow your investment portfolio faster.
As you set up your Acorns account initially, the app will ask you as series of questions about your financial goals and risk tolerance. The app then chooses investments on your behalf, and charges just a $1.00 per month account maintenance fee.
Both the Robinhood and Acorns mobile apps make establishing and managing an investment portfolio easy and accessible to just about anyone. Be sure that you use the educational tools built into these apps to help you fully understand what you’re doing before investing your money.
While these apps probably won’t make you rich, over time, they can help you save money for the future.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2020 Jason R Rich