The end of the year is quickly approaching, which means many are likely considering what goals they want to prioritize in 2021. A popular one, year after year, is figuring out how to save money more effectively. And while budgeting within your means is important, investing is another option to explore for adding more dollars to your bank account over time.
Learning how to invest, and specifically where to invest, can sound overwhelming if you haven’t done it before. But modern technology is making that more seamless than ever with investment apps for beginners and investment pros alike. Many of these apps make learning the basics simple—and that’s so important because experts say starting early is a smart move when it comes to investing.
“Investing early is key because the time value of money is important,” says Cristina Briboneria, a certified financial planner and vice president at oXYGen Financial in Atlanta. “The longer a person has the money growing, the more potential it will grow long term.” That said, investing early doesn’t require investing a lot early. The truth is, whatever you can afford to invest is helpful. “Many people believe that they may not have enough money to start investing,” she adds. “Every little bit counts and it can make a huge difference for your long-term goals.”
So, no matter how much or little money you are able to allocate to investing, know that some is better than none. To make that process as easy as possible, check out five investment apps for beginners and pros alike below.
The social investing app allows users to discover companies, buy stocks with any amount of money, and follow other investors (as you would on your favorite social networks). The idea of making the stock market social means that you can learn from a community with people from different professional backgrounds. You can start or join group chats, too.
As one of Briboneria’s favorite resources, this app offers a one-stop source for investment, retirement and checking. On the investing front: Acorns portfolios—developed with the help of Nobel-prize winning economist, Harry Markowitz, PhD—are structured with exchange-traded funds (ETFs) from well-known investment management companies, and users can utilize “spare change” to micro-invest. Pricing options range from $1/month to $5/month, without minimums or trade fees.
Invstr is a place where gamers and cautious newbies who are interested in investing but aren’t ready to fully dive in with actual money can unite. That’s because this app is essentially a gamified mock version of the market that allows users to experiment, strategize, and learn. By playing with a $1 million portfolio—again, without using real cash—you can compete against friends and win real prizes, too.
Similar to Invstr and Public, this platform initiates fantasy trading games among friends, with cash prizes. It also allows for stock, ETF, and crypto simulation trading, in addition to offering a learning center with articles. Users can also connect with each other to offer advice, socialize or even exchange friendly trash talk (it is a game, after all).
In line with the spirit of the holiday season, this app allows you to buy (or request) a gift card that’s redeemable for stock. You can even share your stock wishlist with loved ones. Stockpile also offers a guide for the basics of investing, including a stock market flowchart with digestible, easy-to-follow graphics.
While many money-market apps exist, these five investment apps for beginners might be best suited for a novice’s needs.
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