Technology has become increasingly prevalent in our daily lives, which makes it no surprise that investing methods have followed suit. First-time investors and experienced traders alike can take advantage of mobile investment apps, which make it easier than ever to put money into the market.

Market trends indicate that 2018 is a great time to download investment apps to your phone and begin investing.

Benefits of Investment Apps

2017 was a record year for the stock market, closing the year up 25%. Bullish trends should continue into 2018, with tremendous growth expected to continue for at least the first quarter of the year. However, many people are neglecting investments. Business Insider indicates that approximately 40% of millennials believe that they do not have enough money to begin investing.

Micro-Investing

One of the biggest benefits of investment apps is that they encourage users to micro-invest. Micro-investing apps are intended to allow users to save and invest in small amounts.

The minimum amounts required to begin investing in a mobile app are typically very low, with some investment apps requiring nothing more than a few dollars to get started. Users need not sacrifice anything more than a morning cup of coffee to begin investing.

Investment apps can be a much more affordable investment option than, say, using a personal wealth manager. While some trading apps charge low fees on a per-trade basis, other investment apps charge fees based on the amount of money in your account. They tend not to charge fees until your account hits a certain amount, typically around $5,000.

Micro-investing can be beneficial for anyone with extra income, even if they only invest a few extra cents a day. It allows for investments that can fit in anyone’s budget making it the modern-day, technological alternative to a piggy bank. For more information about micro-investing, check out this post from Investopedia.

Encouraging Investments

Investment apps simplify investing for those scared to jump in, having been designed to be more user-friendly. Investments used to be associated with boring line graphs and charts. Now, investments can be viewed on apps that are colorful and informative for the everyday user.

Many of the best investment apps offer analysis tools that are easy to comprehend. They also provide users access to live market and economic news updates. Thanks to the app designs, many users report that they’ve found investing fun and stimulating.

Users can instantly track how much their initial investment has grown and returned. Many investment apps will also project future earnings based on anticipated investments, which can help incentivize investing. Being able to see tangible estimates of their future earnings may help some cut down on frivolous spending, prompting them to invest the funds instead.

First-time users can set up their accounts in a matter of minutes. Users will typically answer a few questions to indicate how risk-averse they are. From there, their funds will automatically be deposited into an exchange-traded fund, reducing the hassle and legwork. Users don’t have to research or gamble on individual stocks. Their money will steadily grow over time.

Best Investment Apps

If you’re looking to improve your mobile investment experience, consider checking out the Google Play Store or Apple Store to download some of the apps listed below. Stock market apps for Android and stock market apps for iOS will revolutionize how you invest.

Acorns

Acorns is an investment app that takes a hands-free approach to micro-investments. When registering, users can link their Acorns account to as many credit or debit cards as they’d like. The app will then round purchases up to the nearest dollar, and use the “change” for investments.

So, imagine buying a coffee for $2.25. Your credit card would be billed $3.00, and $.75 would be added to your Acorns portfolio. For many users, these nominal investments are unnoticeable because of how small they are. But over time, they can add up to help create a decently-sized investment portfolio. Acorns requires a minimum of $5 to begin investing.

Great for younger users just dipping their feet into the world of investing, Acorns waives their fees for college students that register with a valid .edu email address. For non-college students, Acorn charges a fee of $12 per year for all investment portfolios up to $4,999. Once the portfolio hits $5,000, Acorn charges .25% of the account balance, which is standard for investment apps.

Acorns thrives because it encourages automatic saving. In addition to the round-up investments, users can also set up automatic payments from their checking or savings accounts to further fund their accounts. If users prefer manual investments, Acorns allows users to select which purchases they’d like to round up. Acorns makes it easy to do so in their app.  

Nerdwallet offers an extensive review of the Acorns mobile investing platform.

Stash

Stash is another app that is intended for beginner investors. The app seeks to educate users about investing while helping them build an ETF portfolio. The app focuses on teaching users about how various ETFs can fit into their risk tolerance and investment goals.

Stash allows users to explore ETFs and select the one most suited for them. Generally, Stash will allow the investment. But if it notices a lack of diversification or a selection that strongly contracts with a user’s investment goals, the app will offer more educational content in an attempt to encourage another selection.

The app also attempts to attract younger users by allowing them to connect their social media accounts. If a social media account is connected to a user’s Stash profile, their investments will be shared on their social media pages. Stash will not share balances or funding amounts.

The fees for using stash are the same for using Acorns. It costs $1 a month for accounts less than $5,000, and .25% annually for accounts greater than $5,000. Stash too requires a $5 minimum investment to get started. While the account is not free for college students, Stash does offer a free first month for new users.

For a more detailed analysis, compare Nerdwallet’s Stash review to their Acorns review.

Robinhood

Robinhood is a share market app that allows users to invest in individual shares of a company. Many investment platforms charge transaction fees of a few dollars. Robinhood, however, allows investors to make trades without paying fees or commissions.The app also allows users to invest in ETFs.

Robinhood is best suited for active traders or day traders who frequently make transactions. Users must purchase full shares of stocks unless they invest up to $2,000, at which point they’ll have access to Robinhood Gold. Robinhood Gold allows for margin trading. Overall, the Robinhood app is very user-friendly.

It should be noted that although it can be a part of a balanced investment strategy, Robinhood in and of itself could be risky. Stocks are considered the riskiest investment. It is important for investors to balance their stock holdings across various industries. It is also important for investors to mitigate risk and diversify their entire portfolio, no matter how risky they consider themselves.  

Robinhood does not offer much in terms of educational opportunities. They do provide their investors with real-time market data, but not much in terms of other research tools. Because of this, Robinhood should only be considered an option for knowledgeable investors.

The fact that Robinhood allows free trades is what sets it apart. But when dealing with risky investments, investors should only invest the amount they’re willing to lose. Although stockholders can see incredible gains, they can also see incredible losses. With thousands of stocks available, investors should do thorough research and make calculated decisions.

myCAMS Mutual Fund App

Mutual funds allow investors to pool their money to invest in stocks, bonds, and other investment vehicles like real estate. myCAMS is an app that allows users to invest in mutual funds. Typically, users go through one brokerage firm for each mutual fund they invest in. myCAMS, however, allows users to invest in multiple funds through one single platform.

Users are not able to purchase individual stocks or ETFs on the platform. Popular mutual funds that investors have access to via the myCAMS app include

  • Aditya Birla Sunlife MF
  • DSP BlackRock MF
  • HDFC MF
  • ICICI Prudential MF
  • IDFC MF
  • IIFL MF
  • Kotak MF
  • L&T MF
  • Mahindra MF
  • PPFAS
  • SBI MF
  • Sriram MF
  • Tata MF
  • Union KBC MF
  • Sundaram MF
  • BNB Paribas MF

The app allows investors to see all of their mutual fund holdings in one portfolio. myCAMS also allows investors to track mutual funds that they are interested in investing in.

myCAMS is one of the most reliable mutual fund applications available. It is intended for users who have, at the very least, a sound financial understanding. Users should have an idea of how risky they would like their holdings to be, and how different asset classes can contribute to a mutual fund’s riskiness.

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