Millennials are known living their lives on the go and wanting things simple. They grew up in the smartphone era, and have capitalized fully on the convenience this offers. From a financial standpoint, one of the areas where the generation has made its mark has been investing.
Stock trading has evolved to accommodate Millennials, making it easier than ever to begin investing. If you’re interested in Millennial stock trading, start by checking out these two investment platforms.
Robinhood is a service that encourages free millennial stock trading. While many trading services charge fees for each transaction or collect commissions on your gains, Robinhood allows their users to complete an unlimited number of trades, all for free. The company does so in hopes that young investors are encouraged enough to open a portfolio.
Since its inception in 2013, Robinhood trading has been responsible for over $100 billion in transactions. Users have saved over $1 billion in transaction fees as a result of the company’s $0 fee structure. The company makes money by collecting interest on the cash customers keep in their portfolios.
Robinhood will be the first to admit they tailor their services toward millennials, calling themselves “a stock brokerage built with the needs of a new generation in mind.” Robinhood allows users to learn about stocks without having to leave their mobile app. Users have said that Robinhood trading is a great stock trading starter kit.
The app allows you to create a personalized news feed, selecting any stocks or financial information that you find relevant. Additionally, you can create Collections of stocks that you have interest in so that you can monitor their performance and invest at the right time. Robinhood will also make stock suggestions to you, introducing you to stocks representative of your interests.
With Robinhood, Millennial stock trading is also very trustworthy. The Securities Investor Protection Corporation protects up to $500,000 of your holdings. It is great for investors who are looking to get their feet wet in the world of stock trading. Registration only takes a couple of minutes, although you will need to confirm direct deposit accounts in your bank account before you can begin trading.
The basic version of Robinhood allows investors to:
- Buy or Sell Stocks at Their Market Price
- Place Limit Orders
- Place Stop Loss Orders
- Place Stop Limit Orders
There are no minimum requirements, so investors can invest as much or as little as they’d like. However, it’s worth remembering that you should only spend as much as you’re willing to lose. Meaning, if the stock market crashed tomorrow and you were not able to recoup any of your investment, would you still be able to sleep ok at night?
This concept is especially important for younger investors who may not have much knowledge when it comes to technical trading. If you find yourself always worried about your returns and initial investment, you have probably sunk too much capital into your portfolio.
Similarly, it’s important to remember basic investing fundamentals like diversification. Your entire portfolio should not be tied up in one stock or one asset class. Stocks are considered one of the riskiest investments. If you’re putting in $100 to play around with, then that’s fine. But if you’re going to invest a considerable amount of stock, you should also purchase less-riskier assets to help mitigate your risk.
For those with a little more investing experience who are looking to take their portfolios to the next level, the company offers Robinhood Gold subscriptions for $10 per month. Robinhood Gold has more bells and whistles than the standard trading platform, with the company itself calling it a “premium margin account.”
Robinhood Gold still offers commission-free trades, so the biggest perk of the Robinhood platform is readily available. The big difference between Robinhood Gold and the standard trading platform is buying power. With the Gold version, Robinhood will lend you money so that you can buy stocks in advance.
Imagine a company is set to go public, and you would like to invest in their Initial Public Offering. With the standard platform, you’ll need to make sure that you fund your account before the IPO date, keeping in mind that it can take a couple of days for funds to process from your bank account to your Robinhood account.
With Gold, you can borrow money to complete your desired purchases. Additionally, Gold offers extended trading hours, meaning that investors can buy and sell stocks for an extra two hours each day.
Robinhood recently decided to capitalize on the enormous growth the cryptocurrency market has seen in the last year. The company recently decided to offer Bitcoin and Ethereum on the platform. Both are available for no extra fees, just like any other stock on the Robinhood platform. This is a big difference from other well-known American cryptocurrency exchanges like Coinbase, who charge transaction fees.
A lack of transaction fees is what Robinhood also plans to use to gain a leg up on the rest of the cryptocurrency world. Coinbase, for example, can charge transaction fees as high as 4%. By not charging fees, Robinhood instantly makes themselves one of the most attractive exchanges for crypto investors.
Although you can only purchase two cryptocurrencies from Robinhood at this point, you can monitor an additional 12 coins. Analysts have speculated that if the initial rollout is successful, Robinhood will quickly expand the number of residents who can purchase the crypto and the number of cryptos that are available for purchase.
Initially, Robinhood offered cryptocurrencies to residents in:
- New Hampshire
To date, over one million people have signed up for Robinhood Crypto, which pushed the total number of Robinhood users above the four million investor mark.
Robinhood is currently offering an “Invite Friends, Get Free Stock” deal. When Robinhood users invite their friends to join the platform, they themselves can win up to $500 in free stocks. After receiving the stock, users are able to treat this stock like any other stock in their platform that they’ve purchased. So, after three days, investors can sell the free share of stock for a hard-dollar profit.
However, the cash value of the stock must remain in your account for at least 30 days before you withdraw it. You can also reinvest the funds from the sale of the free stock into purchases of shares that are a better fit for your investment portfolio.
Another Millennial stock trading option is Acorns. Although users don’t have as many options as they do with Robinhood, their means of investing are very simple. Acorns is an investment app that allows you to invest your spare change. When you use your credit or debit card for goods or services, Acorns will round the transaction up to the nearest whole dollar, investing the difference.
For many beginners, this is a way to begin investing without any hassle. No technical knowledge is needed to get started. Over three million people currently use Acorns as an investment vehicle.
Users can select from one of five portfolios. Portfolios consist of stocks, bonds, exchange-traded funds, and multiple other asset classes. This means that investors are provided diversification based on their risk profile, but it also means that they do not have the flexibility to choose individual stocks like they do in Robinhood. Investment portfolio options include:
- Conservative, which is 80 percent invested in government and corporate bonds
- Moderately Conservative, which is 60 percent invested in government and corporate bonds and 24 percent invested in large-company stocks
- Moderate, which is 40 percent invested in government and corporate bonds and 29 percent invested in large-company stocks
- Moderately Aggressive, which is 38 percent invested in large-company stocks, 20 percent invested in government and corporate bonds, and 16 percent invested in international large-company stocks
- Aggressive, where funds solely are put into stocks, including 40 percent in large-company stocks
Although everyone’s investment profile and goals are different, a general rule of thumb is that the younger you are, the more you can afford to take risks. As you age closer to retirement, you should not need to take as many chances with your money. The average Millennial would want to consider investing in an Aggressive or Moderately Aggressive Acorns portfolio.
The company has recently introduced Acorns Later, which is an IRA account tailored to fit the Acorns platform. Acorns consider their IRA to be a tax-advantaged retirement account, although the company says that they will select the correct IRA based on your lifestyle and goals. Just like the original platform, a minimum investment of $5 is needed to begin investing.
There are over 330,000 users pre-registered for access, which is set to become available within the next month. If you are new to Acorns, you will need to establish an Acorns profile before enrolling in the Acorns Later option.