Best Apps to Start Investing

Whether you are a beginner investor or just want to diversify, the following apps will help you win the money game.

Acorns

Acorns will help you save money so you can make more. The app will ask you about your saving goals and comfort with risk, then recommend one of five portfolios. Once you link a credit or debit card, Acorns will round up every purchase and add it to your account. For example, if you buy a $4.25 latte at breakfast and a $6.75 sandwich for lunch, a dollar would be added to your portfolio. The basic account costs $1 a month, though you can upgrade to $3 a month if you want to open a Roth or traditional IRA along with a checking account. The $5-a-month family account lets you set up a custodial account for your kids, which they can tap when they turn 18. While Acorns will not let you pick individual stocks, it’s still a good place to start.

BusyKid

One of the hardest lessons to teach children is the value of money. BusyKid will help your kids track and save cash they get from their allowance, odd jobs, or presents. The app also lets parents track chores and deposit allowances directly into their child’s account. A family subscription costs $20 a year and includes a debit card that kids can use to make purchases from their account (with parents maintaining complete control, of course). Kids get to invest a portion of their allowance in their favorite companies, like Disney or Netfl ix, as well as give to charity. It’s never too early to start saving, and BusyKid makes a great alternative to a boring piggy bank.

Ellevest

It’s no secret that the financial industry is male-dominated, which is why Ellevest was created by women for women. Guys are welcome, of course, but the app recognizes women often have different investing needs, such as having to fund longer retirements or taking career breaks to raise families. The Essential account costs $1 a month and lets you choose a portfolio based on long-term goals. There also are several plans that let you invest in women-owned or -run businesses. Ellevest Plus ($5/month) gives you access to an IRA and a report of how well you’re progressing toward your goals. The Ellevest Executive plan ($9/month) lets you set up multiple investment accounts, get a free one-on-one plan review, and up to 50 percent off financial coaching. The app offers excellent tutorials, videos, and emails that won’t patronize new customers.

Stash

Stash is one of the top financial apps for new investors. Stash will then show you how to build a personalized portfolio, and unlike other apps, you have the freedom to choose from more than 3,000 stocks and funds. You can start buying fractional shares of popular stocks with just $5. Stash also makes it easy to choose a stock fund based on performance or whether it is considered socially conscious. The basic account costs $1 a month and includes online banking and a $1K life insurance plan. If you upgrade to the $3-a-month plan, you can open a retirement account and get access to personalized retirement advice. Finally, the Stash+ account ($9 a month) lets you set up investment accounts for your children plus access to premium research and a $10K life insurance policy.

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