Investing–supposedly an adulting task reserved for the rich. Not necessarily–I make $8.50 an hour and have a portfolio worth nearly $700 built over 12 months. How did I do it? Simple–I used apps that automatically took a small amount of change out of my paycheck. In some cases, I let the apps decide what my investments were in. In other cases, I decided for myself, using a “buy and hold” strategy and investing in what I think people need. For example, I own stock in Kroger, because people will always need groceries.
Here are the apps I use–if you decide to download them, please use my code so I get credit for referring you.
1). Acorns. Sometimes a child hears something that stays with them forever. When I was four, my neighbor said “Pennies add up to dimes, and dimes add up to dollars.”. Acorns operates along these lines, rounding up linked debit card purchases to the nearest dollar and investing the change. This allows you to build up a portfolio with a speed that puts Mario Andretti to shame. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll send you a code for a free $5. Nobel Prize in Economics winner Dr. Harry Markowitz helped design this app. You can also automatically invest as little as $5 per month, but I’ve found that unnecessary. Be careful–this app can cause an overdraft! My invite code is https://acorns.com/invite/76JU68
2) Clink. Initially designed for Millennials, this easy-to-use app gives you a $5 sign-up bonus. You can link it to your bank account to deposit money automatically, starting with $1 daily and going up to $500 monthly. You can choose your own portfolio, ranging from very conservative to very aggressive. As a general rule, the younger you are, the more aggressive your portfolio should be. You get $5 for each friend you refer via SMS, email or Messenger, and they get $5 as well. You can also link your credit card to round up purchases to the nearest dollar.
3) .Robinhood. Poor man’s investing! This app allows you to buy stock without a broker’s fee. You can earn free stock by using my referral code, share.robinhood.com/beckyo. You have a 1 in 200 chance of getting Facebook, Apple, or Microsoft stock, and a 1 in 90 chance of getting Ford, Snap, or AMD. You can also buy crypto currency.
4). Stash. Stash gives you a $5 sign-up bonus, so you don’t need money to start investing based on your risk tolerance and causes you believe in. For example, I have a conservative risk profile, the Do the Right thing ETF, and even a cannabis ETF. You can link Stash to your bank account to invest every week, biweekly, or monthly. There is a $1 per month management fee. You get $5 for each friend you refer through Facebook, Twitter, or your phone’s contact list.
5). Stockpile. Can’t afford a full stock? This is your app! Stockpile allows you to buy a fraction of stocks. There is a 99-cent trade fee. You can slowly get the whole share in increments, and you can get a $5 credit by emailing me for a link. You can also buy gift cards.
6). WiseBanyan. Good news–there is frequently a sign-up bonus. Bad news–there get said bonus, you have to use a referral code and leave the app installed for 6 months. My code is https://WiseBanyan.com/r/erKJgOled . You can choose how much you want to invest each month, and you can automatically stop an investment if it would take your bank account below a certain threshold. You can invest in cannabis.
Hot tips? Subscribe to morningstar.com and check out books about investing at the library.