Life circumstances, tight budgets and perpetual debt may be a few reasons why it's difficult to save money and invest.
When it comes to retirement, it seems as though many Americans aren't properly prepared.
In fact, 47 percent of Americans still aren't investing. The main reason respondents said they don't invest is that they feel like they don't have enough money. Other responses for not investing was due to a lack of investing knowledge.
In a separate study, 57 percent of Americans have less than $1,000 in their savings accounts. However, with technology so readily available at our fingertips, there are a variety of investing apps available and it's easier than ever to invest and prepare for retirement.
Many of these investment apps are great for both beginners and experts alike. It's now possible to start investing for just $1, and there are many great ways to grow your portfolio automatically. Even better, investing is now cheaper to open and maintain (without expensive fees).
Let's look at six of the best investment apps for you to consider.
Its unique feature is the spare change savings tool. Link your credit/debit card, and the app will round up every purchase to the next dollar. That spare change will go towards your portfolio. For instance, if your morning coffee costs $2.75, Acorns will round it up to $3, putting the extra $0.25 into savings.
You can also use the spare change tool to build your investment portfolio. The app offers exchange-traded funds (ETFs) by Rockwell and Vanguard. You can easily grow your portfolio without thinking about it.
Unlike many other investing apps and services, Acorns is reasonably priced, with accounts starting at just $1 per month.
If you're brand new to investing and the terminology goes over your head, you may want to consider downloading Stash.
The app teaches you everything you need to get started, and the Stash Coach helps make investing fun, as well. As you invest, the app will give you tips about how to build a better portfolio.
Because the app allows you to purchase only parts of a share, you don't need many funds to get started. It takes just $5 to open an account, and fees start at just $1 per month.
If you're already comfortable with investing, though, this app may not be for you. It only allows you to trade 380 stocks and 75 ETFs, and you will not get in-depth market information.
Since its debut in 2014, many investors have clamored for Robinhood because of its no-fee stock trading. Whereas brokerages typically charge $5 to $15 or more per stock trade, Robinhood gets rid of these fees altogether. With no account minimum and no monthly fee, Robinhood is excellent, even if you have smaller balances.
In addition to stocks, Robinhood lets you trade ETFs, options and cryptocurrencies (still without fees). Also, they recently announced their cash management program, which works similarly to a high-yield savings account. Soon, they're also going to allow commission-free fractional shares, as well, which will enable you to invest with just $1.
Because Robinhood doesn't charge any fees, it makes money through Robinhood Gold, which is an optional program that starts at $5 a month and lets you trade on margin and after hours.
M1 Finance wants you to be able to take control of your money all in one platform. It allows you to invest, borrow and spend with just one account while offering some of the best security possible.
M1 Finance lets you either create your own portfolio or choose from more than 80 curated ones. It also allows you to buy fractional shares and set up an automatic investing plan. You can also set up traditional, Roth and SEP IRAs.
The app gives you the option to borrow money with very low interest rates. You can instantly receive a line of credit for up to 35 percent of your account balance without any credit checks, paperwork or denials.
Another great tool M1 Finance offers is its savings account. With M1 Plus, you can earn some interest and 1 percent cash back on purchases made with the debit card.
M1 Finance is an excellent option if you want all of your money in one place.
If you're looking for entirely hands-off investing, Wealthfront is an excellent choice. As a robo-advisor, Wealthfront invests your money for a small fee. (This fee is about one quarter of the national average.)
With an automated and diversified portfolio, you can invest your money with very little work. Their algorithms ensure your portfolio remains balanced, even as the market changes. That way, you can be confident your investments are within your risk tolerance.
Wealthfront also implements tax-loss harvesting strategies to lower your taxes. And every trade they make is commission-free, meaning, you don't need to worry about automatic trading fees eating away at your portfolio.
Like many of the other investment apps, Wealthfront offers a high-yield savings account.
Since its creation in 2008, Betterment wants to optimize your investment performance. Like Wealthfront, Betterment is a robo-advisor with a very low annual fee. By investing your money with Betterment, they'll spread your portfolio over thousands of companies around the world, minimizing your risk.
Betterment lets you pull your investing, checking and savings accounts all in one place. Betterment helps allocate your funds in the most tax-efficient manner. Betterment offers Traditional IRAs, Roth IRAs, SEP IRA, as well as 401(k) and 403(b) rollovers.
Investment apps have made it easy and simple to take charge of your financial future. Buying index funds or even individual stocks can now be opened and managed through your smartphone.
With apps that let you learn about investing, automate it or even invest for free, there's no reason not to get started. While you're growing your investments, there are also many great money-making apps to consider.
Regardless of your situation or income, these apps are great tools for building and growing your portfolio. The key is to start as early as possible so you can let your money compound with time.