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6 apps, websites for new investors

6 apps, websites for new investors

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Estimated read time: 9-10 minutes

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YOUR SAVINGS ACCOUNT — The age to start thinking about retirement seems to get younger each day.

Though you may have already started saving in a 401(k) or a personal IRA, financial experts suggest that a single source of savings might not be enough for those currently in the workforce and saving for retirement.

Instead, many millennials are looking to alternative sources to generate additional income for savings. Some of the most popular sources for these young savers are investment opportunities.

Investing in commodities and stocks can be an excellent way to amplify current savings. The problem is trading isn’t necessarily common knowledge. We all get the gist of investing, but many of us still don’t quite know where or how to get involved in the trading market.

Tech innovators and financial pros have come up with apps and online services to help make the process of building and managing a portfolio more intuitive and less expensive for newbies.

Here are six apps that can help you ease into investing and generate additional income for future savings:

Acorns

Reports show that 34 percent of millennials avoid investing in the stock market because they don’t know how to get started. This is where Acorns can help. The app allows you to set up an account that links your bank account to your investment portfolio to invest your spare change over time. For example, if you buy a bagel for $2.50, Acorns will round up the purchase amount to the nearest dollar and invest 50 cents into your portfolio.

Acorns investors spend an average of $40 each month. The investment method makes the process of putting this money into a portfolio simple and cost effective. You can select your interests and desired outcomes to find ideal stocks where your money will be invested each month.

"Acorns automatically invests your spare change into a diversified portfolio. There are five different portfolio options based on risk," said Vania Ahmed, self-proclaimed investment app geek and co-president of the IR Futures club at the University of Oregon. "You also have the option to invest lump sums or set up recurring investments. This app couldn't make investing any easier. Plus, it's free for students."

This app is available for free on iOS and Android devices.

6 apps, websites for new investors

Stash

Further studies indicate that 48 percent of Americans cite a lack of sufficient funds as their main reason for not building an investment portfolio. Although it might seem like investing is only for your parents’ generation and young Wall Street prodigies, apps like Stash run on the philosophy that you don’t need a deep wallet to build an investment portfolio.

You can start investing with just $5 using the Stash app. Once you’ve set up your account, you can build a portfolio with funds like “global citizen,” “clean and green,” and “American innovators,” which were designed to allow users to build a portfolio of exchange-traded funds (ETF) that fit with their lifestyle and interests. The cost is cheap because you will be buying fractions of ETF shares rather than entire shares.

According to Ahmed, "Stash doesn't have Acorns' roundup feature, but it does give you more freedom to choose from a variety of funds. Stash provides recommendations based on risk, industries, and even your beliefs. Like Acorns, all you need is $5 to start investing."

The first three months of using Stash are free. After the three months are up, users are charged $1/month in trading fees. The app is available for free on iOS and Android devices.

6 apps, websites for new investors

Gold Tracker

Many investors look to commodity investments like precious metals to diversify their portfolios. This is because the value is a bit easier to predict and remains fairly steady in comparison to most stocks. The steadiness of precious metal values comes from their steady demand.

Roughly two-thirds of the world's gold is used in jewelry. This means that, as long as jewelry remains in demand, gold and other precious metals will maintain a high value on the market.

If you’re looking to build a diverse portfolio by including a commodity, Gold Tracker can help you track your investments in a unique platform built for precious-metal investing. The app tracks all of your precious metal transactions and keeps a running total value so you can easily check to see how your investments are doing. This app is currently only available on iOS devices for $2.99 in the App Store.

6 apps, websites for new investors

Openfolio

Once you’ve built your portfolio, it can be difficult to know exactly how you’re performing in comparison to market averages and what you can do to optimize your investments. Even if you’re working with an adviser, it can be reassuring to get a third-party, unbiased opinion on your portfolio’s performance to really know how you’re doing.

Openfolio connects you with over 70,000 investors who can work with you to share tricks of the trade and compare stock performance against unbiased benchmarks. You can use the app to team up with other investors in private groups as well to help make the learning process a bit easier and boost your potential for success while you’re still getting to know the market.

"Openfolio is taking what’s working in social media and applying it to investments. When you have people like Warren Buffett sharing their investment information, it’s a virtual no-brainer," said Kevin Mercadante, a financial pro at Investor Junkie.

The app is free and is currently only available on iOS devices.

6 apps, websites for new investors

FeeX

Brokers make a profit of up to $17 million in fees and commissions each year at the expense of investors who don’t realize that fees are being added to their savings accounts and accumulating over time.

The major problem here is that it can be difficult to identify where, when and how these fees are being added and how you can stop them from getting out of control.

Touted as the “Robin Hood of Fees,” FeeX is a service that aims to help consumers reduce financial fees on their 401(k) and IRA savings so they can collect more of the money they’ve earned upon retirement. The free service identifies existing fees in your savings account then helps you identify ways to reduce them.

You can check out the company’s website for more info and to request services.

6 apps, websites for new investors

Estimize

A lot of investors with new opportunities have one, very important question on their minds when beginning: “How much money will I make?” Answering this question isn’t simple as the markets can be a bit unpredictable and your personal performance potential is even less predictable. That being said, it can still be comforting to have an unbiased resource to give you a solid estimate.

Estimize allows you to create educated forecasts that can help you determine how much you might profit from your portfolio. You can use the site for free to follow specific stocks and produce basic forecasting for their estimated value over time.

6 apps, websites for new investors

Now, while building an investment portfolio is a great way to boost your savings efforts, it's important to be sure that you're in the right situation to invest before you start putting money into a portfolio each month.

“For these apps, the answer to the question of, ‘What should I do with my money?’ is always that you should invest. An adviser, on the other hand, says, ‘Should you pay down debt? Do you need more insurance coverage? Do you have enough money in an emergency fund? Those might be really good ways to use extra money,” cautioned financial technology expert Bill Winterburg in an article on USA Today.

If you are in the right financial situation to start investing, getting involved in the stock market might still seem a bit intimidating. This is where these apps can act as your metaphorical “floaties” until you’re ready to dive into investing on your own.

Have an app, service or website you'd recommend to fellow readers? Comment below!


Cosette Jarrett

About the Author: Cosette Jarrett

Cosette is a freelance writer and remote worker specializing in topics surrounding the tech and lifestyle fields. She is a University of Utah graduate with a BA from the Department of Communications.

Now, while building an investment portfolio is a great way to boost your savings efforts, it's important to be sure that you're in the right situation to invest before you start putting money into a portfolio each month.

“For these apps, the answer to the question of, ‘What should I do with my money?’ is always that you should invest. An adviser, on the other hand, says, ‘Should you pay down debt? Do you need more insurance coverage? Do you have enough money in an emergency fund? Those might be really good ways to use extra money,” cautioned financial technology expert Bill Winterburg in an article on USA Today.

If you are in the right financial situation to start investing, getting involved in the stock market might still seem a bit intimidating. This is where these apps can act as your metaphorical “floaties” until you’re ready to dive into investing on your own.

Have an app, service or website you'd recommend to fellow readers? Comment below!


![Cosette Jarrett](http://img.ksl.com/slc/2585/258576/25857651\.jpg?filter=ksl/65x65)
About the Author: Cosette Jarrett ---------------------------------

Cosette is a freelance writer and remote worker specializing in topics surrounding the tech and lifestyle fields. She is a University of Utah graduate with a BA from the Department of Communications.

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