Investing is like exercise. It’s never too late to join the game, and a little better bit is better than nothing. When we have volatile days like January 28, 2021, there is natural curiosity about the market. Elon’s cryptic tweets of a whippet on a Dogue magazine cover only add to the curiosity.
Do you want to start investing this year but don’t know where to start? I’m happy to provide resources and information. Although I am not a financial planner, I write for websites like GoBanking Rates, MyBankTracker, and the Daily Money Show podcast. Over the course of these assignments, I have joined many investment platforms. Some of them are listed below. I recently joined WeBull, and will be adding a review of that in the coming weeks.
A Note About Fees & Incentives
The only one of the platforms below that has a monthly fee is Acorns (you can see their pricing structure here). Something to keep in mind if you are only investing a small amount. I have the family plan since I have a IRA account with them also invest for my daughter (Acorns Early). Acorns used to be free for college students, but unfortunately this is no longer the case.
Many companies offer incentives to join. I’m including links to them below. Full disclaimer, when you join, I get a little kickback (usually like a free stock or $5, etc.)
What it is: Acorns is a long-term investing platform – a micro-investing app. CEO Noah Kerner doubled down and tripled down on their emphasis of long-term growth goals message to CNBC in September 2020. You can select one of several portfolios, including conservative, moderately conservative, moderate, moderately aggressive, and aggressive. I chose “moderately aggressive.” This portfolio claims to be most appropriate for those with longer time horizons.
Why I like it: You don’t have to think about it, Acorns balances your investments over large stocks, small stocks, and US bonds. You put your money with Acorns, and your oak tree grows. I do $25 / month and then one-time investments here and there.
Other features: You can link your Acorns account to “round-ups” so that every time you use your debit card, the amount it would take to round up to the nearest dollar is moved over to Acorns. I tried this for a month, and decided I didn’t love it, so I turned it off. It would be cool if the round up amount was instantly transferred. Instead, Acorns waits until there are $5 of round ups and then hits your account for that.
Finally, they have an “Earn” section where you can participate in certain offers and get money credited to your Acorns account.
How to get started: Use this Acorns invite link to get started today, and get a free gift when you do.
What it is: Robinhood allows you to do what your parents needed a stockbroker for. They are a registered broker-dealer in mobile app form. Your parents also paid their stockbroker a commission, and you don’t have to. Trades on the Robinhood app are commission-free.
Robinhood came under fire from Ted Cruz, lawmaker Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Elon Musk on January 28, 2021 when they decided to temporarily block investors from buying shares of GameStop. Congressional hearings have been scheduled.
Why I like it: It is so easy. Transferring money from your linked bank account to Robinhood takes seconds. Robinhood fronts you the money so you can start trading instantly. And you can get crypto. I started investing in Dogecoin in 2020 and watched it explode, which Elon called “inevitable.”
What it is: Pi is a new cryptocurrency created by a group of Stanford grads: Vince McPhilip M.B.A. ’18, Chengdiao Fan Ph.D. ’14 and Nicolas Kokkalis Ph.D. ’13. I have previously blogged about Pi before and believe it has some potential. The crypto is unique becuase it’s mined on smartphones like yours and mines. There are no crazy mining rigs to invest in.
Why I like it: Mining in pi is very easy. You open the smartphone app and press a button every 24 hours. Watch those pi coins grow. We don’t know what will happen with this currency, but it’s risk-free to stick around and see.
How to get Started: Use this Pi invite link . Use my username (172driver) as your invitation code. You get a free coin and then each day you tap in, you keep mining.
Have questions or suggestions? Share them in the comments below.