You can be on Entrepreneur’s cover!

I Tested the 'Invest As You Shop' App to See If It Really Makes Investing Less Intimidating Grifin is an app that tailors a user's investments to their spending habits. Now, the app is getting even more personal.

By Sherin Shibu

Key Takeaways

  • Grifin automatically pulls $1 from a user's checking account when they make a purchase at a publicly traded company and puts it into the company's stock.
  • The app’s goal is to democratize investing and help users develop unique portfolios.
  • I tested out the app overall to see if it really makes investing easier for beginners.
entrepreneur daily

Fintech startup Grifin, which launched in 2017, has a unique solution when it comes to investing — it aligns where you shop with where you invest.

Grifin automatically pulls $1 from a user's checking account every time they make a purchase at a publicly traded company, and then automatically invests that dollar back into the company for the user. For example, if a Grifin user went to Starbucks and bought a cold brew, the Grifin app would withdraw $1 with the purchase and give the user $1 of SBUX stock.

The company released a new adaptive investing model on Thursday that makes its services more flexible, from the ability to pause automatic payments, to disabling investments at certain companies where users shop. The user can also now manually increase or decrease how much they want to spend on investments, from $1 up to $99 per transaction.

RELATED: I Tried 3 AI Headshot Generators and One Was the Clear Winner

"By investing in small amounts, as low as $1 at a time, the aim is to help people to learn to navigate the world of investing without incurring too many negative consequences if they don't get it right," Grifin co-founder Aaron Froug told TechCrunch.

Grifin was created to democratize investing and help people understand their spending habits, Froug said. Having a positive relationship with money can be "an incredibly difficult thing to do and achieve," he told the outlet.

Here's How It Works

I tried out the Grifin app with the new adaptive investing model, and I found it easy to onboard and use the service.

Screenshots from the app. The first shows the steps needed to create a Grifin account, the second highlights that the app asks for personal information, like SSN and home address, and the third shows how the app identifies companies to invest in.

To create an account, I had to enter personally identifiable information, such as my social security number and my home address. I also had to connect a checking account to the app, and any other credit or debit cards that I used so that Grifin could track my transactions.

While I wasn't thrilled about giving out all of my personal information, it was surprisingly easy to become an investor. It took less than 10 minutes to get everything connected and ready to go.

Within seconds, Grifin had already pulled the four places I shopped at in the past week, past two weeks, and past month.

RELATED: A 29-Year-Old CEO Quit Microsoft To Build His Startup — And Just Scored A Deal on Shark Tank

The app is simply laid out and the adaptive investing model gives me more confidence as a user because if I don't want to invest in a particular company, but I want to buy something from it, I can do that. The $1 investment per transaction model reframes spending choices because the app makes spending less about consumption and more about investing time and money into businesses.

Grifin has an app redesign and an AI chatbot in the works according to TechCrunch.

As for me, I intend to keep using this app. The financial stakes are low enough that anyone can try it.

Sherin Shibu

Entrepreneur Staff

News Reporter

Sherin Shibu is a business news reporter at Entrepreneur.com. She previously worked for PCMag, Business Insider, The Messenger, and ZDNET as a reporter and copyeditor. Her areas of coverage encompass tech, business, strategy, finance, and even space. She is a Columbia University graduate.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Leadership

This Trauma Doctor Has Seen It All — And in Moments of Failure, He Shares The 2 Things That Help Him Start Again

Here's how an ER doctor grapples with loss, failure and persistence — and how you can do the same.

Money & Finance

7 Easy Ways To Manage Cash Flow Surprises In Your Business

Small businesses should thrive without financial worries. Explore strategies to manage cash flow effectively and keep your business's focus on your operations and long-term goals.

Growing a Business

When Customers Balked at High Prices, This Bubble Tea Maker Educated Them About Quality Ingredients. Now His Flea Market Stand Has Turned Into 3 Permanent Locations.

From day one, Mathew Wong's goal has been to share the authentic bubble tea experience with his community. By staying true to his vision and facing obstacles head-on, he's brought a taste of Asia to customers across three New York City neighborhoods with his company Tea and Milk.

Devices

Get an Android Tablet for $120

This powerful tablet can support a wide range of business travel needs.