10 Tools for the First-Time Millennial Investor
Millennials are scared -- with good reason -- of losing their money. These tools help them dip their toes into the investing pool and lower their risk.
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Since millennials grew up during the 2008 recession, they are often extra-wary of the financial risks that investing presents. After all, this age cohort lives in an era when they're are not making as much money as their parents did, and when everything from houses and vehicles to health insurance and higher education costs more than it did for Mom and Dad.
So, it's no surprise that millennials like to hold tightly to their money when they can. They also appreciate transparency when it comes to navigating the chaotic and often sinister financial landscape.
Fortunately, there are tools that make investing less daunting for this demographic, whose members hope to grow their wealth by means other than just working. Are you a millennial? Want to know more? If so, here are ten tools that make wealth generation an easier process:
Acorns is a micro-investing app that you can connect to your debit and credit cards (it even offers its own debit card that requires no minimum balance). Whenever you spend money -- for a $2.60 muffin at the local bakery, for instance -- Acorns rounds that purchase up to $3.00 and invests the difference into stocks or bonds for you. The app then allows you to set your account's micro-investing strategy anywhere between "conservative" and "aggressive" so that your risk level can be reflected in your potential returns.
Acorns is an efficient way to ease yourself into investing: It's low-stress and automatic, and allows you to generate a bit of extra wealth without having to become too involved yourself.
Betterment is a service (available both online and via app) that helps newbie investors become more confident, and provides individuals of any experience level with tailored advice. Whether you want to have a financial safety net, to save for retirement, to augment your wealth, or something else, Betterment guides you through the process and helps you reach your goals. After all, investing is less scary when you have an abundance of helpful information at your fingertips!
iQuantifi is an online financial advisor that offers millennials goal-oriented help. Once you answer a few questions, iQuantifi provides you with a custom-made financial plan according to your resources and determines the necessary steps to achieve your goals. iQuantifi is continuous, actionable and easily accessible -- so if you want to save for particular milestones, such as buying a car, iQuantifi will be a beneficial tool.
TradeStops emphasizes investing based on mathematics and data, not emotions. Many aspiring investors are nervous to begin, but TradeStops algorithms provide you with logical suggestions that are meant to ease your worries and prevent your doubts from working against you. TradeStops notes that the more you invest, the more confident you can become in your intuition.
Before hopeful investors begin putting their money in stocks, they need to be cognizant of their own spending habits. Podcaster Rikki Ayers says: "As a millennial who got herself into money trouble in her 20s and is quickly getting out of that trouble now … I started to get really interested in the way that I could use personal finance to build wealth. I started using Mint.com to learn how to meet financial goals. For me, it was getting out of debt. Now, I know exactly what I need to put away every month to meet my goal, and I'm on track!"
If you are a millennial who wants a comprehensive look at where your money is going, Mint can help you budget and free up money to direct toward investing.
You don't need to call a broker (and pay accompanying fees) if you want to invest in stocks, ETFs, cryptocurrencies or options. Instead, you can invest directly from your internet-connected devices, with Robinhood. Robinhood's mission is to democratize the American financial system. Therefore, this tool offers its brokerage services for free; this way, anyone with an electronic device can participate in the financial markets.
Stash is an excellent investing tool for beginners because it provides insight into how to build a healthy portfolio. One of its best features is that it enables you to invest in industries you support. Typically, investing feels better when you are emotionally invested in the organizations you are putting your money in, so you can easily find environmentally friendly or human rights-supporting companies, or other entities that you want to support.
8. Personal Capital
Qapital offers pre-built portfolios, so it's especially helpful for neophyte investors. Qapital can help you diversify your funds, achieve savings goals and plan for the future.
Estimize generates financial projections based on crowd patterns. While this might sound counterintuitive, Estimize claims that it is more accurate than Wall Street 74 percent of the time. It aggregates insights from tens of thousands of analysts and reports; so if you want to forecast your profits and want help deciding where to invest next, Estimize can give you some insight.
Investing for your first time can be scary, but assisted by tools from Estimize that can offer you advice, guide you through the process, give recommendations and provide analysis of your assets, you can take better control of your financial future -- which, as a millennial, you have a lot of.