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Best Micro-Investing Apps for Beginners 2020

Start investing with as little as $5.

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Prior to micro-investing, I didn’t invest much outside of my old 401(k) and IRAs. In fact, I was very intimidated when it came to buying stocks as a beginner. I mistakenly believed investing meant trading stocks and following the market day in and day out. Now, I understand that investing and stock trading are simply two different ways to earn money in the stock market.

Currently, I have a more robust investment strategy but I still use micro-investing apps to “save” money. If you’re looking to invest in small amounts, then micro-investing is a good option.

I’ve personally used a few micro-investing apps. The following are the balances on these accounts as of 09/24/20.

  • Acorns Core: $258.65
  • Stash Invest: $356.39
  • Stockpile: $724.44
  • M1 Invest: $4257.40

One thing to remember, keep your emergency savings in a regular savings account and use these apps to start your journey in growing your money.

4 Best Micro-Investing Apps of 2020

Micro-investing enables you to invest as little as $5 in the purchase of shares of stocks or index funds. With these apps, you can DIY (invest in stocks and ETFs), let the app decide (automated), or take recommendations offered (robo-advisor).

These micro-investing apps are easy to use and some are free or have a minimal monthly fee of just $1.

Acorns Core: Best for Your Spare Change

Acorns is an investing app that rounds your purchases on linked credit or debit cards and invests the amount in an automated investment portfolio. For example, you bought coffee for $3.25, Acorns will round up the purchase to $4.00 and move $0.75 into your Acorns account. Once your “Round-Ups” equal $5.00, it will be invested. You can also make one-time investments into your account at any time.

  • Rounds up your purchases and invests once $5 is saved
  • Make additional, automatic, and scheduled investments
  • Get more investing dollars with “Found Money”

Account Fees: $1 per month
Investment minimum: None
Trading Fees: None

New Account Bonus: Open an Acorns Core account and get $5 invested.

>> Get started with Acorns.

M1 Invest: Best for Growth Mindset

M1 Finance is a micro-investing and trading platform that is both good for beginners and seasoned investors. With M1, you get automated and free investing without trading fees and commissions. Choose to invest in what you want or choose portfolios (M1 Pies) created by their experts.

  • Automated free investing without trading fees or commissions
  • Offers automatic features such as rebalancing and reinvestments
  • Robust and interactive investor education feature

Account Fees: None
Investment minimum: $100
Trading Fees: None

New Account Bonus: Receive $10 after completing the signup process and funded $100 within 90 days.

>> Get started with M1 Invest.

Stash Invest: Best for Thematic Investing

Stash offers micro-investing in a mobile app with features highlighting investor education. With Stash, you can easily select themed investments based on your beliefs, lifestyle, or sector. For example, you can invest $5 in the internet sector which would include companies like Facebook and Google.

  • Theme based investment portfolios make it easy
  • Robust and interactive investor education feature
  • Set one-time transfers and recurring automated investments

Account Fees: $1 per month
Investment minimum: $5
Trading Fees: None

New Account Bonus: Receive $5 after completing the signup process.

>> Get started with Stash.

Stockpile: Best for Gift Giving

Stockpile is an online brokerage with a twist. You can buy fractional shares of your favorite companies or index funds starting at $25. The platform is simple and visually appealing but with limited research features. Stockpile offers gift cards that can be given as gifts to help people begin to invest.

  • Simple and intuitive platform makes buying/selling shares easy
  • Buy fractional shares of stock easily
  • Give stock gift cards to others and to the children in your life

Account Fees: None
Investment minimum: None
Trading Fees: $0.99 to buy stock from cash in your account

New Account Bonus: None

>> Get started with Stockpile.

My Smile Summary: Get started with these micro-investing apps

You don’t need to have hundreds of dollars to start investing. Get started with these micro-investing apps. Choose one or try them all. Test and see which app helps you invest and make your money grow. It helps that many of the apps have signup bonuses and offer no minimums or no account fees.

Jason Vitug

Jason is the founder of phroogal, creator of the award winning project Road to Financial Wellness, and author of the bestseller and New York Times reviewed book, You Only Live Once: The Roadmap to Financial Wellness and a Purposeful Life.

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