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What is investing?

Investing is the act of committing money to an endeavor with the expectation of earning additional income or profit. There are a number of ways you can invest such as stocks, bonds, index funds, mutual funds, real estate, or your own business. There are many pros and cons to investing but depending on your risk tolerance one may be a better fit for you. Learn more about the basics of investing.

Investment Account Types

Probably the two most common types of investment accounts are retirement accounts in the form of either IRAs or variations of the 401k and traditional brokerage accounts. But there are a few others that can be used for specified purposes.

How to Find Best Investing Apps

Your portfolio is basically the total amount of investments you have in one or more investment account. To get started with a portfolio, answer the following three questions:

1. What kind of investment account do you want to open?

2. Where do you plan to open that account?

3. How much risk can you handle?

Each type of investment account, whether it’s a 401k plan, IRA, standard brokerage account, college savings 529 plan, or health savings account (HSA) will have its advantages and disadvantages.

Where you open your investment account matters because different brokerages will require different investment minimums, charge different fees, and allow for different investments in the account.

You also need to know how much risk you can handle because stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs, and other securities have different risks associated with market movements.

What are Discount Online Brokerages?

A discount online brokerage is often associated with companies like Charles Schwab and Ally Invest. A discount broker is a stockbroker that performs buy and sell orders at a reduced commission rate.

Most discount brokers operate using online platforms and mobile apps without the need to directly engage with a stockbroker.

Recently, most stock trading is now commission-free offered by the likes of Robinhood (who started the trend).

What are Micro-investing Apps?

Micro-investing apps help people accumulate investments in a small incremental way. Some apps allow investors to start with as little as $1 to buy a fraction of shares or ETFs (exchange-traded funds). The goal behind micro-investing is to open the stock market to people who may not have hundreds or thousands of dollars to get started.

What are Robo Advisors?

A robo-advisor is distinct from the other platform as it offers guided advice through an investment philosophy and proprietary algorithms.

A robo-advisor app gives smaller investors access to advisory services that were typically only offered to high net-worth individuals. These platforms offer you the opportunity to invest smaller amounts and pay lower fees compared to traditional investment advisors.

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