I think a lot of people still consider “millennial” to mean “teenager,” but the reality is that the oldest millennials are 35 years old! They’re marrying for love and building two careers, and the way they spend their money is big business. The most tangible example I can find of how this is a good thing — despite what one might hear on talk radio — is the invention of micro-investing.
A micro–investing platform is an application that allows users to regularly save small sums of money. Micro–investing platforms aim to remove traditional barriers to investing, such as brokerage account minimums, to encourage people to invest even if they have limited incomes and assets. – Investopedia.
I decided to do a little Googling and I found two apps that I thought were pretty representative. (And it turns out a friend uses one of them.)
Acorns is the biggest and most well known micro-investing app. Investing can be truly painless if you tie Acorns to a debit card and allow it to “round up” your purchases — for example, for a $3.75 purchase, $4.00 would be withdrawn and the extra $.25 would go to Acorns. There are a variety of investment products to choose from, including Roth IRAs which can be started for only $5.
Acorns does not allow you to be hands-on with your investment, but you can choose a general risk level. It offers some really neat charts and graphs with some fanciful forecasting scenarios, and the person I know who uses it never had any kind of technical issues.
More “micro-investing for micromanagers,” STASH is much more hands-on. The three different price plans reflect the sophistication of the investors.
- STASH Beginner ($1/month)
- STASH Growth ($3/month)
- STASH+ ($9/month)
At the highest levels investors can even choose which companies to invest in — this is a big difference from Acorns. Another popular feature of STASH is its unique approach to direct deposit. According to them, banks often “hold on” to direct deposits — and STASH can actually see the amount up to two days in advance. They will credit your account (with their money) up to two days early.
Have you tried either STASH or Acorns? Should I review any other micro-investing apps?