Investing Made Simple For The Person Who Has NO IDEA How to Invest (ME)
Well folks, if you would have told me 6 months ago I would be writing an article about investing, I would have told you that article would probably be a pretty comical read. I have a lot of strengths, but playing the markets is not one I feel particularly confident in. That is exactly why I don't. I let someone else do it for me, or rather, something. Enter Acorns. Acorns is a completely free app for college students using a .edu address for up to four years OR only $1/ month for the rest of us gray hairs.
Here is the low down on how it works. It's free to get started and all you need is as little as $5 to start investing (which you may or may not be gifted at the end of this article). The whole idea behind Acorns is the power of investing your spare change. Once you link up your bank accounts, it then transfers the spare change from your transactions into your investment account. For example, if I get a rainbow unicorn glitter frappuccino thing at Starbucks for $4.76, then $0.24 will be transferred into my account automatically. This may not seem like a ton, but if you average a few transactions everyday, that could easily average out to $2-$3ish per day. Small right, but this would result in investing $60-$90 per month all without thinking twice about having to save/ invest a dime. The fully automated platform does it all for you. Acorns also allows you the option to "quick invest" or deposit at anytime you want. So you may want to think about transfering that rainy day fund under your mattress into your portfolio so it can start making you some money while you focus on the important stuff, i.e. that Starbs confetti sugar bomb selfie you just posted.
Once the money starts flowing in (okay trickling, but still), you then choose your investment portfolio option. This sounds daunting, but Acorns makes the terms and implementation super simple. The portfolio options range from conservative to super- aggressive and give you the projected value of each over the course of a few years. Each investment preference diversifies your funds over an array of 5 different stock option (large co, small co, emerging market, real estate, and international large co) taking all the hard work and confusion out of picking which stocks may be right for you.
So that's really about it. For the entrepreneur, freelancer, and self-employed warriors out there like myself with no 401(k), pension options, or cushy perks that come with a corporate gig, this is a great tool to ease into the investment game and start saving some extra cash without much hassle. Keep in mind, this should not be considered an alternative to those options, as most companies match your contributions (free money) and are tax advantaged (think IRA or 401(k)). Still, this is a great way to turn some spare change into a couple grand a few years down the line.
As promised, you can click my link here and get $5 just by linking your accounts. You can check out my portfolio above which is set to super aggressive- ya gotta risk it to get the biscuit- and currently valued at $617. As always, if you have any specific questions, shoot me an email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Happy savings guys and gals and talk soon!