grind

The Easiest Investment Apps to Help You Get Rich Quick

Earning money while you sleep? Yes, please.

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November 14, 2018

When a recent National Institute on Retirement Security report found that 66 percent of young people have zero dollars amassed for retirement, the need for financial tools catered to the millennial generation grew. The best method for combat? Phone apps.

 

You can officially toss out your piggy bank and, when you come across that annual $10 in the pocket of your winter coat, invest that windfall with a little help from someone smarter than you: Robots.

 

After a simple download and link up with your bank account, the following apps will have your money making money. They can unlock that retirement plan you’ve been delaying, the vacation to France you hope to take in five years, or your future dream home, all while you're out grinding.

 

Each offers a unique advantage (like cryptocurrency, budgeting or stocks) and they all deserve a place on your home screen.

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Mint

Best for: Creating a budget you can actually manage

 

What it does: If you’re constantly hosting clients for coffee while trying to save for a home purchase, you need Mint.

 

Simply link your bank accounts and Mint will handle the rest. The platform will instantly create monthly budgets based on your current spending habits (though, you can alter the categories and allotments to suit your preferences), send alerts when it comes time to pay your rent and make sure your credit score is right where it should be—all things vital to your financial freedom.

 

If you exceed your monthly spending allotment determined by the app and with your input, in a certain category, say, on those killer sneakers you've been eyeing, your budget counter will go through the roof. The service is free, but the shame you’ll feel when you overspend is priceless.

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Acorns

Best for: The short-sighted guy who can’t imagine saving $150 a month, but can stomach $5 per day...

 

What it does: The Acorn app rounds up your spendings to the nearest dollar and invests the delta in smart portfolio ETFs or exchange-traded funds. ETFs are baskets stuffed with goodies like stocks, commodities, and bonds. You buy a piece of that diverse basket instead of putting all your eggs into one, well, basket. 

 

So, after making an account and connecting your bank account, you can invest change throughout the day without even thinking about it. By rounding up every purchase you make, the commitment is minimal but impactful. Like a little rodent squirreling away his winter’s nosh. With a low overhead of $1 per month, it’s *basically* free.

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Coinbase

Best for: Catching the wave of cryptocurrency

 

What it does: In case you’ve been hiding under a rock, Bitcoin and its accompanying cryptocurrencies are officially a thing. And there is no better aggregator to download ASAP than Coinbase. The digital currency exchange can let you in on the action in a concise and user-friendly way.

 

After making an account and linking a credit or debit card, you unlock the ability to purchase Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and more. The app makes a confusing space more accessible, and with a few clicks, you could own *digital currency*.

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Robinhood

Best for: The guy who complains about oat milk costing an extra dollar

 

What it does: Robinhood, the name of which is derived from your favorite green-capped character who stole from the rich to give to the poor, allows you to trade stocks with zero commission. You can invest in the stock market for free with your phone.

 

With an intuitive interface, the app is simple to use, and one review claims it's "like a stock trading starter kit." The best part is that you don't have to make any decisions about which stocks to choose. An intelligent algorithm will continually monitor your most sound investments and allocate your funds accordingly. You don't need to know a thing about US versus Foreign stocks, emerging markets, or municipal bonds. The world of robo-investing knows for you.

 

This is a revolutionary concept, as most stock trading was historically handled in a brick-and-mortar fashion at places like the American Stock Exchange on Wall Street. The idea that everyone with a mobile device now has the ability to invest is revolutionary. Trade in that Disney stock for some Amazon shares because you know Jeff Bezos is the future.

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Wealthfront

Best for: If you inherit of a chunk of change that you’re considering stuffing under your couch cushions

 

What it does: With the first $10,000 of your grandma’s dollars invested for free and a robust risk assessment scale, Wealthfront is our app of choice.

 

When you create an account on their website or in the app, you'll be presented with a quiz to properly assess your aversion to financial risk. (I am someone who would rather keep the money I have and not risk any of it, so I'm a three on Wealthfront's scale. My boyfriend, whose financial interest is focused on high gains, is a nine.) 

 

Once you're rated on their scale, the robo-advisor automatically allocates your funds into a diversified portfolio (this is a good thing) and reveals handy graphs that outline how much money you’ll have when you retire at 65. It handles everything for you, including the maintenance of your stocks, bonds and securities. 

 

To maintain a diversified portfolio, you should not avoid certain investment categories, like natural resources. But Wealthfront recently introduced a new option to dodge certain companies. If you really hate oil and all it stands for, retool your funds. 

 

After you set this one up, you really don't even have to look at it again. But, every time you open the app, you'll find you have a bit more money. 

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Betterment

Best for: The guy who knows exactly how he plans to spend his future money

 

What it does: Starting at the end result and working backward, Betterment is a robo-advisor that automatically locates and buys ETF’s based on your hopes and dreams. It is comparable to Wealthfront but loses slightly to its competitor due to lack of real estate and natural resource investment options.

 

In an almost identical process to Wealthfront, a new Betterment account brings a risk assessment quiz and a personalized, percentage allocation of your money. You'll end up with a distribution of your cash in things like US and Foreign stocks, municipal bonds, and more. You really don't have to worry about these categories. The robots are working hard on your behalf. 

 

Sit back, relax, and enjoy the easiest financial gains you've ever made in your life. 

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Personal Capital

Best for: The guy who uses all of these apps

 

What it does: Now you’re at home cursing ONE37pm because you have all these investment apps scattered across the ether. You need an aggregator. And Personal Captial is a great one to consider.

 

Simply download the free app and sync your new investment accounts. The platform will present all the information in one handy place. With a retirement planner and a comprehensive dashboard, you can watch the fruits of your (not very) hard financial labor unfold.