One of the benefits that has given investors and individuals an edge are the advancements in financial technology. Only a few decades ago, to invest you had to either utilize the retirement plan through your employer or hire a financial advisor that would assist in planning your portfolio. However, with the latest advancements, individuals can prepare for retirement on their own and clean up their financial health by utilizing services or apps. This article will detail some of the ways you can strengthen your ability to tackle finances and investments.
The first is to simply utilize an Excel spreadsheet to plan your finances. With a spreadsheet, you can easily customize and track your finances and plan ahead using the various tools the product has to offer. The benefit is you are able to build your file however you see fit. Also, the cost to obtain Excel is relatively inexpensive and once you have it you likely won’t need any additional products.
However, one of the drawbacks is it typically must be used on a computer and if not saved in the cloud, you’ll need to access the same computer. Also, for those on the go, it may not be the best solution. Regardless, this is an extremely effective place to start.
If you are looking to begin investing or find a new way to put your money to work, there are a plethora of investment apps out there that can greatly benefit your goals. Currently, there are a few popular apps that include Personal Capital, Robinhood, and Acorns.
Robinhood is an app that allows you to invest in stocks and ETF’s for free. There are no trading costs, no account minimums and no maintenance fees. While the app allows you to invest for free, they do not have an in-depth platform with advanced charting and analytical services. However, if you are new and simply looking to start putting your money to work then this could be a great place to start.
Stash is an app that allows you to invest in several different funds and stocks. Another benefit to Stash is that you can invest with fractional shares, which benefits those looking to save small amounts. One of the drawbacks is the platform does charge a monthly fee of $1, which doesn’t sound like much but it can be a large percentage of your overall portfolio if you don’t have a large balance.
The last app is Acorns, which works similarly to Stash. You can invest your money in a few different funds and how your money is invested is your purchases are rounded up to the nearest whole dollar and the change is invested. Like Stash, Acorn does charge a fee of $1 and if you are not investing large sums it can be a large percentage of your portfolio.