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Easy Ways To Invest In The Stock Market

Updated on March 12, 2018
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Husband, father, and author of the children's illustrated book "Tommy the Courageous Bird"

Investing Made Easy
Investing Made Easy

This Isn't Your Parents Stock Market

Ok it still kind of is but there are a host of new ways to not only invest in stocks, bonds, ETF's, and Mutual Funds but to also save money so you can invest.

That's what we will explore here. All the cool new ways you can own a piece of your favorite company and the future. From low fees to NO fees there's a way for everyone to save some money for retirement.

So grab your keyboard or phone, It's time to invest!

A Place to Begin

Learn about the stock market before you invest
Learn about the stock market before you invest

Investing 101

The stock market can be a scary place. The chance of making money is sometimes over shadowed by the prospect of losing money for some people. So its important to learn as much as possible before you dive in.

Below are some great resources for new investors. Take some time and visit each site. Take it all in and when you're ready and feel comfortable start investing.

Ways to Save

Here are some ways to budget and save money for your investing future. I love both of these tools and I'm sure you will also.

  • Mint - This software is a must have. Enter your financial information and this will show you where your money is going. It will help you budget and give you a broader view of your finances.
  • Digit - The best way to save money for any occasion including buying stocks. Sign up and Digit will scan your checking out to see how you spend your finances. Than an algorithm will start to place money from your checking account into your digit account automatically. You never have to do anything and they guarantee no overdraft charges or they will pay them. How awesome is that!

My Digit Savings

Here is my Digit Savings in only a few months
Here is my Digit Savings in only a few months

New Ways to Invest

Back in the day (pre-Internet) buying stocks meant, for the most part, you had to have a personal broker. You also had to pay a lot more than today to make a trade. Luckily for you those days are over.

Now you can make a trade for as little as $0. That's right, no typo there, for $0. Not only that but you can also purchase up to 30 stocks for $9.95 per trade or use your change to buy into the market. All from your phone. Pretty cool right?

  • Robinhood - Free stock trading. That's what Robinhood is all about. Their goal is to get people who would never get into the stock market into the stock market.It's not for everyone, very little in research or other tools, but great for the novice. At $0 a trade this might be the most important stock brokerage firm to join.
  • Motif - Buy up to 30 stocks or ETF's for only $9.95 (unless you buy a Horizon Motif) commission. Its an interesting take on Mutual Funds and ETF's. Mainly because you can build you own (this is one I built) 30 stocks or choose a pre-built one that focuses on a particular segment or area of trading. You can invest however much you want but the minimum you can invest is $250.
  • Acorns - Let your change make you money. Acorns connects to your ATM and credit cards and lets you invest your spare change from your real world purchases. In other words, buy a cup of coffee for $2.50 and Acorns rounds that purchase up .50 cents to $3. That .50 cents stays in your Acorns account until you reach $5. Then that $5 is invested in a diversified portfolio. Or you can add money from your checking account at anytime. It's a great way to get into ETF's. But watch out for the fees, they can add up if you don't have a decent amount of money invested.
  • Betterment - Automated investments (also called robo investments) are here. Sign up and give Betterment some info on yourself and they will give you a portfolio based on ETF's catered towards your finances and needs.There is no minimum deposit or balance at Betterment but they do charge fees from .15% to .35%. The higher fees are for balances below $10,000.
  • Wisebanyan - The world's first free robo financial adviser. Automated investments at no (initial) cost. They will be rolling out some paid services soon but the core will always be free. There is a waiting list so get on the list now!

Quick Review

Stocks, ETF's, Mutual Funds
$0 Per Trade
$0 - $9.95
$1 - .25% per month
No (ETF only)
.15% - .35%
No (ETF only)


Traditional Ways to Invest

There are traditional brokerages you can choose from that will give you way more tools and options. I won't go through the costs associated with them just because there are many more fees to cover (I will list basic per trade fee).

What I will tell you is that you can't go wrong with any of the three listed below. They are all full featured brokers with good per trade costs.

  • Sharebuilder - $6.95 per trade (online) (no minimum deposit)
  • Scottrade - $7.00 (online) ($2500 initial deposit)
  • eTrade - $7.99 - $9.99 (online) ($500 initial deposit)

Keeping Track

Finally I wanted to give you way to track and keep up with your investments. Enter your information and these apps/websites will do the work for you. It's the best way to stay on topn of your portfolio. FutureAdvisor and OpenFolio even will give you a free assessment and advice!

Financial Planning

If you do not trust yourself or feel overwhelmed with the prospect of investing in the stock market, may I suggest LearnVest as an option. They are a online financial planning company with very affordable rates when compared to more traditional financial planners.

Rates: $299 one time set up fee + $19 a month for ongoing support

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