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Micro-Investing: What It Is And How To Get Started

what is micro investing

Except in this case, your piggy bank is the stock market and the spare change goes toward investing in fractional shares and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Robinhood is a commission-free stock trading platform that has gained a lot of popularity in recent years due to its simple design and ease of use. Some of its key features include the ability to trade stocks, options, and cryptocurrency without any commission fees.

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The company offers low-cost ETFs (exchange-traded funds) with no minimum investment requirements. Micro-investment accounts usually offer fractional shares of ETFs and individual stocks. This allows you to purchase a portion of a share, making these investment options possible even if you don’t have the money to buy an entire share. And with automated investing, your investment app will regularly deposit money from your bank account into your investment account on a schedule you set, making it easy to continually add to your portfolio. Micro-investing is the act of investing very small amounts of money over time instead of a big lump sum all at once.

  • Investments in stocks and Exchange Traded Funds (“ETFs”) may decline in value, potentially meaning that you may get back less than you invested.
  • Unlike traditional investing, which involves putting your money into large stocks or mutual funds, micro-investing allows you to put small amounts of money into individual companies.
  • Their strongest feature is the ability to get people accustomed to the process, as well as encouraging saving.
  • Our estimates are based on past market performance, and past performance is not a guarantee of future performance.

Apps like Acorns and Betterment do the hard work for you, setting you up with the right portfolio, while Stash and Robinhood give you more control over your investments. Besides the low costs, one of the main benefits of using Robinhood is that this micro-investment app is simple and designed with new investors in mind. It’s stripped down with an intuitive design that provides a no-frills experience, which is ideal when you’re learning how to invest. What’s unique about Stash is that you can automate the process or be in total control of your investments. Stash organizes stocks and ETFs based on themes, so you can choose to invest your money in causes that are important to you, specific interests or companies, socially-responsible investments (SRIs), etc. Using a micro-investing app or micro-investing platform is an excellent way for someone to start investing, but it cannot replace a full-blown investment and retirement plan.


If you aspire to more complicated strategies that rely on picking stocks or using derivatives such as options, micro-investing might be too basic for you. Because micro-investing relies on investing small sums, your returns can also be small. It’s not a bad way to get started, but if you want to see significant income from your portfolio, you’ll need to start making larger investments. Another reason micro-investing is useful for many people is that it’s easy to automate. Almost every micro-investing platform lets you add to your investments without having to manually place orders. However, the users are in danger of accumulating too little money throughout a year or even longer.

According to research done by Ramsey Solutions, 51% of millennial investors have tried out investing apps like Robinhood, compared to 32% of Generation X investors and only 5% of baby boomer investors. Micro-investing apps are one of the latest trends in the investing world. Trading fees have a direct impact on your portfolio’s long-term performance. Even a 0.25% annual fee can make a difference of thousands of dollars over the long term, so keeping fees low is essential to success. Bankrate’s editorial team writes on behalf of YOU – the reader.

Any historical returns, expected returns, or probability projections may not reflect actual future performance. All securities involve risk and may result in significant losses. Lowers the barrier to entry – People of average means are almost always locked out from exposure to successful Wall Street firms when the price of a share is too high. To counter this, micro-investing allows fractional shares ownership, which can be gradually built up to a full position over time. As a next step beyond micro-investing apps, D’Agostini and Walsh both recommended contributing to your employer’s 401(k), if it offers one.

Stash’s Smart Portfolio is a newer feature that Stash recommends for accounts with at least $20. It gives you the option to invest in one of three different portfolios instead of self-directing your funds, and comes with standard automated features like automatic rebalancing. You can view all of the essential data about each stock or ETF before you buy, including performance, position, and expense ratio. The goal is to get to know each of your investments so you can make educated investing decisions. Once you’ve signed up for your Stash account, you’re asked a series of questions about your current financial situation and goals to determine your investment risk level. Stash uses this information to make recommendations designed to help you reach your short and long-term financial goals.

How to start investing small amounts

Investors should consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses of the funds carefully before investing. Investment policies, management fees and other information can be found in the individual ETF’s prospectus. Micro-investing apps allow you to automatically invest small amounts of cash in stocks, albeit you recognize absolutely nothing about the stock exchange. These apps take your extra cash and funnel it into stock portfolios especially crafted for you. Since the entire process of saving and investing is automated, the money that users save is automatically invested in diversified stock portfolios that offer a good rate of return.

what is micro investing

Acorns is not engaged in rendering tax, legal or accounting advice. Please consult a qualified professional for this type of service. The way it works is you set your account up and connect it to a funding source (like your checking account), then link it with the debit or credit cards you use for everyday purchases. If you use the Acorns Round-Ups® feature, each time you spend with a linked card, the charge gets rounded up to the next dollar amount.

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editorial policy, so you can trust that our content is honest and accurate. Our award-winning editors and reporters create honest and accurate content to help you make the right financial decisions.

If you’re looking to get started, check out Bankrate’s list of the best investment apps. Consider whether popular micro-investing platforms like Acorns and Stash are best for you or if a more general investment app such as Robinhood or the robo-advisor Betterment is a better fit. ‘Save and Invest’ refers to a client’s ability to utilize the Acorns Real-Time Round-Ups® investment feature to seamlessly invest small amounts of money from purchases using an Acorns investment account. As the name implies, micro investing is investing in small increments by buying fractions of shares.

Step 4: Get Involved in Your Investment Plan

It’s worth mentioning that Robinhood makes money through payment for order flow (PFOF), which is a controversial but very common practice with trading apps. Micro-investing is a great first step to building your portfolio. But with so many new micro-investing apps on the market, how do investors decide which is the right one?

what is micro investing

There are a number of micro-investment apps out there to choose from. Micro-investing services can help you set aside small sums of money and build your portfolio over time. As the saying goes, “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Micro-investing can be that single step on the path toward building wealth. Depending on the micro-investing service you use, the fees can range from a flat amount each month to a percentage of your invested assets. If you’re paying a flat monthly fee, you want to make sure you put enough into the account so you have the chance to earn more than you pay.

Our partners cannot pay us to guarantee favorable reviews of their products or services. Let’s say you’re 30 years old, making your median household income around $67,521.8 You decide to invest about $850 per month in your retirement accounts. If you retire at age 67, with a 10% rate of return, you could have over $3.9 million in your retirement savings. Micro-investing is a great way to get started, but for the most part, it’s just a start. In the long term, you should have a plan to move to another investment service that offers more features, and hopefully, a better fee structure.

The applications gained more popularity after the Global Financial Crisis of 2008 when people lost all trust in the stock market. One does not need a strong cash balance or valuable assets to start a savings account. Daily or bi-weekly deposits of spare change are all that is required for one to build up a steady saving.


And it’s been gaining in popularity in recent years with micro-investing apps (like Acorns) allowing people to start investing with as little as $5. SoFi offers individual brokerage and retirement accounts, including Roth, traditional IRAs, rollover IRAs, and SEP IRAs. There are no additional fees on retirement accounts, and you can let SoFi automatically manage your retirement portfolio for you. Additionally, Stash has in-app educational content in the form of short blog posts. They also have an integrated bank account that comes with a Stock-Back debit card.

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While ETFs are great for long term growth, a user may not have an option to choose a specific stock or asset class. For instance, Stash allows users to start investing with $5 and offers an option to choose between different ETFs to invest their money into. Robinhood, another micro-investing app, facilitates no cost stock investments.

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The truth is you don’t need a lot of money to start investing, but it could be worth considering. After all, investing is often considered a money move that can help you work towards your financial goals. With the purchase, AMD now accounts for 0.60% weighting of the ARKQ by virtue forex sentiment analysis of the 61,486 shares the exchange-traded fund holds. Wealthface Limited provides traditional securities and does not intend to engage a Shariah advisor or obtain a fatwa regarding Shariah screened securities. Wealthface does not have an Islamic Window endorsement from the FSRA.

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