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How Millennials Can Start Investing

Tracey Ryniec

Welcome to Episode #102 of the Zacks Market Edge Podcast.

Every week, host and Zacks stock strategist, Tracey Ryniec, will be joined by guests to discuss the hottest investing topics in stocks, bonds and ETFs and how it impacts your life.

In this episode, Tracey is joined by Zacks ETF Strategist Eric Dutram and by Zacks Podcast Producer Danny MacPherson, two Millennials, to discuss how they started investing and what apps and platforms are out there for new investors.

With the S&P 500 SPY and the small caps IWM hitting new highs nearly every day recently, many Millennials are starting to wonder if they shouldn’t be investing.

But where do you start?

Millennials may think they don’t have enough money to invest. But many of these platforms don’t have a minimum requirement and are fairly low cost.

Here’s some ideas for those who want to invest, not simply trade.

For Those Who Don’t Want to Think About Anything

1.      Acorns

Both Eric and Danny use acorns.com. Their tagline is “automatically invest spare change.”

It operates only as an app. You link it to your credit or debit card and it will round up to the next dollar amount. For example, if you buy a coffee that is $3.75, it will round up to $4.00 and take the $0.25 and put it into your investing account. 

You can also set up a recurring investment, either daily, weekly or monthly, to boost your balance.

It has pre-set ETF portfolios you can invest in that range from aggressive to conservative.

The cost is $1 a month up to $5,000 in the account wherein there’s a yearly fee of 0.25%.

2.      Stash

Stashinvest.com allows you to buy into pre-set ETF portfolios including ones titled “The Activist”, “The Techie”, “The Globetrotter” and “The Trendsetter.”

This is thematic investing.

Stash also offers ROTH IRA accounts that you can start with as little as $50.

Similar to Acorns, it also charges $1 a month and the 0.25% yearly fee when the account reaches $5,000.

Want to Move Up to the Next Level?

Motif offers investing in portfolios, trading and IPOs so it is more advanced than the other two platforms.

Through its portfolio program, you can invest in a preset plan or you can create your own. This means you already have to know something about stocks.

It appears to have a minimum of $1,000 and the cost is $9.95 a month.

Actual Trading Platforms

Already have an idea of stocks or ETFs you want to buy?

You probably need a platform that allows you to trade.

Capital One (COF) offers the Sharebuilder Plan which allows you to do a recurring investment each month in stocks, ETFs or mutual funds for just $3.95 per investment.

For example, it can buy $100 worth of shares of Alibaba on the third Tuesday of every month.

Tracey has used this plan for nearly 17 years. You might be surprised at how quickly this type of investing adds up to something substantial if you do it a few years in a row.

For those who want to do more active trading, Capital One Investing has a trading platform as well, as do the well-known brokerage firms such as eTrade (ETFC) and Schwab (SCHW).

That’s where you put in an actual order on the open market to buy, for example, Alibaba.

This is more advanced investing and trading.

The Hardest Part is Starting

There are a lot of investing platforms available now and it may seem confusing.

But as Eric and Danny discuss, the key is to just start.

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