HOW TO

Start Investing in Just 15 Minutes

The easiest apps to build your nest egg (the sooner, the better).

With endless options and a barrage of terms, acronyms, and fees, investing has always been kind of scary. That’s all changing. In fact, it’s never been easier, faster, or less intimidating to start saving and investing for the future.

Whether you want a retirement nest egg or a vacation fund, these apps make investing simple.

Investing on autopilot

To invest like an expert, consider a novelty piggy bank.

‣ Your new financial adviser is an app. Robo-advisers, as services like Wealthsimple are often called, use algorithms and automation to maintain a balanced portfolio for you—often at lower fees.

After you take a five-minute quiz, Wealthsimple invests your money in a blend of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) tailored for you. Similar to mutual funds, ETFs own hundreds or thousands of stocks, which means your portfolio will be well-diversified even if you only have a limited amount to invest.

Set up auto-deposits and Wealthsimple will transfer a fixed amount from your bank account each week.

    Wealthsimple Invest and Save

    Automated Investing

    VIEW

Build your empire brick by brick

Seeing how much you’ve saved will motivate you to keep saving.

‣ Savings gospel: It’s easier to save $1 a day than $100 every 100 days. Digit uses an algorithm to help you find the right amount to comfortably save daily—and keep your budgeting and spending consistent.

Establish savings goals, like a vacation or down payment on a house, and the app will help you get there by withdrawing a manageable amount from your bank account (and stashing your money away before you’re tempted to spend it).

    Digit: Save Money Effortlessly

    Automate saving & credit cards

    VIEW

Buy low (low fees, that is)

You don't need millions of dollars to start investing.

‣ You’re not robbing the rich and giving to the poor, but with Robinhood you’re at least skipping the trading fees and keeping that money in your own pocket.

Robinhood offers free trading for stocks and ETFs. You’re on your own to figure out what you should buy to build a diversified portfolio, but for some, that’s a fine tradeoff for paying $0 in fees.

    Robinhood: Invest. Save. Earn.

    Commission-free investing.

    VIEW

Fill a digital change jar

Investing a little today can lead to a lot down the road.

Acorns calls its approach “micro-investing”: Connect your debit and credit cards and the app will round up the price of any purchase you make, then invest the difference. A $3.55 coffee? You’ve just saved 45 cents without noticing.

Based on your age, risk tolerance, and other factors, Acorns then builds a diversified portfolio that you can supplement with lump-sum deposits. For a dollar a month, the app makes it easy to build good savings habits.

    Acorns: Invest Spare Change

    Investing. Earning. Growing.

    VIEW

Get started right away

Everybody could use a financial coach.

‣ Want to buy an ETF or stock but find the price of even a single share prohibitive? Stash has a solution. It’s one of the few services that allow you to purchase fractional shares with as little as $5.

If you’re just starting out, Stash will help educate you on the complex world of investing and let you get into the game well before you’ve stockpiled a massive investment bankroll.

    Stash: Invest. Bank. Save

    Invest with $5 & bank smarter

    VIEW

More stories