Many people assume that stock market investing is only for financial experts or the very wealthy. Nothing could be further from the truth. Whatever your income or level of understanding of personal finances, you can start saving and investing your money wisely — as long as you have the right tools and financial advice.
Stock market investing isn’t a get-rich-quick plan. It’s helpful to think of stock market investing as a long-term plan for financial security — one that can provide peace of mind to your family and help you prepare for any unexpected needs that may arise. With enough gains over time, the profits you reap from your stock portfolio will enable you to do things you can’t do today, like buy that car you really want or take a few more weeks off of work every year. And as you become more comfortable with investing, you’ll reinvest your profits in new stocks, creating a snowball effect that will grow your portfolio more quickly. This is exactly how Warren Buffet turned from novice investor to the billionaire he is today.
Do I Need a Financial Advisor?
A common misconception is that you can’t invest in the stock market without the advice of a financial planner. And since hiring an advisor costs money they don’t have at the beginning of their stock investing journey, many potential millionaires give up before they even try. While working with a financial advisor is a great way to identify areas in your budget where you can reduce unnecessary spending, you don’t need the help of a professional to get started with stock investing. You do, however, need to educate yourself using the right resources. Once such resource is Dr. Kent Moore’s website, which outlines a strategy for making millions of dollars in profit from oil and gas. Read about it at oilandenergyinvestor.com/2014/10/12-million-americans-making-fortune/.
Stock Market Investing Apps
The next best thing to hiring a financial advisor when getting started in stock market investing is to take advantage of free and low-cost finance apps. In this section, we’ll take a look at a few apps and services that anyone can use to cut extra spending, boost investment returns, and improve their current stock portfolio.
Personal Capital is a free web-based app that allows users to track expenses and review their finances. If you’re looking for an all-in-one solution for investing your money and tightening up your budget, this is the app for you. Personal Capital offers all of the best features of Mint.com and more. With strong security, a responsive customer service team, and access to financial planners who can help you with your investment goals, this financial app simply can’t be beaten.
Fidelity Investments is a comprehensive web-based service that offers everything you could possibly want for your saving and investing goals. From retirement accounts to life insurance to discount brokerage services, Fidelity has it all. Fidelity Full View clients can link third-party accounts to the service in order to get a high-level view of their financial portfolio. Fidelity even provides a credit card with cash-back incentives that can be directed straight to your brokerage account.
Morningstar review is an invaluable resource for anyone interested in investing in ETFs, mutual funds, or stocks. Not only does this website offer advice about which stocks to buy and sell, but it also provides information on low-fee investment vehicles and proper allocation of assets. Morningstar Review also has a handy “X-ray” tool that can help you determine whether your assets are over-allocated in a particular stock, and a Cost Analyzer to help you decide which mutual fund or ETF to invest in.
Ally Bank is a completely virtual service offering a wide range of financial products, including checking accounts, savings accounts, and CDs. There is no minimum deposit required to open a new account, and there are no charges for ATM withdrawals. Ally Bank also offers a convenient mobile app so you can view your accounts, make deposits, and transfer funds using your tablet or smartphone.
OptionsHouse by E*Trade
OptionsHouse is a web-based options trading platform that offers an impressive suite of investing tools for novices and experienced investors alike. There are no account minimums or maintenance fees, and trading fees are low — perfect for investors who are just starting out. OptionsHouse users enjoy access to advanced option trading strategies and thousands of investment opportunities. And OptionHouse’s commitment to excellent customer service means that help is only ever a click or a call away.
Eleanor Cole has worked as a personal finance consultant for many years and has a wealth of knowledge to share in her articles. She covers investing, retirement funds and more.