What Is Micro-Investing + The Best Micro Investing Apps

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It ’ mho not uncommon for us to see headlines of people “ getting full-bodied ” by trading hot stocks. What ’ south less noticed are the millions who do it quietly and intentionally .
Take note of this second group, because their actions frequently start minor and the effects compound with time .
In fact, many achieve their retirement goals by making the simpleton decision to invest humble amounts of money early in life and continue doing so on a regular basis through retirement, Millennials included .
The odds of reaching a financially secure retirement increase dramatically when you take a few easy steps equally early as possible.

This article discusses the best micro-investing apps available to Millennials, Gen-Zers and any generation matter to in learning how to invest little amounts of money steadily and systematically over fourth dimension .

What is Micro-Investing?

investing from smartphone medium
It ’ second hard to fight the mathematics behind investing in little amounts systematically over meter. If you can start investing a short as $ 100 per week ( or 10 % of your paycheck ) by your early 30s and grow these contributions over clock time, you ’ re very probably to hit the millionaire scar by retirement. Yet, not enough people do .
Over 100 million adults in the United States don ’ triiodothyronine have an investment account, leading them toward an changeable fiscal future. many choose to deposit money into a savings account alternatively .
The pastime earned in these accounts will not make a meaning indent in your retirement preparation like investing can. Investing is more mighty than leaving cash in a deliver score .
fortunately, you don ’ t have to be in that number. With a simple border on you can well get started by following these investing principles :

  • keep it simple
  • keep investing
  • keep portfolios diversified
  • commit to your financial health

What are Micro-Investing Apps?

female investor using smart phone app medium
Investing scares many when it actually shouldn ’ triiodothyronine. While it might be hard to get startle invest, it is tougher to retire without any money .
In the last decade, many services work to make investing easy and low-cost .
These micro investing sites simplify your investing experience and can put you in a great place for a secure retirement .
The mighty time to invest is nowadays and it all starts with a bare download of a micro invest, robo-advisor app like Acorns. But don ’ triiodothyronine let that investing term scare you .
A robo-investing app takes your deposits and automatically invests them in a diversify portfolio .
This personalize solution simplifies investing and earns you far more than you would by leaving cash in a preservation report .
By investing $ 100 per week over 40 years, you can grow your investments to $ 1.5 million by retirement .
Doing so requires consistent contributions into your micro stock trade robo-investor app and allowing compounding returns to do the fleshy rise .
For exemplar, the average diversified portfolio earns 8 % on average. That means the 8 % you might earn this class will then have 8 % earned on it the following year and the next, and indeed on .
While your actual returns will vary year to year, this should show why getting started american samoa early as potential makes the biggest dispute .
If you want to take the inaugural gradation towards a fasten retirement, that means taking action today. Start by downloading a micro investing app, opening an account and setting up your recurring deposits .

What are the Best Micro Investing Apps?

young woman investing on smartphone
In truth, no one app serves every individual person ’ south needs the same. Some investors choose to follow a more active approach while others would quite a set-it-and-forget style .
While I espouse the latter more so on this web site, I don ’ t necessarily think investing in individual stocks is a bad set about when using stock analysis and inquiry to guide your decision-making .
In fact, stock picking services like the Motley Fool ’ second Rule Breakers and Stock Advisor have shown frightful outperformance over the final two decades and very represent a meaning measure for investors looking to rely on others for making stock picks .
Some stock newsletters may even want to rehearse a more active form of trading and get vet stock alerts sent directly to their phones to take advantage of market movements .
american samoa long as you account for your risk preferences and tied of commitment to following the market, your investment choices will depend on you .
No matter your investing vogue, when you want to get start invest, you want to look for micro investing apps that provide the functionality you want without feel overwhelmed .
therefore, the best stock trading app for you depends on your know, investing goals, and desired level of educational support .
Beginners benefit from micro investing platforms that have the least amount of fees, low-cost investment options, educational resources and the ability to build a diversify portfolio in alignment with your fiscal goals .
They want all of this without getting lost in distraction if they can ’ thymine make sense of the information provided .
The proverb of “ keep it simple, dazed ” normally applies, specially at the begin .
Apps that provide a one stop shop for managing your personal finances often act as a big get down detail. This means including your banking, spend and investing needs .
As you develop a better agreement of the grocery store, you ’ ll want to extend your investing reach into fresh areas and see if other investing styles suit your needs. Your app should accommodate these growing needs .
With that in mind, this list of the best micro investing apps looks to offer simplify invest experiences at the start but ones which can still serve your needs as you grow your invest cognition .
I try to highlight loose apps where possible because investing your money shouldn ’ t come with charges unless the service provides other value-added products for managing your money. Descriptions of each app follow the table below .

Best Micro-Investing Apps

App Best For Fees Promotions
betterment logo
&star 4.8 / 5
Investors looking to build a globally-diversified portfolio and leverage tax-loss harvesting
0.25% AUM None
sofi logo
SoFi Invest: iOS, Android and Desktop
&star 4.6 / 5
Fee-free active trading and automated investing
Commission-free trades Free stock worth between $5 – $1,000
acorns logo
&star 4.8 / 5
Automated investing in the background into diversified investments
$3/month – $5/month $10 sign up bonus when making first deposit at account opening
public logo
&star 4.7 / 5
Social theme-based investing interests
Commission-free trades $10 free stocks for signing up
m1 finance logo
M1 Finance
&star 4.3 / 5
Fee-free active trading and automated investing
Commission-free trades and automated investing; $125/year on M1 Plus subscription for custodial account $30 sign up bonus with $1,000 deposit
webull logo
&star 4.7 / 5
Self-directed investors and intermediate traders
Commission-free trades Two free stocks with $5 deposit, valued between $10 – $3,300 and $5 worth of crypto for making one crypto trade
stash logo rebrand
&star 4.6 / 5
Everyday people looking to start managing their finances
$1/month – $9/month $5 stock bonus for making a deposit of $5 or more
robinhood logo
&star 4.4 / 5
Basic stock, crypto and ETF investing
Commission-free trades Free stock with sign up
wealthsimple logo
&star 4.5 / 5
Unlimited access to financial advisor; values-based investing
0.50% AUM Fee None
greenlight logo
Greenlight + Invest
&star 4.7 / 5
Teaching investing fundamentals with guidance from parents; allows individual and index fund investing
$7.98/month One month free

1. Betterment: Best for Automation and Tax-Loss Harvesting

betterment sign up

  • Available via desktop, Apple iOS and Google Android.
  • Account Minimum: $0.
  • Price: 0.25% Management Fee (AUM)
  • Sign up here

You can use the Betterment robo-advisor platform to buy fractional shares of ETF index funds like the S & P 500 in taxable accounts vitamin a well as individual retirement plans .
The service does not allow you to invest in individual stocks but will mechanically place deposits into fractional bits of exponent fund ETFs aligned with your portfolio objectives .
The features of this platform make the micro-investing app most suitable to investors looking to diversify immediately as they make contributions to their accounts .
The service charges an across-the-board 0.25 % assets under management fee but can justify this expense in taxable brokerage house accounts through its tax-loss harvest feature .
Lowering your taxable income through their tax-loss harvest feature is one of the products that justifies the 0.25 % AUM fee for holdings in a taxable account .
It works by selling losses to lock in short-run capital losses and lowers your taxable income while taking your proceeds and placing them into a similar investment .
This lowers your taxable income or other capital gains and promptly covers the 0.25 % annual AUM fee .
farther, based on your intended fiscal goal, the company provides investment advice by tailoring your portfolios to accomplish these goals .
Betterment led the direction for robo-advisor services and micro-investing apps, growing from a belittled business to what nowadays represents a significant book of business .
Using them has become a popular choice for people looking to invest toward specific goals without the indigence for any induct experience for a reasonable fee .
Our Robo-Advisor Pick

Betterment | Investing Made Better

  • This app gives you the tools, inspiration and support you need to become a better investor.
  • Start with as little as $10 and use the top-rated mobile app to optimize your investment portfolio through automated investing and diversification
  • Customize your risk tolerance and investment goals with guidance available at any time
  • Nearly 750,000 customers use Betterment to invest

Betterment | Investing Made Better

Learn More

2. SoFi Invest

  • Available via desktop, Apple iOS and Android App on Google Play.
  • Price: Free trades
  • Sign up here: (iOS), Android, Desktop

SoFi Invest is an app that allows you to track stocks and trade your money. The well-known trade name in the personal finance space besides has a presence in the invest world by offering release trades on stocks, ETFs, cryptos and more .
The service provides you the ability to trade actively or stand back and let its automated endow tools coup d’etat .
This micro investing app allows you to trade in fractional shares, called “ stock bits ” by SoFi. Fractional shares are bantam portions of a parcel of stock certificate worth less than the full rate of one share .
This means you don ’ t need to save up a draw of money before buying some of your favorite technical school companies like Alphabet ( Google ), Amazon or Facebook .
The app is a great choice for investing your spare exchange or adding more to the grocery store at once by tapping into savings accounts to make larger deposits on a regular footing .
consequently, this app might make a good place to hold your investment accounts because you ’ ll have options of how to invest money .
The company wants to serve all customers who have an interest in improving their fiscal site alongside participating in their other personal finance products like refinance scholar loans, money management, credit cards and more .
start by making a $ 5 sediment today and maintaining this broken account minimal .
Related: 8 Best Fractional Share Brokerages to Buy Partial Stocks & ETFs

3. Acorns: Best Micro-Investing App to Learn About Investing


  • Available via Apple iOS and Google Android.
  • Price: Acorns Personal: $3/mo and Acorns Family: $5/mo
  • Sign up here

Acorns is a micro investing app for minors and youthful adults who wish to start with a little come of money in their investments. You can choose to invest your excess change through a linked debit card and make regular deposits to contribute to your investment portfolio .
With more time, these recurring contributions and rounded up deposits from your purchases could grow into a large portfolio over time. Hence the company ’ south name, Acorns : start humble like an acorn but grow strong into a mighty oak tree .
The serve doesn ’ triiodothyronine charge money to make trades on your behalf, but it does charge an account fee depending on the services you select for your report .
When you set up an account, you answer questions related to your hazard tolerance, fiscal goals and how much money you have to invest in stocks and bonds in your Acorns brokerage bill .
Consider these questions akin to what a fiscal adviser might ask when setting up an account to manage .
Based on your answers, it makes recommendations for investing vehicles like stocks, bonds and real number estate to create a diversified investment portfolio .
presently, the service has two offerings including Acorns Personal for $ 3/mo and Acorns Family for $ 5/mo .
These subscriptions provide versatile products which fit well for goals of young adults and flush allow the service to act as one of the best money apps for kids with its all-in-one platform ( Acorns Family ) .
Their plans come as follows :

  1. Acorns Personal ($3/mo):
    1. Acorns Invest: Invests spare change through the popular “Round-Ups” feature, earns bonus investments and provides access to financial literacy articles
    2. Acorns Later: Tax-advantaged investment options like IRAs
    3. Acorns Spend: Acts as your bank account, offering free withdrawals at over 55,000 ATMs nationwide and no account fees and the ability to earn up to 10% bonus investments
  2. Acorns Family ($5/mo):
    1. Everything in Acorns Personal (Acorns Invest, Later and Spend)
    2. Acorns Early: This allows you to take advantage of the best way to invest $1,000 for your child‘s future and can teach you how to invest as a teenager or minor through opening a custodial account.

Learn more in our Acorns review .
Our Micro-Investing App Pick

Acorns | Invest, Earn, Grow, Spend, Later

  • From acorns, mighty oaks do grow. Grow your oak!
  • In under 5 minutes, get investment accounts for you and your family, plus retirement, checking, ways to earn more money, and grow your knowledge.
  • Famous for investing spare change automatically through Round-Ups, this all-in-one financial app helps younger generations start investing earlier.
  • Just $3 or $5/mo.
  • Bonus: Get $10 to start

Learn More

4. Public.com: Best Free Investment App for Beginners

public.com sign up

  • available via desktop, Apple io and Android App on Google Play .
  • Price: Free trades
  • Sign up here

Public.com is a commission-free micro investing app that targets Millennials and Gen-Zers who have attuned their senses to social media .
While the company previously followed the lead of apps like Robinhood with monetizing Payment for Order Flow ( PFOF ), or receiving kickbacks from clearinghouses for routing trades to them, they ’ ve recently abandoned this practice .
alternatively, they now rely on other tax income streams american samoa well as a “ tipping ” system .
This places this novice investment app hard on the slope of retail investors and not pledging commitment to Wall Street clearinghouses .

Why is Public.com a Good Investment App for Beginners?

What Public.com is really about is making investing like an investing social network, where members can own fractional shares of stocks and ETFs, follow popular creators, and share ideas within a community of investors .
What Public.com aims to do above all else is make the lineage marketplace an inclusive and educational invest, with social features that make it comfortable to collaborate as you build your assurance as an investor—for rid .
For younger investors who want to align their investing with their social preferences, adenine well as keep adept company to socialize and learn from others, Public.com might be the app for you .
For those interested in starting to trade on Public.com, the online broker platform for beginners offers a free $ 10 signup bonus if you make an initial deposit .
far, you can parcel your limited associate with others and gift them unblock stocks ( fractional shares ) vitamin a well .
If this sounds like an interesting investing app, open an score and make an initial deposit to see if the app meets your social and investing needs .
Read more in our Public.com investing app review .

Public.com | Commission-Free Themed Investing

  • Public.com offers zero-commission trading on thousands of stocks and ETFs, available as fractional shares
  • Uses a social feed where members can share why they believe in certain companies (or don’t) and can post comments on others’ trades
  • Can invest in curated lists of stocks and ETFs for people to aggregate investments by interest area or values

Learn More

Offer valid for U.S. residents 18+ and subject to account approval. There may be other fees associated with trading. See public.com/disclosures/.

5. M1 Finance: Best Complete Financial Solution Micro Investing Stock App

m1 finance

  • Available via desktop, Apple iOS and Google Android.
  • Price: Free trades
  • Sign up here

M1 Finance offers free broth trade but besides provides automatize investing according to your bias investment decisions as this site ’ mho top robo-advisor pick .
What we like most about this app compared to other investment platforms is the ability to make recurring deposits that automatically get invested into your portfolio .
You can use fractional shares on M1 Finance to break down your favorite investments into bite-sized additions to your brokerage report .
M1 Finance acts as a singular personal finance app to assist with build wealth through automating your investments into diversify portfolios, having a bank account and linked debit card that provide market-beating matter to rates and have access to valuable personal finance literature .
Most importantly, investing with M1 Finance can be ampere dim-witted as depositing money, setting your malcolm stock and index investment company selections and having the chopine automate your investments on your behalf .
I ’ ve said it before, but this in truth automates your investments if you set up recurring deposits, allowing your wealth to build .
From there, M1 Finance mechanically rebalances your portfolio in telephone line with your declared asset allotment targets. Doing this at unconstipated intervals has been shown to improve overall portfolio operation .
It does sol by moving outperforming funds into underperform ones, capturing a measure consequence over time as returns revert to the average .
Consider opening an investing history with M1 Finance. If you deposit $ 1,000, you can even earn a spare gestural up bonus .
Read more in our M1 Finance review .
Our autonomous Robo-Advisor Pick

M1 Finance | Smart Money Mgmt

  • M1 Finance’s Smart Money Management gives you choice and control of how you want to invest automatically, borrow, and spend your money—with available high-yield checking and low borrowing rates.
  • Special Promotions: Open an account and make a $1,000 deposit within 14 days to receive a $30 bonus and get 1-year free of M1 Plus ($125 value).

Learn More

Our Review

6. Webull: Best Stock Trading App for Beginners

webull sign up

  • Available via desktop, Apple iOS and Google Android.
  • Price: Free trades
  • Sign up here

Webull came into the stock trade earth in 2018 when it started challenging Robinhood for grocery store contribution. This stock deal app offers free stock deal ( no trade fees ) deoxyadenosine monophosphate well as rid trades on ETFs, options and cryptocurrencies .
The company besides recently added the ability to trade fractional shares, making this a capital app for micro invest .
Like most investment apps available, the company provides access to trade on your smartphone, tablet or desktop .
far, it charges no commissions for the trades because Webull makes money on other actions you take, like Payment for Order Flow ( PFOF ), margin loans, interest on cash and service fees for their Nasdaq TotalView Level 2 Advances quotes subscription .
Webull besides provides you entree to several mighty tools you can use for in-depth trade analysis .
If these account features sound attractive, the best depart might besides come with knowing setting up a Webull account is free and comes with no account minimums you must meet or maintain .
last, to de-risk your sign up, Webull besides runs frequent promotions that give free stocks .
Read more in our Webull review .
Our autonomous Investing App Pick

Webull | No Minimums, Free Trades

  • The Webull app offers free equity, crypto and option trading, advanced reporting and in-depth analysis.
  • LIMITED TIME OFFER ($27 – $9,605 value): Open an account and deposit at least $5 to receive 5 free stocks ($27-$9,600 value) and make 1 crypto trade to earn $5 of crypto.

Webull | No Minimums, Free Trades

Learn More

Our Review

7. Stash

stash sign up

  • Available via desktop, Apple iOS and Android App on Google Play
  • Price: Starts at $1/mo
  • Sign up here

Stash is a mobile-friendly personal finance app that comes paired with investing options and a check account. hoard acts as a low-cost, all-in-one fiscal platform and gets included in this tilt as a leave .
While the app primarily caters to hands-off investors looking to automate their invest, you can besides actively choice stocks to trade. You can do all of this as you spend money and make recurring deposits into your score .
Stash offers custodial brokerage accounts for real beginners ( young investors ), or those under the age of 18. Getting started early on on your investing travel can build very long-run wealth over time as your returns compound .
Stash comes with a recurring monthly tip but justifies this with a full-service personal finance chopine, including access to a check account and debit card .
Of note, while it does charge a monthly bill service fee for its full-suite of products, it does not charge trading commissions for your investing holdings .

Stash | Investing Made Easy

  • Stash is a personal finance app that simplifies investing, making it easy and low-cost for everyday Americans to build wealth and achieve their fiscal goals .
  • By signing up and making a $5 deposit, Stash will also provide a $5 sign up bonus.

Get Your $5 Bonus

8. Robinhood


  • Available via desktop, Apple iOS and Google Android.
  • Price: Free trades
  • Sign up here

Robinhood became the first commission-free party among other trading apps to slash trade commissions to $ 0. That means no trade commissions or fees for investing in the stock market .
Others in the diligence had no choice but to follow if they wanted to remain relevant to retail investors .
alike, many new apps like Robinhood have cropped up in recent years, many of which feature of speech on this list. Robinhood offers loose neckcloth trade, equally well as the ability to trade index funds, options, penny stocks and cryptocurrencies commission-free .
Robinhood ’ s app offers a simple and easy-to-use design american samoa well as the ability to trade fractional shares. Many have found this useful for placing their trades by not overcomplicating it .
If you ’ d like to level up your investing on Robinhood, consider upgrading to a Robinhood Gold subscription. Robinhood Gold is a cortege of potent tools, data, and strategies to supercharge your Robinhood brokerage house account .

Robinhood | Commission-Free Trades, No Minimums

  • Robinhood is an investing app famous for its commission-free trades on ETFs, options and cryptocurrency.
  • It has no account minimums and comes with a free stock upon signing up for the service.

Learn More

9. Wealthsimple (Robo-Advisor with Investment Advice)

wealthsimple sign up

  • Available via desktop, Apple iOS and Google Android.
  • Price: 0.50% Assets Under Management (AUM) Fee
  • Sign up here

Wealthsimple is another robo-advisor in what has become an increasingly-popular invest product : automating your investing decisions and investment selections .
What makes Wealthsimple different, however, is the inexhaustible access you can receive from a fiscal adviser for no additional cost .
In fact, the expert fiscal advice comes with any of their invest products as separate of the Wealthsimple Invest management fee .
early services provide access to fiscal advisors but this much comes with an add cost, be it erstwhile, or a recurring set of fees .
From my experience of screening investing platforms, this included fiscal rede is not something many other robo-advisors offer. Investors who want some avail from people in the know might consider Wealthsimple .
Wealthsimple besides offers the ability to invest according to your values. That means you can choose specific investment strategies which reflect your values .
Some of the current values-based investing options include portfolios for Halal Investing and Socially Responsible Investing .
Wealthsimple is available in Canada, the US and the UK .

Wealthsimple | Robo-Advisor w/Financial Advice

  • Wealthsimple is a robo-advisor which offers investors included financial advice as part of their Wealthsimple Invest account.
  • Wealthsimple investors can invest in alignment with their values by choosing from portfolios like Halal Investing and Socially Responsible Investing

Open Your Account

10. Greenlight (Micro-Investing App for Minors)

greenlight sign up

  • Available: Sign up here
  • Price: Free 1-month trial, $7.98/mo after for Greenlight Card + Invest package

Greenlight + Invest is an investment account for kids that comes paired with a debit card and bank account .
It ’ second easily to use and can double as a savings account and banking apps for teens. The app will teach the basics of investing, how to invest in stocks and ETFs, etc .
It works well if parents and/or grandparents are involved in the process because it requires linked accounts from the custodians ’ banks or brokerages. Plus, parents and guardians will need to approve trades made in the investment report .
The all-in-one plan teaches them authoritative fiscal skills like money management and investing fundamentals — with real money, actual stocks and real-life lessons .
You can use the invest feature to :

  • Buy fractional shares of companies your kids admire (kid-friendly stocks)
  • Start investing with as little as $1 in your account (with fractional shares)
  • No trading commissions beyond the monthly subscription fee
  • Parents approve every trade directly in the app on individual stocks and ETFs with a market capitalization of $1 billion+

Consider opening a Greenlight Card + Invest account to start investing in a custodial brokerage score for your kids today. The first calendar month is free to trial the product and see if it meets your needs for giving one of the best investments for kids .
Read more in our Greenlight Card review .
Our Investing & Prepaid Card for Kids Pick

Greenlight | The Investing App and Prepaid Card for Kids

  • Greenlight offers flexible parental controls for each child and real-time notifications of each transaction.
  • Greenlight is the only debit card letting you choose the exact stores where kids can spend on the card.
  • Parents can use this app to teach them how to invest with a custodial account through Greenlight Max

Learn More

Related: Best Prepaid Debit Cards for Teens & Family [Reloadable]

How Much Money Do You Need to Access a Micro-Investing App?

young adults laughing medium
Micro investing apps benefit people who don ’ t have much money to start invest .
Acorns, one of the most popular micro investing apps on the market, requires a short as $ 5 to open a new account .
The app then invests your money in a diversify portfolio across exchange-traded funds ( ETFs ), stocks and bonds .
By doing thus you can start little but build a bigger balance in your investments quickly over time adenine long as you can commit to a consistent investing schedule .
many micro investing apps require a minimum initial deposit, but they ’ rhenium typically very low-cost amounts .
Anyone can find that slowly adequate to save up without breaking your budget .

Why Do People Like Micro Investing?

Without a doubt, micro-investing works to build little sums of money over time in the hopes of building this into a larger one .
More toward the conduct value for micro-investing : it ’ s a set-it-and-forget-it approach that works for you mechanically while you live your life as you normally would .
What ’ s best about it is the ability not to think with a specific focus toward saving—instead you invest the spare change you otherwise would have left in your bank report, car cup holder or in your coin basket at home .
This simplified, automated approach to investing makes it fabulously low campaign, granting meaning power to these micro investing apps .
And since micro investing allows you to invest your spare transfer regularly, that besides means the barriers to getting started are quite broken. In other words, the money you have to open an explanation and invest doesn ’ thymine need to be a little luck .
alternatively, you might only get by with a $ 1 or less when opening most of these accounts. In fact, no bill minimums at all .
As with every millennial trope, you can begin micro investing good by putting the variety leftover after your Starbucks caffe latte into the banal grocery store .
That ’ second hitting the easy button—by taking the linked debit or credit card with the report and placing it automatically into your retirement account or brokerage account .

Is Micro Investing a Good Idea?

smiling girl happy on smartphone
enough of people deride micro investing because they only see it as rounding up your Starbucks purchases by $ 0.50 for the remainder of your life. They reason this will only get you a humble total of money over long periods of clock time .
While not wholly untrue, particularly after accounting for the fees of some endow platforms, micro investing doesn ’ thyroxine want to stop at Round Ups, Stock Backs or whatever the brand term is for topping up purchases on a linked debit or credit card .
alternatively, as you long time, you should try to aim for making recurring deposits into your account as your compensation rises .
This can be from side hustles, investing in very estate, investing in the best passive income ideas, or simply building up your career .
No one expects you to invest half your paycheck each wage time period when you start working. It takes prison term to build fiscal security and an investment portfolio .
What micro investing apps help is to establish the habit of knowing your purchases besides result in something more important : preservation for your future .
As your fiscal resources grow, you can contribute more and more to your report, building your wealth .
adequate derision about micro investing entirely producing micro results .
alternatively, consider micro invest as depart of your investment strategy that ties into other long haul decisions you make about saving for retirement .
Investing for the long term requires dedication, perseverance and sour over time considerable amounts of time .
You might start modest with a micro investment app while simultaneously starting to save through your employer ’ s retirement plan, your own individual retirement bill ( IRA ), building an emergency fund, saving for a house down payment and paying off any costly debt you have .
Combined, all of these little steps add up to something big. As is often said, “ the sum is more than the whole of its parts. ” In entirety, all these little efforts add astir and move the acerate leaf in the right direction .
Micro invest as its own shouldn ’ thymine be the exclusive factor driving your retirement savings or for any other goal you have. It should be a tool you add to your arsenal to accelerate your wealth build .
As a side notice : if you have kids who earn income, consider helping them out now by opening a Roth IRA for kids .
This will let them lock in low tax rates while they ’ rhenium young and permit compound to grow their wealth more than any major contributions late in life always could .
But, if you want a retirement strategy which will get you to your intended destination ( a dependable and secure retirement ), where should you start ?

Step 1: Mind the Needs of Today

young man on laptop looking up information
first, you shouldn ’ thymine save anything for the long-run if you ’ ve got needs that must be addressed today. Behind on bills ? Need to eliminate dearly-won credit card debt ? Have to fund an emergency savings fund to guard against backsliding into debt tied further ?
Don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate permit these expenses get out of hand. rather, you need to build a solid fiscal rock upon which you can grow .

  1. Establish an emergency fund: This entails saving a minimum of 3-6 months (or even 12) of your on-going monthly expenses. While this might sound like a lot if you’ve got nothing currently, start small with $100, then $1,000 and eventually $5,000. Make sure you’re realistic with your budget and fully fund this personal finance priority before contributing anything meaningful toward retirement.
  2. Pay off credit card debt: You’re not alone if you’ve got credit card debt that’s been piling up. Paying off your credit card debt is a must before saving for retirement because it will save you money in the long-term. The interest rates paid on credit card debt almost always outweigh what you could receive by investing for retirement in stocks and bonds. Credit cards usually charge in excess of 15% APYs, sometimes north of 20%. While stocks and bonds can have years where they return this amount, over very long periods of time, you’re more likely to encounter returns between 7-10% per year on average with a well-diversified portfolio of equities and fixed income. If you have any amount of credit card debt, make sure to pay it off as soon as possible so you can start saving for retirement without worrying about this emergency expense.
  3. Get current on bills: You might be thinking that you should save for retirement before paying off your bills, but this is a mistake. If you’re behind on your monthly bills then you need to take care of these past due expenses before saving for retirement. Getting current on all of your financial obligations is important because it will make sure that if anything were to happen in the future where you couldn’t work or had emergency expenses come up, then there would be no debt hanging over your head.

You can lower your credit poster debt agile by signing up for an app like Tally, which extends a lower cost wrinkle of credit to cover your existing recognition calling card debt and putting an end to late requital fees .
For student loans, you may have received a suspension from governmental orders during the COVID-19 pandemic, but payments resumed in September 2021 .
now, you ’ ll need to resume payments but can lower the sake rate you pay by using a scholar loanword refinancing market like Splash Financial .
The avail pulls real-time quotes from respective refinancing lenders in the market to give you a sense of the best refinance option available to you .
My wife used a loanword refinancing marketplace when her first round of scholar loans required payments to start and she dropped her pace from 8.00 % to 2.85 %, reducing her average rate by 515 basis points and saving us thousands in interest!
If you ’ re in a exchangeable situation with high-cost student loans, consider using Splash Financial to find your best rate and lowering your price of refund .
Depending on the savings you can receive, this guarantee savings frequently makes for a fresh fiscal decision .
once you can get a handle on your high gear monetary value debt and student loans responsibly, you should look to invest money in your retirement accounts and taxable brokerage accounts to grow for the long-run .

Step 2: Invest Early, Invest Often (and Diversify)

woman smiling with notebook and smartphone
I ’ m a huge believer in working toward fiscal independence, or having the fiscal resources to make decisions not guided by money .
That means you need to have adequate saved and invested. To get there faster, you ’ ll need to save more immediately .
I suggest saving more than the standard 10-15 % of your income per class if you can afford. This will give you either A ) a more comfortable and batten retirement at the traditional old age ( 65-68 ) or B ) a gamble to retire earlier .
How much earlier depends on when you start saving, how much you contribute, the portfolio you choose and the investment returns you receive .
To get started, consider the following investing strategy :

  1. Pay off debt, save an emergency fund. This again? Yes. These short-term needs aren’t something you can avoid. Prioritize the now in this instance as the costs of being behind on bills, credit card debt or student loans is far greater than the upside you’d see long-term for investing from retirement. Those costs you see in your mail are certain. You can always save more if you get started a bit later on your retirement with a chance to catch up.
  2. Work your way up the retirement savings account ladder. This means starting with an order of investment accounts to capture the greatest return for yourself. It starts with an emergency fund but then quickly goes into investment accounts. If you work for an employer who offers a retirement match, or money they agree to contribute alongside yourself into a 401k, 403b or 457 plan, you should start here. Make sure the investment options provided make sense and are lower cost. If they have index funds in the employer-sponsored plan menu, you’ve found a good set of investments to hold for decades to come. If you get a match, take full advantage of it! That’s free money you can call yours risk-free. Invest up to the match at a minimum. That means if your company offers a 4% match on your contributions, invest at least 4% of your annual pay.
  3. Contribute to an IRA. Next up are individual retirement accounts, or IRAs. These accounts come in two types: traditional and Roth. Traditional IRAs allow you to deduct your contributions in the year you make them (subject to certain income limitations) and pay taxes when you withdraw money in retirement on a tax-deferred basis while Roth IRAs work the opposite: pay taxes upfront and see your investments grow tax-free. If you’d like to open an IRA, consider whether you think you’re paying higher taxes now or whether that’ll happen in retirement. If you think taxes are higher now, contribute to a traditional account. If you think they’ll be higher for you in retirement, contribute to a Roth IRA with M1 Finance or other investing companies that don’t charge commissions.
  4. Standard brokerage accounts. If you have all these bases covered and you’re hitting the maximum for all of them, consider investing in a taxable brokerage account deemed as one of the best investing apps for beginners. This after-tax money isn’t tax-efficient, but it does provide you with liquidity if you need money before retirement.

Step 3: Rinse and Repeat (and Repeat)

Micro endow is an easy way to start investing because of the broken capital commitment and minimal ( if any ) investment minimum. Though, for it to truly make a difference for your fiscal needs, it can ’ triiodothyronine be the entirely way you save for retirement .
In fact, you ’ ll need to supercharge these contributions in abruptly arrange to take advantage of compounding returns over time on increasingly larger sums of money .
Said differently, you want to contribute adenine much as you can angstrom early as you can to allow compounding returns in diversified investments to do the clayey lift if you want to actually live out your retirement dreams .
The great news is that the earlier you get started, the more time you have to put your money to work. That ’ s the exponent of compound growth ! here ’ s what that could look like for you :
Let ’ s say you ’ ra 30 years old, making the average family income of around $66,000. You decide to invest $ 600 per month in your retirement accounts, all inclusive of any employer peer you ’ vitamin d receive .
That amounts to just over 10 % of your income every year. If you retire at age 67, you could have over $ 2.1 million in your retirement savings .
This assumes an average 9 % annual return, which is a bite under the inflation-adjusted average annual return of the S & P 500 of the concluding 50 years .
In short circuit, a realistic growth rate if you leave your funds investing in a S & P 500 exponent fund over multiple decades .
That sounds pretty great, right ? But it gets flush better. Of that sum $ 2.1 million, your contributions alone make up about $ 266,500 .
That means 90 % of that sum is money provided by the market—not your wallet !
But, if you made the same decision to start investing $ 300 per month at old age 22, you ’ d have $ 2.2 million. $ 600 a calendar month ? $ 4.4 million !
And if you actually want to save and retire early, say at age 55, consider investing $ 1,000 per calendar month starting at age 22. surely a steep contribution to start, but if you can manage it, that decision will pay off significantly : $ 2.4 million .
If you can manage $ 2,000 per calendar month, you could retire at 50 with $ 3.0 million .
The lesson here : start early and invest adenine much as you can deoxyadenosine monophosphate early as you can .

About the Site Author and Blog

In 2018, I was winding down a stretch in investor relations and found myself newly equipped with a CPA, added insight on how investors behave in markets, and a load of absolve clock time. My job routinely required prolong employment hours, building complex assignments, and compressed deadlines. Seeking to maintain my momentum, I wanted to chase something ambitious .
I chose to start this fiscal independence web log as my next mistreat, recognizing both the challenge and opportunity. I launched the web site with encouragement from my wife as a mean to lay out our fiscal independence travel and plug in with and help others who share the same finish.


I have not been compensated by any of the companies listed in this post at the time of this compose. Any recommendations made by me are my own. Should you choose to act on them, please see the disclaimer on my About Young and the Invested page .

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