Let’s talk tools of the trade.
After you create your investing strategy you will need some tools to help you implement it. For all intensive purposes let’s assume your investing strategy involves saving some money and investing in the equity market like stocks, bonds, ETFs, and mutual funds.
What does a millennial actually need to put some money in the stock market? These tools will help guide your strategy and allow you to buy shares of companies like Apple, Ford, General Electric, and more.
This is an amazing tool for millennials who are interested in saving money and investing in the stock market. Personal capital is a web-based platform that is similar to Mint.com.
You allow personal capital access to some of your accounts (savings, investment, student loan debt, credit card, auto loans, mortgage, etc) and their software will keep track of your net worth. You can see how your savings and investments affect your net worth on a week to week basis.
It’s a central hub to keep all of your money in one place with some nice look graphics and insights.
The best part? It’s completely free to use their personal dashboard.
If you are interested in investing in their platform they do charge a small amount. I have never used their service for investing so I have no comment on how well it works or it’s fee structure.
This is by far my favorite app for researching stocks. I love how clean the user interface is and how it allows me to build multiple watchlists.
When you are ready to buy your first stocks you will obviously need a tool to help you do the investment research.
Stockflare gives you a majority of the key metrics that millennial investors will need to make smart and informed decisions.
My favorite part of this service (besides it being free) is that they give a stock a rating based on things like it’s P/E ratio, room for growth, and more. So if you want a safe stock that is expected to earn more and more each year you can do a search for it in Stockflare.
I would suggest you just start searching companies you know well and see their financial statements and how Stockflare rates them.
You will see calculations like PE ratio and have no idea what they mean, that’s where the next tool comes into play.
To be quite honest, this is one of the best resources on the web when it comes to teaching millennials how to invest.
If you have a weekend to sit down and read through 30-40 articles you will have a great foundation for investment strategy and how some of the most popular metrics for stocks and bonds are calculated.
It is critical that you build your toolset and gain the knowledge necessary to make decisions for yourself. Trust me, you don’t want to rely on market analysts when buying stocks.
The more time you take up front learning the basics of how stocks are valued and how the markets work the better off you will be later in life.
Once you have a few stocks picked out and are investing in them it’s time to keep up to date with their news.
This tool is a great to help keep your ear to the ground. Here is how it works, you put the company name + a keyword in a Google alert and you will get an email whenever it pops up on Google.
Pro tip: Putting the company name alone will give you a ton of emails, instead do something like “Disney Earnings”
It’s as simple as that. If there is a company I am interested in watching when they IPO (initial public offering) I will set up an alert in Google like this
Betterment.com is a registered investment advisor (RIA)—the largest online investment advisor in the U.S.—and a broker-dealer. With both functions, the company provides personalized financial advice and automated investment management, investment execution, tax optimization, custodianship, and record-keeping.
So what does that all mean?
It means that Betterment.com will give you personalized advice on your investing strategy and automatically invest your money for you.
Betterment.com uses something called ETF’s to invest your money. They take a look at your risk adversity and put your money to work into ETF’s that track exchanges like the S&P 500.
They will also rebalance your account to help with tax harvesting which is a pretty nice feature.
Betterment.com takes a small portion of your investment as a management fee but they provide a ton of value so it is worth it.
I plan on doing a much bigger write up on Betterment and my experience with them but for now, I want you to be aware that they exist and I would encourage you to check them out.
Robinhood is one of my favorite apps and tools that I have used the past couple of years. Currently, they only have a smartphone app (but the desktop app is coming and there is a waiting list you can join).
Robinhood came on the scene and was a total game changer. They allow millennials (and anyone really) an opportunity to easily invest in the stock market.
It’s clear they are focusing on millennials based on being app only and the attention to detail they put into the design of their app.
Robinhood lets you buy and sell stocks FREE.
Typically if you use a service like T.Rowe Price or Scott Trade you will have to pay $4-$8 every time you buy or sell a stock.
Robinhood isn’t a full-featured stockbroker (meaning there are things you can’t do on the platform) but it allows you to do enough to get comfortable in the stock market.
I plan on doing a much bigger write up on Robinhood and my experience with them but for now, I want you to be aware that they exist and I would encourage you to check them out.
Did I Miss One?
Let me know what tools you like to use to execute your investment strategies.
About The Author – Alex
I am on a journey of personal growth. I love learning about investing strategies and ways to actively improve my life. Follow along and connect with me if you are looking for a path to financial freedom and becoming the best version of yourself.