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How to Choose an Investment Website
There are a growing number of investment websites and related mobile applications. Whether you are investing from your desktop or smartphone, you want to find a platform that is well suited to your financial goals. There are investment websites that make investing super easy by using your data and an algorithm to make your money work for you. There are also websites designed to make trading more accessible, and others more focused on customer service. In addition, there are a number of investment websites that link to your current investment accounts for easy performance tracking. Finally, investment websites are available for research, analysis and, of course, investment education. Depending on your current financial situation and related goals, there are a number of sophisticated sites to consider.
Identifying Your Investment Needs
Evaluate your investment knowledge and aptitude.Before you choose an investment website, you need to have an idea of what you're looking for and what you wish to accomplish. Consider what you already know about investing and how much guidance you will need. Do you already have a strategy and know how you'd like to invest and you're just looking to reduce service costs? Or are you a total novice and require someone to advise you, or a website that will do most of the work for you?
- Think about how much time and attention you want to devote to your investments. Are you interested in following the market devoting time to track and analyze? And do you have the skills to do this? Or would you rather be more hands-off with your investing? Are you prepared to pay someone to advise you? Your answers to these questions will help you choose a website that works best for you.
Determine your goals.Ask yourself what you hope to achieve through investing. Are you saving for retirement with a personal IRA? What is your timeline? Are you hoping to use the money decades from now, or in three years?
- If your goals are far in the future, then you can afford to take more risks with your investments for bigger payouts, because you have plenty of time to let your investments grow and ride out a volatile market. If you need the money sooner, then you will want to make safer investments with a lower rate of return, because you don't have as much time to recover from a loss.
- Again, understanding your goals will help you know what to look for in an investment website. Look for one that will help you reach your goals, whatever they may be.
Understand the different roles of investment websites.You can use an investment website to simply make transactions — logging on, entering your oder, then logging off — but keep in mind that different websites will offer other services as well. Beyond making the trade, an investment website might connect you with a professional who can offer you advice, allow you to manage your portfolio, follow the market, or even take classes to educate yourself further. Think about whether you want something that is bare-bones, or a website that will help guide you through the process and allow you to learn more about your finances.
Searching for an Investment Website and App
Invest with the Optionshouse site.This website is especially great for beginners because there is no minimum investment and there are investor education tools that you can use. If you are a more advanced trader and looking for a site with low service costs, this site might also work for you. Options traders and advanced traders may also enjoy this site. There are no fees for being inactive on the site and it only costs .95 per trade for both stocks and options.
- If you are scared of making your first trade, you can use the simulated trading tool, which doesn’t use real money, to get the hang of how things work.
Try Wealthfront if you want a website that does most of the work for you.This site asks you about your goals and the level of risk you are comfortable with, and then uses an algorithm to get your money working for you.Wealthfront offers free management for up to ,000 of investments. If you have a large balance or a lot of taxable income, you might consider using the tax optimization services offered by this company.
Try TradeKing website and mobile app.This site is especially notable for customer service but also has a variety of great tools such as the profitability calculator and stocks screener.It is great for active traders, options traders and fee-conscious traders. There is no account minimum and commissions cost .95.
Try using Betterment.If you visit the Betterment website or download the related mobile app, you will have to enter your age, income and investment goal. For instance, perhaps you are trying to pay off debt or save for a car. The company will invest your money in a mix of stocks and bonds and there is no minimum investment. You can use direct deposit. Betterment is generally best suited to hands-off investors and for those with an account balance over 0,000.
- If you have a balance of under ,000, it can get expensive.They will charge you per month if you are not investing at least 0 per month.
Use Acorns to invest small amounts.If you are just getting started, Acorns is a good option. You simply invest spare change from everyday purchases and the company puts this money into six separate funds, which are based on your level of tolerance to risk.If you have a balance of under ,000, you will be charged per month. If your balance is over ,000, you will be charged .25% of the balance every year.
- If you are just getting into investing and have a balance under ,000, you should consider how many transactions you make in a given month. If you make only fifty transactions each month, assuming you are contributing on average $.25 cents per rounded up transaction and investing .50, you will be giving Acorns 8% of your investment portfolio. This is a pretty high percentage. However, if you make a hundred and fifty transactions and invest .50 per month, you will only be giving Acorns 2.7% which makes a lot more sense.
Start with Kapitall.This site uses gaming systems, which can make investing more familiar and comfortable if you are a gamer. The icons allow for a greater level of comfort and you can become familiar with the site quite quickly.This site allows users to exchange tips and portfolios. It also offers 10,000 investing ideas.
Invest with Robinhood.This mobile app allows you to make trades for free. It is simple and makes trading very accessible, since most platforms will require a fee for making trades.With no commissions, no minimum balance on accounts, and a streamlined interface, this is a great site.
- However, you should keep in mind that there are limited securities and the sited does not allow broker transfers. If you are a mobile user, a frequent stock or ETF trader, this site may be right for you.
Finding a Good Site to Monitor Your Investments
Use Personal Capital to monitor your investment performance.This site allows you to link any investment account and then monitor the performance of your investments including in relation to how they are distributed and related fees. The site gives you helpful graphs that illustrate the distribution of your assets. The account minimum is ,000.
- If you are a hands-off investor, like DIY investment tools, have a high net worth or seek free financial management tools, you may like this site.
- In contrast to other algorithm based sites, Personal Capital uses a mix of algorithms and human financial advisors in an approach called “tech-enhanced.”
Try using Morningstar.This site allows you to evaluate your investment performance in relation to costs and performance against numerous indexes. It allows you to analyse your investments in relation to industry sectors and geographic variables. However, since it does not allow you to directly link to your investment accounts you have to manually enter your current portfolio.The site also offers asset management services, retirement services, and investment management.
Use a mobile app to monitor your investments.A variety of mobile applications are available to help you monitor your investments on the road. These financial apps include:
- SigFig Wealth Management. They have a free application that allows you to monitor your stocks, mutual funds, IRAs and 401(k) plan. It automatically gathers information from your investment accounts, including over eighty U.S. brokerages, onto one dashboard. It is available for iOS and Android.
- Use ticker. This app includes wonderful charts, graphs and analytics that help you see and manage your various stock portfolios. It is available for iOS and Android.
- Use the USA Today Money Portfolio Tracker. This app gathers your investment information from multiple accounts and allows you to analyze your allocations and risks. It is connected to SigFig, and available for both iOS and Android.
Using Websites for Investment News
Follow the financial page of major online newspapers.By regularly visiting the financial page of newspapers online, you can keep up to date on the fluctuations of the stock market. This information will help you make smart investment decisions. Simply visit the online platform of major newspapers.
- If you live in Canada, consider following the Globe and Mail online. They are a reputable newspaper for financial news and have a site called Globe Investor.
- If you live in the United States, consider following the New York Times online or the Wall Street Journal.
- If you live in Europe, consider following European Markets News on Reuters.
- If you live in Asia, consider following Asian Markets News on Reuters.
Find free websites to teach yourself about investing.There are a variety of websites that offer free investment related news and information. If you are just starting out in the world of investing, you should look into these options:
- Try FinMason. This is a free service that helps you decide what advice is best suited for your current financial situation.
- Use Investopedia to teach yourself about investing. This site is especially geared towards beginning investors and allows you to not only look up terminology but also simulate investments that you are considering.
- Start following Yahoo! Finance. This website offers free information on numerous investing topics. However, you will have to pay for reports on individual companies.
- Follow the Wall Street Journal online. You will find numerous investment articles and market related news.
Join an investment research website.There are a variety of websites that require membership and sometimes fees to get timely investment analysis and reports. If you are looking for more advanced investment analysis, you might consider joining one of these sites.
- Pay for investment advice at the Motley Fool. If you want to get some expert recommendations, you can pay for advice on this website. It costs per year when you sign up for three years.
- Join Zack's investment research. The membership is free and, once you sign up, you will be able to do your own research on stocks and bonds. The website also gives you access to numerous reports and other information for your personal portfolio.
- Follow Investor Guide. If you subscribe, you get an in depth analysis of a newsworthy stock every morning, as well as market news and earnings reports.
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