One of the leading platforms in automated investment is Acorns. Acorns is a micro-investing app that automatically invests your spare change into a diversified portfolio of exchange traded funds (ETFs), making it easy for even the most casual investor to try to grow their wealth.
This app targets millennial investors who might be tight on money and aren’t ready to invest large sums of money. By connecting your credit or debit card to your Acorns account, the app automatically rounds each purchase up to the nearest dollar and deposits this into your portfolio.
For example, purchasing a $4.20 coffee would result in an 80 cent investment into an Acorns account. Once these ’round-ups’ reach $5, Acorns then invests this money in the investment portfolio of choice. There are 5 investment portfolios, each of which come with varying degrees of risk.
Source: Acorns Grow Australia
Acorns have been around in America since 2014 but didn’t launch in Australia until February 2016. It has proven to be extremely popular since then and has hit as many as 500,000 downloads on the Google Play store alone. Its simplicity is definitely one of the key factors in its success.
There are no deposit & withdrawal fees, but you have to pay $1.25/month for accounts with under $5,000.
To learn more about Acorns, read our Q&A with managing director of Acorns Australia, George Lucas.
Not all investment apps have to actually allow you to trade. An important part of investing and growing your wealth is to sort through the endless stream of data, opinions, speculation and analysis out there. Share market app Stocklight aims to cut through all of this information and provide users with only what they need.
According to Stocklight’s Jason Kotchoff, who caught up with Canstar last year;
“There are very few tools out there that will give you a comprehensive overview of an Australian stock at your fingers on your phone or tablet. Stocklight sends notifications straight to your mobile device when important events occur related to your watchlist. For example, when a dividend or price sensitive announcement is released for one of your stocks, StockLight will let you know.”
Over 80,000 Australians are currently using Stocklight, making it one of Australia’s most downloaded share market apps that aren’t from a major bank. It is free to download on both Apple and Android devices, and allows you to do the following:
- Add favourite stocks to your watchlist
- Track dividends, news and announcements for said stocks
- Track your portfolio holdings and watch them grow
- Find investment opportunities using advanced filters
- Access recommendations from industry experts based on comprehensive analysis
So whether you’re a beginner or have been investing for years, Stocklight could make managing your portfolio easier.
If you’ve already got a portfolio of stocks and other investments, then Sharesight could allow you to keep track of them all. This app lets you view the past and present performance of your portfolio.
At the time of writing, Sharesight is free if you have the one portfolio with up to 10 holdings. Any more than this and you’ll have to upgrade to either Sharesight investor for $25 a month or Sharesight expert for $39 a month. These paid versions offer in-depth reports and email support from Sharesight specialists and allow you to track unlimited investment holdings.
According to Sharesight’s CEO Doug Morris, Sharesight is ‘the glue’ between online brokers, share registries and excel spreadsheets and gives customers a true representation of how their portfolio is performing. Sharesight also offers tax reports that could save you both time and money come tax time.
SelfWealth say that they’re the only flat fee brokerage service in Australia. At the time of writing, they charge $9.50 per trade regardless of the trade size. As a brokerage app, SelfWealth allows you to buy and sell shares, view and amend your orders, view your order history, analyse your stocks, estimate your earnings, analyse the performance of your stocks and more. Once you’ve set up your trading profile with SelfWealth you can join the SelfWealth community – a social network of like-minded investors that a proven track-record of growing wealth for themselves and others.
SelfWealth’s app allows you to buy and sell shares, view and amend your orders, view your order history, analyse your stocks, estimate your earnings, analyse the performance of your stocks and more. To access this app, you need to have a SelfWealth TRADING account.
Once you’ve set up your trading profile with SelfWealth you can join the SelfWealth community – a social network of like-minded investors.
SelfWealth provides two products – SelfWealth INTELLIGENCE and SelfWealth TRADING. SelfWealth trading incorporates the trading aspect discussed above, including the flat $9.50 fee for all trades. SelfWealth INTELLIGENCE, on the other hand, offers a suite of analytical tools and reports to help investors track and benchmark their portfolio’s performance.
SelfWealth is more suitable for self-directed investors who have a bit more experience when it comes to trading, and the flat brokerage fee makes it a good option for those who tend to make large trades. For more information on SelfWealth and its purpose, read our interview with Founder Andrew Ward.
Simply Wall Street
The Simply Wall Street app is a simplified version of the online web platform of the same name that is used by more than 80,000 investors nationwide. It operates in a similar way to Stocklight, as it sorts through the endless lists of equities on the market to find strong long-term investments.
Every listed company in Australia, New Zealand, The UK, America and Canada is on there, and you can swipe through these companies in order to add ones you’re interested in into your portfolio. One of the main benefits to Simply Wall Street that sets it apart is the presentation – it uses beautiful infographic reports that are easy to look at and present the strengths and weaknesses of certain investments in a way that other platforms simply can’t.
A great example of this is ‘The Snowflake’, a moving snapshot of a company that shows its value – present and past – as well as its long-term potential. You can see how The Snowflake works in the video below.
Source: Simply Wall Street
More to come…
The internet age has opened up a treasure trove of opportunities for startups and technology, and the fintech space in particular is constantly evolving. Fintech is thriving due to expanded capital access for small business owners, and driven creators are coming up with new investment platforms almost every day.
Getting started in investing can be a daunting process, but you’ll find that there are investment apps and platforms out there for people of all levels of experience. To keep up with online investment and fintech developments, make sure you check out WealthBricks by Canstar. You can also compare ETFs, managed funds and online trading platforms using the Canstar website.