There was a time, not too long ago, when investing was reserved for those with means, know-how, and the connections to invest their money wisely. Those who hadn’t learned the ropes were prone to scammers targeting them with fake investments. Fast forward to today, however, and the world of investing has changed. As with most services, it has embraced the mobile revolution and there are now apps that can be downloaded to allow users to begin investing instantly.
Mobile offerings also include access to traditional investment markets from cell phones and laptops, meaning that anyone can invest anywhere at any time! The final piece of the puzzle in bringing investment to the mass market has been lowering the financial barrier to investing. It is now possible to make investments using small amounts of money; in fact, there isn’t really a lower limit anymore.
Below is a quick guide to five investment platforms, each of which is well suited to those who are new to the world of investing.
Interactive Brokers have emerged as one of the leading market players and are particularly popular among investors who prefer a platform that offers pricing on a per-share basis. The service does require an initial deposit of $10,000 and charges a monthly commission of $10, but in return, new investors will get access to one of the most intuitive and fluid trading platforms available.
TD Ameritrade actually runs two different investment platforms, thinkorswim and Trade Architect. Both platforms have gained a reputation for their elegance and ease of use. Thinkorswim has regularly been viewed by aficionados as perhaps the best trading platform around. Trade Architect is designed to be a more streamlined experience and is better suited for beginners.
SwipeStox perfectly embodies the heart of the mobile investing revolution. The app is designed to allow users to become part of a social network consisting of traders and investors. Users do not trade directly from within the app, but the app can be paired with the web platform or with other services to make the trade.
The user interface is sleek, unique, and very effective. In their review, InvestinGoal praised the interface as well as the app’s Tinder-inspired approach to evaluating trades.
TradeStation is a good platform to choose if you are planning on transitioning heavily into the world of stocks and trades. It is geared towards power-users, but newcomers with the necessary capital will find it easy to use. A fully featured account with TradeStation incurs a fee of $99.95 a month, but this is waived for accounts if they carry a balance of $100,000 or if they trade 5,000 or more shares. However, they now offer a free account for non-professionals, which makes this a great place to test the waters with the potential to transition later to a more advanced plan.
Opportunities have never been greater for the average person looking to get involved in the stock market. There are now a plethora of user-friendly platforms and plenty of online guides to investing to help get you started.