9 Best Micro-Investing Apps to Build Wealth
Whether you're someone with a solid full-time job or a side hustle enthusiast, we're sure you have considered investing at some point. It's one of the most popular options for passive income – and yet, a lot of people stay away from it simply because they believe you need to have thousands of extra dollars in your bank account to be able to start investing.
It's actually not true at all!
These days, you can actually start investing with such small amounts of money as $5 – and if you're not sure where to begin, various micro-investing apps are perfect for that.
In this article, we'll introduce you to 9 micro-investing gems you can download from Google Play or Apple's App Store in minutes... Only to reap the benefits for a lifetime!
Table of Contents
What Exactly Is Micro-Investing?
Micro-investing is exactly what it sounds like: saving and investing micro amounts of money so it can earn you passive income.
If you think it's not even worth bothering, think about it this way. It certainly won't be enough to invest $20 once to build wealth – but putting a little cash in on a regular basis will grow your overall investments in time. If you start investing your spare change while still at school, imagine what your investment account will look like in a decade or two!
While investors who want to gain massive sums in little time might want to look from other investment options, micro-investing is great for those who want to be responsible about their future personal finance but cannot afford to dedicate large sums straight away. It is also more rewarding than having a savings account, as they typically have very low interest rates.
All financial advisors would tell you it's wise to start working towards building wealth and making sure you have a solid retirement fund in advance. Sadly, millions of adults around the world are not thinking strategically about their future yet.
The good news is, you can get one step ahead of them right now.
Why Should You Use Micro-Investing Apps?
There seems to be an app for everything these days – and it's hardly surprising. Using apps is a quick and convenient way to take care of your shopping, banking, dating, planning, and a billion other things... including micro-investing.
The abilities of modern desktop and mobile applications are impressive. If you think all a micro-investing app can do is allow you to put your money in investment accounts and purchase individual stocks, you have a lot to discover! These days, they include options like robo-advisors, zero-commission trading, options to invest your spare change or buy fractional shares – and many more.
Best of all, a lot of micro-investing apps are extremely beginner-friendly – which means there's no need to worry about not understanding complex terminology or not knowing which individual stocks to buy and sell. Oftentimes, they even include educational resources to help you navigate the world of personal finance and micro-investing completely hassle-free.
We're sure you own a credit or debit card and know how to use it. Honestly, you won't find handling micro-investing apps much more complicated than that!
9 Best Micro-Investing Apps to Try
Both Apple's App Store and Google Play offer a variety of micro-investing apps. Whether you prefer to be more hands-on or tend to appreciate the set-it-and-forget-it approach of automated investing, you'll definitely find an option that matches your stock market wishes, needs, and risk tolerance in the list below.
First introduced in 2013, Robinhood is certainly one of the best-known micro-investing apps. Investors who want to make the most of employing their money appreciated the fact that it was the first app of this type to offer commission-free trading. While many of its competitors quickly followed suit, Robinhood already had a strong following by then – and it still has it now.
Stock trading is not all Robinhood offers: you can also trade options, index funds, and cryptocurrencies, all commission-free. If you'd like to have even more investment options, however, you can pay $5 per month for its Robinhood Gold plan. It's important to note, however, that Robinhood doesn’t offer anything related to mutual funds.
The biggest disadvantage of Robinhood is the fact that while it's available on both iOS and Android (and in your web browser, too!), you can only use it in the United States. A few years ago, it did intend to enter the UK market and even started pre-launch testing – unfortunately, these plans have been postponed indefinitely.
The name of Acorns is a cute metaphor: just like a small acorn can grow into a tall and sturdy oak tree, small amounts of money you invest can grow into solid funds and build wealth. This app allows you to grow your financial knowledge, too, as it involves a lot of educational resources about money basics, such as taxes, retirement, crypto, saving, and investing.
If you're specifically looking for free micro-investing apps, Acorns is not the option for you. Depending on your needs, you can pick one of two plans: Personal ($3 per month) or Family ($5 per month). However, it really allows you to do the bare minimum needed to earn with micro-investing!
Once you link your debit card to your account, the micro-investing app rounds up your purchases, depositing the extra money into your account, and investing it once you have more than $5. You can leave the investment decisions to the app completely, or set your preferences as small guidance.
No exact limits exist when it comes to minimum investment on Acorns. Naturally, you will need to have some money in your account to start saving and investing, but it's not required for simply opening one!
Betterment is another great micro-investing app for those who prefer a hands-free approach and prioritize automated investing. On its website, the app presents itself as 'the largest independent online financial advisor', which aims to help its users make the most of their savings by investing smartly and effortlessly.
Once you create an account on Betterment, the system adjusts its algorithms to match your needs and priorities as well as possible. For example, you can pick socially responsible investing, which means your investments will go to planet-friendly projects or companies that focus on promoting workplace diversity.
You can download this investment app on both iOS and Android – unfortunately, just like Robinhood, Betterment only operates in the United States due to certain regulatory requirements.
Similar to Acorns, Moneybox allows you to invest your spare change by rounding up your daily purchases. In addition to these round-ups, you can also make one-time deposits or set up regular ones (say, on your payday every month), making micro-investing a breeze.
Cautious, balanced, or adventurous – these are the three options you can pick once you create an account on Moneybox so it can understand your risk tolerance and adapt to it perfectly.
Wish to eliminate the risks altogether? The app includes savings accounts, too. Looking to save up for retirement? Moneybox Personal Pension account is here for your needs! The variety of options for micro-investing is precisely what makes Moneybox so attractive to users.
Unlike some of the other micro-investing apps on this list, Moneybox is not US-based but rather aimed at the British public. With some types of accounts (e.g., Lifetime ISA), you'll even need a UK National Insurance number to begin.
While some micro-investing apps aim to offer as many options as possible to appeal to the general public, Public.com mostly focuses on the younger generations that are used to spending their time on social media.
Aside from investing in fractional shares of stocks and exchange-traded funds, Public.com is also planning to introduce alternative investment options like art, NFTs, and collectibles soon. Like many micro-investing apps these days, it offers zero-commission trading – and it doesn't take part in the Payment for Order Flow (PFOF), either.
Public.com users can not just create an account and invest but also participate in the discussions started by the community of investors and even follow content creators who present, explain, and discuss stock market news, crypto trends, and so much more.
Launched in 2018, Webull is one of the newer micro-investing apps on the market. Nevertheless, it had a brilliant idea of attracting new users. Enter: free stocks!
All new users who open an account on Webull receive 2 free fractional share stocks. Once they deposit some money to their account, they get 4 more – and according to the website, this gift is actually worth thousands of dollars.
Now, if you think Webull is all about stock trading, that's not entirely true. You can also use this micro-investing platform to trade cryptocurrencies, options, and over-the-counter (OTC) securities. There is no account minimum, either!
While the Webull micro-investment app doesn't include a robo-advisor or personalized investment advice, it does offer a ton of information and powerful tools for detailed market analysis. It can also boast incredible availability: you can download it for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS – or even use it in the browser if that's more to your taste!
Stash may not be the best choice for those who are specifically looking for micro-investing platforms of the set-it-and-forget-it type. However, it is a great option for those who prefer to be more hands-on with their investment portfolio and actively explore the market. Stocks, ETFs, cryptocurrencies, or fractional shares – the sky's the limit!
The app is available for both Android and iOS devices. Once you download it, you will need to connect it to your bank account – then, instead of making decisions on your behalf, Stash will ask you questions about your preferences and risk levels. Once it has all the important information, the app will present you with a list of companies that match your needs and let you make your own pick.
Unfortunately, while Stash does offer a chance to invest without any trading fees, the app itself is not free. It is, however, of a pretty low cost: depending on the plan you pick, the monthly fee can be as low as $1 (Stash Beginner; other plans are $3 and $9 per month).
We've seen both UK- and US-focused micro-investing apps on this list – but Wealthsimple is the first Canadian one. This means you have to both live in Canada and either be a resident or possess a Canadian visa to be able to open an account on the platform.
According to the team, Wealthsimple aims to make the services that were always available to the rich a lot more accessible. Yes, you can use it to automatically invest your spare change – but you can also dive into commission-free trading with dividend reinvesting, automated rebalancing, and tax loss harvesting.
What makes Wealthsimple really exceptional, though, is the fact that each user can easily connect with a financial advisor and get answers to their questions. Whether you prefer live chat, email, or a phone call, the customer support team is ready to help – even on weekends!
All of the micro-investing apps on this list have one thing in common: age requirement. You need to be 18, or whatever the legal age for opening a trading account in your country is.
But what if you want to start your investing journey before you leave school? Or if you're a parent who would love to teach their teenage kids about investing and personal finance? Worry not – Greenlight is specifically created for underaged investors. There are no age limits!
Furthermore, it's a great low-cost solution. After the free 30-day trial, the monthly fee is only $4.99–9.98 – and that's for the entire family with up to five kids.
All the plans include a debit card that can be used both offline and online for each child, an educational app, and a set of handy parental controls for spending, investing, and even ATM usage. In addition to this, the parents can easily set up chore schedules and connect them to the kids' allowance – how convenient is that?
Ready to Begin?
If at the beginning of this article you still believed you need to be a millionaire to benefit from investing, we hope we've proved you wrong! A few bucks every month is more than enough to make a change – and with micro-investing apps, the process itself can be as engaging or as hands-off as you prefer it to be.
Small-scale investing is actually one of the most popular decisions Honeygain users make when it comes to spending the passive income their apps have generated. Never tried it yourself? Now's the perfect time!
Honeygain is a proxyware – an internet-sharing application that you can use on your computer, tablet, or smartphone. Simply leave the app running in the background of your device, where it will share your excess internet bandwidth and earn you passive income!