How To Start Investing In Stocks – A Step By Step Guide

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One of the best ways to grow your money and build lasting wealth is to invest. It’s something everyone can and should do, but many think investing is complicated, takes a lot of money to start, and is a huge time commitment. Guess what, it’s not true! All of this may have been true a few decades ago, but not anymore. Now, thanks to intelligent easy to use apps, investing is more accessible and affordable than ever before. You can start investing today, right now, even with just a couple of dollars. Below are the most important steps to start your investing journey today.

Step 1: Choose The Right Online Broker

Online-only brokerage accounts are the best place to go to start investing because they offer low or no account minimums at all, meaning you can start investing with an affordable deposit or as little to as much cash as you like. On top of that, a lot of investing apps provide educational resources to teach you investing need-to-knows.

Check out our favorite investing apps below:

Rating 5

Start Investing With A Low Initial $5 Deposit
  • Invest, bank, and save all from one easy to use app
  • Choose from thousands of stocks and invest in fractional shares starting with as little as $1
  • Unlimited $0 commission trades and no account minimum
  • Account subscriptions come with a bank account and a Visa debit card that earns Stock-Back® rewards (earn stocks and ETFs on purchases)
  • Provides user-friendly educational resources to guide investors along the way
  • Get a $10 bonus at account opening once you’ve deposited $5

Get Started With Stash Now >

Paid non-client endorsement. See Apple App Store and Google Play reviews. View important disclosures.
Rating 4.8

An Intuitive Investing Platform For Every Kind Of Investor
  • Commission-free stock and ETF trading with no trade minimums
  • Invest in mutual funds (over 13,000 to choose from) and annuities, and trade forex and futures 23 hours a day, 6 days a week
  • Set up price alerts, access watch lists and get real-time quotes
  • Get access to research, educational resources and planning tools
  • Get daily market updates from industry expert JJ Kinahan and the latest financial news from Yahoo!

Get Started With TD Ameritrade Now >

Rating 4.6

Make Unlimited Commission Free Trades Starting With $1
  • Invest with as little as $1 in fractional shares
  • 5,000 stocks to choose from
  • Unlimited commission-free trades in stocks, funds and options
  • Trade in real-time 24 hours a day
  • Earn 0.30% APY on uninvested cash

Get Started With Robinhood Now >

Rating 4.4

A Trading Platform With A Built-In Social Network
  • Get a FREE slice of stock when you sign up and your account is approved
  • Build your financial literacy – follow other investors, share insights, and grow your knowledge within a transparent community
  • Be ready to trade instantly by adding funds to your account using your debit card
  • Build a portfolio on your own terms by investing with dollar amounts in fractional shares of stock or buy full shares
  • Easily browse curated themes of stocks to discover and invest in companies that align with your interests

Get Started With Public Now >

Rating 4.2

Start Investing In Real Estate With Just $500
  • Get a diversified portfolio of real estate investments managed for you — there are four portfolios to choose from
  • Earn regular income with investments that pay out returns quarterly
  • Get regular updates on your investments, including milestones like new construction progress, occupancy reports, market data trends, and project completion alerts
  • Fundrise is one of the most trusted real estate investing platforms out there: Manages $1 billion of real estate investments on behalf of 150,000 people
  • Low deposit minimum of $500 for a starter portfolio
  • Low annual advisory fee of 0.15% ($1.50 for every $1,000 invested), ensuring you keep more of what you earn

Get Started With Fundrise Now >

Step 2: Put Money Away For Retirement

How do you picture your life at 63? Still working or retired living somewhere with warm weather by a beach? If you want the latter, that’s not going to happen without a retirement plan. It’s better to start investing for retirement when you’re young, even if you can only afford to make small contributions initially. It’s either that or you put it off and have to devote five or six times the amount of cash when you’re older in an attempt to make up for lost time. Starting to save for retirement later means having less money when you actually need it. When it comes to investing, time can be your friend or your enemy. Which would you prefer?

Retirement may seem some ways away, but time flies and so does money. So don’t wait. Start preparing for your future now.

Check out our favorite Retirement sites below:

Rating 5

Handpicked Retirement Plans, Professionally Managed At A Low Cost
  • Save, spend, and invest your money all from one account with Acorns
  • With its retirement offering Acorns Later, the app selects the right IRA for you based on your financial situation — offers a traditional IRA, ROTH IRA and an SEP IRA
  • Set up recurring contributions or invest $5 at a time, using Round-Ups from your shopping purchases when you link a card
  • Only pay $3/month for professionally managed portfolios made up of hand-picked investments to help lower risk and maximize returns
  • Get $10 immediately after you make your first $5 investment
  • Sign up in under 3 minutes

Get Started With Acorns Now >

Step 3: Diversify Your Portfolio With Real Estate

A healthy and well-rounded investment portfolio is all about asset diversity. That means not having a portfolio made up of only one kind of stock or fund. As the saying goes, don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. Having a diverse portfolio made up of assets from different markets and sectors means that your other assets can mitigate the negative impact of one market or sector performing poorly.

Real estate has long been an asset class that investors have used to diversify their portfolios because of its strong returns and because the real estate market isn’t directly linked to the stock market. Historically, only the ultra-wealthy have had access to real estate investing because of how expensive it can be, but a handful of apps have popped up in recent years making it more accessible to everyone.

Rating 5

Your Investment In Your Home Can Pay Off Now And You Don’t Even Need To Sell
  • If you are a homeowner you can get quick cash by tapping into your home’s property value with the help of Hometap
  • Hometap does not provide loans, they invest in your home, giving you a lump sum of money in exchange for a share of the proceeds when you sell
  • Get cash equal to up to 30% of your home’s value and you don’t have to sell or take out a loan
  • This is not the same as borrowing money, you won’t be adding to your debt load
  • Once approved by Hometap, the cash is yours to do what you want with

Get Started With Hometap Now >

Rating 4.7

Get Access To Real Estate Investing Usually Only Available To The 1%
  • Team of real estate experts curates a collection of apartment buildings that they buy, renovate and manage until they are ready to sell for a profit — while allowing average investors to buy in and profit
  • Once you invest, you get a team of real estate experts running a property empire for you
  • Targets properties with a projected annual return of 10 to 20%
  • Offers low-cost entree into real estate investing with a $500 deposit minimum
  • Expect to hold on to your investments for about 5 years to give your investments time to increase in value
  • Set up recurring contributions to increase your real estate holdings over time
  • No management fees — this is a super cost-effective way to invest in real estate

Get Started With Diversyfund Now >

Step 4: Make Sure You Have The Cash To Invest

You have heard the advice a thousand times before that you should be investing, but as you know it can be hard to consistently save money towards other financial goals — like paying off debt or buying a car — let alone investing. Luckily, we know some apps that can help with that. Easily create a checking or savings account today and rack up cash for investments in no time.

Check out our favorite banking sites below:

Rating 5

A Fee-Free Checking And Savings With No Minimum Balance
  • An award-winning mobile bank
  • No overdraft fees, no minimum balance requirements, no monthly service fees, no foreign transaction fees and no transfer fees*
  • A debit card you can use to access 32,000 fee-free ATMs* and 30,000 cash-back locations
  • Grow your savings faster with Chime’s automated savings feature, Round Ups

Get Started With Chime Now >

*Chime is a financial technology company. Banking services provided by The Bancorp Bank or Stride Bank, N.A.; Members FDIC. Out-of-Network cash withdrawal fees apply. Third-party and cash deposit fees may apply.
Rating 4.7

A Mobile Bank That Comes With A Collection Of Perks Like No Other
  • Up to 6% cashback and $1 cashback on food and coffee purchases
  • Savings have up to a 1.25% APY
  • Access to over 40,000 fee-free ATMs
  • Get paid 2-days early when direct deposit is set up
  • Other perks include 2 months of Netflix reimbursement, 2 months of Peleton Digital reimbursement, annual Priority Pass membership, Global Entry/TSA Precheck reimbursement, cell phone protection, extended warranty protection, auto rental collision damage waiver, lost luggage protection, and hotel theft protection
  • $0 in yearly fees for base-level offering and no initial qualifications or annual qualifications required

Get Started With Oxygen Now >

Step 5: Other Investing & Money Apps We Highly Recommend

So you opened a brokerage account and read all the news. What’s next? Below are apps we recommend if you have a solid handle on investing basics and are ready to take your money game to the next level.

Check out our favorite advanced financial apps below:

Rating 5

Top Choice for Trading Options
  • Commission-free and no contract fee options trading
  • Make trades for or against companies and ETFs
  • Get reward points on every trade you make and redeem them for awesome prizes and gift cards from top retailers
  • $5 initial investment minimum   
  • Check out what your friends on the platform are trading on
  • Track breaking news, corporate reports and important alerts
  • Best for investors with higher risk tolerance
  • All new users get 2,000 Gatsby Rewards Points  (worth $20) that convert to tradeable cash at the end of the month

Get Started With Gatsby Now >

Rating 4.8

Get A Personalized Financial Plan In Just 5 Minutes
  • Simplifies your entire financial life into a personalized plan with actionable steps in just 5 minutes
  • Get a financial report card to see how you’re doing in the various areas of your finances
  • Revise your plan as needed and track your progress through your account
  • Savology Plus is the membership, which provides access to live financial coaches and real-time updates on your financial progress
  • 40,000 households across the US have turned to Savology for financial help
  • Premium memberships start at just $8 per month
  • Use the promo code MONEYMANUAL for 20% off a subscription

Get Started With Savology Now >

Step 6: Invest In A Safety Net For Your Loved Ones With Life Insurance At A Price You Can Afford

Don’t have life insurance? Putting off getting it because it’s an expense you don’t think you can fit into your budget right now? If you have people who depend on you financially, life insurance can safeguard them in case an illness or unexpected tragedy. Yes, life insurance does have a reputation for being expensive, but a new wave of online insurers are providing budget-friendly policies that offer fast and comprehensive coverage.

Check out our favorite life insurance sites below:

Rating 5

Get Up To $10 Million In Life Insurance In 3 Easy Steps
  • Life insurance for people who want to be smart with their money
  • The dirty little secret in the insurance industry is that most people buy more life insurance than they need. Everyday Life is fixing that
  • Protect your family and your budget with coverage that fits every stage of your life
  • Save money, time, and hassle with personalized life insurance recommendations
  • Those recommendations are based on your actual needs and comparing multiple insurers
  • Rates as low as $7 per month
  • Online application with same day coverage available
  • No annoying sales calls ever

Get Started With Everyday Life Now >

Rating 4.7

Fast Online Application, Affordable Prices And Flexible Policies
  • Apply for life insurance in 5 minutes and get an instant decision
  • Increase or decrease your coverage as your situation changes with only a few clicks
  • No policy fees ever and cancel anytime without penalty
  • No brokers or upselling, just the insurance coverage you need

Get Started With Ladder Now >

Summary:

If you really want to get ahead financially, investing is essential. It’s how you make your money work for you rather than you working for your money. And who doesn’t want that?

When it comes to investing though, we hear common two reasons people haven’t started – “I don’t have enough money right now” and “I don’t know anything about the stock market.” Well, I have some great news: You don’t need to be rich or be an expert to make money investing.

You can get started investing in only a few minutes with any of the sites above. Check them out, invest your cash, and prepare for retirement in a few easy clicks.

Seriously, sign up for our #1 pick right now and take advantage of this perfect investing opportunity.

Stash – The Simplest Way To Start Investing Is Here

If you’re not sure where to start investing, you’re not alone. While it can feel complicated, there is an easy ways to start investing.

A simple (and free) way to start investing is Stash. Stash is a micro-investing app that lets you purchase fractional shares and ETFs – that means you can with whatever spare money you have. The app walks you through your options and provides recommendations based on your interest, goals and risk tolerance meaning you can find the perfect investment option for you today.

Wondering if you have enough money to start? We suggest you make your first $100 deposit as soon as you open your account, but the minimum is just $5.

If you need an incentive to start, Stash is giving all new users a free $5 bonus after you invest your first $5. What more could you want?